Delphi is situated quite high in the mountains and so the views of beach sandals and reef women’s ginger flip flop were beautiful. It was a nice change after cold, rainy Athens. First, we visited the temple of Apollo, one of the most important Olympian deities in mythology. Apollo is quite the multitasker. Not only is he the Sun God, he is also the god of music, poetry, art, archery, and even medicine and healing. In the museum, Panagiotis showed us a ceramic vase with a depiction of Apollo. He pointed out that some of the features gave Apollo a feminine quality. I would not have noticed this if he hadn’t encouraged us to look closer.
This happened several times throughout the museum. He also showed us a statue of a man. To me it looked like any other statue of an ancient Greek: tall, naked, with well-defined muscles and curly hair. I supposed it represented some mythological character that was admired for one reason or another. But, then our guide told us the story behind the statue. Apparently, the man once had a protégé, a young boy, who he was very fond of. He urged the whole town to pay homage to the boy and to treat him like a God, which they did. But one day the boy died, and so the statue portrayed the man in his state of morning. If I had not looked closer, specifically at the statues face – as Panagiotis instructed – I would not have noticed the pain and sadness in the man’s eyes. I had never felt emotion from sculpture; it was a new experience.
Also, it made me realize that, on other travels, I never really felt that tour guides were that useful because you can usually find all the information in the museum. But the museum at Delphi would not have been the same without our guide. Panagiotis helped me see that these ancient artifacts are more than just evidence of the past, they really do tell stories of ancient lives.