Consulting the Oracle at Delphi
Leaving the coast and traveling inland to Delphi, the terrain change is remarkable. Farmland dominates the broad flat valley plains on the outskirts of Athens. Rolling hills transition to soaring mountains as the bus passes through Arachova Village, approaching Delphi and Mt. Parnassus.
In classical Greek times, Delphi was considered the center of the universe. With a soaring backdrop like Mt. Parnassus and a commanding view of the hills and valleys of the Greek countryside, it's hard not to be awed and inspired here.
Gaia, goddess of the earth (and, technically, all other Greek gods and goddesses), was first worshipped here before the Mycenaean period (Bronze Age, 1600-1100 B.C.). As Gaia's family tree (and man's creative storytelling) grew, other goddesses and gods fell in and out of vogue. Apollo, Zeus's son, was the last lucky mythic god to reign before Roman Byzantium sensibility took over (duh, there's only one god!), at which point there was an attempt to transform the place into a Christian church during Constantine's rule. It's a fascinating place and the more you read about it, the less you actually know...kind of like consulting the Oracle herself, known for such proclamations as "know thyself", "nothing in excess", and "if you go to war, a great empire will fall".