The last two days of this Greek trip are going to be spent in a tour that goes to Temple of Delphi and Meteora. I usually prepare the itinerary by myself, but for such a long trip (around 800 km.) in only two days, and having to be back on time in order to take the plane, I preferred to take a tour and not to have to worry at any schedule or preparation details. There's a pretty nice tour that I could book online from this site (add link).
The tour is two days departing from Athens, stopping at the Temple of Delplhi (3 hr drive from Athens) and then at Kalambaka (4 hours from the temple). In this town, we overnight, and the 2nd day we are taken to two monasteries. I'm typing this text after visting the Temple of Delphi. So far, excellent. They picked us up at the hotel on time (they offer free pick up/drop off to a broad list of hotels). The tourist guide is very fluent in English, and spent a big part of the first 3hr ride describing places, and telling interesting Greek mithology stories.
Some comment the guide make, unrelated to the tour, was that the traffic in Athens improved a little in the last year. With the cost of a gallon of gas at €12, lots of people reduced driving considerably. In comparisson, a gallon of gas costs about €4 in USA.... what a difference!
The coach bus from the tour is in good condition clean, with air conditioner, but restroom door is locked not sure whether it works. The tourist guide asked to tell her in case of need to have an 'emergency' stop.
|Temple of Apollo in Temple of Delphi|
The ancient greeks believed built the temple at a place they belived was located the center of the earth, and constructed the temple of Apollo where the oracles would give answer to questions about the future. Quite an interesting history. It should be well documented somewhere on the web.
We spent about 1 hour at Temple of Delhi, and the passengers in the 2 day tour were taken to a near by hotel. About half of the initial group remained for a longer time on the Temple of Delhi, where they would visit the museum, and then have a long lunch. For the 2 day tour, the lunch time is at around 3pm, and we get about 30' minutes only. Before reaching the lunch place, we stopped for 5' minutes at the monument to Leonidas and the 300 Spartans that died in the fight with Persians. The brief story is that the 300 Spartans knew that they weren't going to return from this fight but they also expected to have to fight the Persians in the future. The Spartans decided was to send soldiers, who had at least one male child. The idea was that the children would replace their parents as soldiers in the next war against Persia. Another interesting item is that the ocean was much closer than what we see nowadays (several kilometers closer to the monument).
On the lunch stop, we could get some sandwiches (€4 each), and a scoup of ice scream (€2 , same as in other places). After a 30 minute lunch, we continued the trip towards Kalambaka. This is a modern town, with view to one Meteora monastery.
We stayed for a 30' stroll in town, but there aren't many points of interest compared to other places visited so far. Kalambaka downtown has the shops expected from a regular town (ATM, supermarket, bar, restaurant, bank, etc.).
We got taken to Amalia Hotel, located outside town. This hotel is very nice, rooms are big and hard wood furniture is old (but in good state).
The hotel includes dinner and breakfast. Dinner is at 8:15pm (the guide actually asked the group for a dinner time of our choice), and on the morning they pick us up at 7:30am. The room had 3 beds, and TV with English and Spanish channels (I didn't mention so far, but of course, every hotel had channels in Greek). Wi-Fi is available for free, but only works outside the room. Ask the password at the front desk.