After reading about it in many a history class, and watching and hearing it mentioned in countless movies, I was finally able to witness first-hand what the Oracle of Delphi is all about.
My friend, Anthony, hired a private car and driver to take us on an overnight trip to the central part of Greece to see Delphi, Thermopylae, and Meteora. Cannot think of a better way to travel — loved it!
On the way there, our driver played a background video about the Oracle and the myth behind it. Talk about a crash course in ancient Greek history.
When we arrived at the site, I was so excited to be there I mistook the circular Tholos at the Sanctuary of Athena to be the site of the Oracle. Turns out that that’s further up the mountain. The area of the Athena Temple has been occupied as early as 5000 BCE but the temple structures themselves date back to the 7th-4th century BCE. It’s all incredibly old and impressive.
Just half a mile up Mt Parnassus is the famous site of the Oracle itself, the Temple of Apollo.
Story goes that the Oracle was a priestess who fell into a trance when she went into a room that had a chasm emitting vapors. She would come out talking gibberish which other priests interpreted as prophecies. Modern scientists are guessing the vapors were ethylene. There you go.
The worse thing that can happen to a photographer is to run out of film – in the digital age, it would be to run out of battery life. Ugh! Having made sure I plugged in my camera to recharge it the night before, turns out the plug was loose and didn’t charge the camera at all. So here I was with possibly a handful of shots left and having to decide what was important enough to shoot. Technology being what it is, give it a couple more years I suppose and someone will come up with a solution, but for that moment my trigger finger itched to no satisfying end.
I guess I should have consulted an oracle beforehand.