Well, we’ve spent the last couple of nights in Olympia. The town there was pleasant, and the archaeological site was one of the best that we’ve seen in a long time, though we have some complaints about the way it’s operated that I won’t get into here. There’s enough in way of ruins there to engage the imagination, and it’s large enough that the crowds are only a problem in a couple of pinch points, like the Olympic Stadium.
We should know better by now than to accept the guidebook’s word that a museum is worth visiting. It told us that the Archaeological Museum in Olympia is something worth seeing, so we went. Big surprise, it’s another museum where the curators feel that adequate description of a antique is a physical description, that you could figure out yourself using your eyes. There’s no idea as to significance of anything, which has been a common theme in museums this whole trip. However, there was some good news, as our visit to the Museum of the History of the Olympic Games, which, unlike the boring museum, was free (and not to be confused with the Museum of the Olympic Games), was much more interesting. It had a lot of the same stuff as the Archaeological Museum, but was presented in a way that gave a much better idea of an item’s significance, and some of the history surrounding it. The Museum of the Olympic Games, which covers the modern games, also sounded like it would be interesting, as we’d hoped it would cover some of the important moments in modern Olympic history, but ended up being more a collection of memorabilia than anything else.
So Olympia was overall a pretty good place to visit. Unfortunately, Kathy and I are both in a bit of a bad mood right now though, since we’re in the middle of a bus trip which will take a total of just short of 10 hours to go about 200km. We left Olympia at 10:45 this morning, and made it to Patra, about 120km away, in record time of about 5 hours. Now we have a 2 hour layover (our second of the day), and will get on a 3 hour ride to Delphi, which is about 80 or 100km away, at 6pm. Mainland Greece seems to work on the same theory, if slightly scaled back, as Egypt, where they can safely assume people will visit to see all the fascinating historical stuff, and then go to no effort whatsoever to make it a pleasant experience.
Tags: Cairo to Budapest and Beyond, Greece