Category Archives: Olympia

Olympia and the port of Katakolon

Seabourn day 10, Katakolon port and Olypmia

Last night’s dinner after the Captain’s reception was fabulous. I had foie gras Ellen had a beet salad and we both had veal tenderloin served over a square of potato with a wonderful wine reduction. The deserts were amazing.

This morning we awoke in the port of Katakolon in the Peleponnese. We spent the early morning working out, me running and lifting weights in the gym, Ellen stretching in our suite. I brought cappuccinos down to the suite, Ellen went to the Colonnade for breakfast and we headed out to the tour of Olympus at 8:15. The day was warm and growing hot already.

Our tour guide was well versed in Greek mythology and explained the lineage of many of the Greek gods and some of the Roman along the way. The entrance to Olympus opens into the palaestra, part of the gymnasium used for training wrestlers. It, like most of the site, lies in ruins. The temple of Zeus, the baths, and the temple of Hera are all in ruins. One column of the Temple of Zeus was rebuilt at a cost of $500,000 euro. The plan to rebuild the front six columns was abandoned. It was great fun walking from one ruin to another listening to our guide describe both the history and the mythology of the site. Women and children were not allowed in the Stadium during the month of training or the five days of the games under pain of death. One family won repeatedly, a woman’s farther won, her husband won 3 times, and she wanted to train her son. She dressed as a man and entered the Stadium as her son’s trainer and helped him train. Her son won his competition and in tears his mother ran to him, but her disguise dropped away and she was revealed as a woman.

She begged the judges for her life asking how they could condem a woman to death when she was following her own law and helping her son win. She was not put to death, but thereafter the trainers, and judges had to enter the Stadium naked. Nakedness was required of the athletes already.

This is historical fact.

We enjoyed our tour of the ruins, but the tour of the archeological museum was more fascinating. Unlike the Parthenon’s museum, each piece in the Olympic museum was original. Greece is seismicly active. The Temple of Hera was destroyed by an earthquake in the 4th century Ad. It is thought that earthquakes are responsible for most of the destruction of Olympia. The statue of Hermes with the baby Dionysyus which was damaged in an earthquake in 1983 which broke the baby’s left arm. This statue is thought to be the inspiration for Michelangelo’s David two thousand years later. There is an uncanny resemblance between the two statues.

We returned to the small town of Katakolon had a very Greek lunch of salad, tzaziki, bread, and Alpha beer. We met a newly wed couple who flew from Ft. Lauderdale to Oia, spent a few days in Oia before catching the Odyssey to Venice and a Boston attorney and his wife who embarked in Athens for the trip to Venice. The newlyweds were bubbly and very happy with Seabourn service. The attorney and his wife were fun. We discussed Boston, travel, nuclear energy, and electric cars though not in that order. After hardly eating a bite, we had to cut the conversation short to actually eat.

Later we returned to the cafe for fee wi-fi, but spend most of our time sorting photos and not actually uploading anything. After returning to the bad, some of the off-loading of photos is underway (but at a price!).