Our next port was Katakolon, which is a tiny town consisting of about two parallel streets. The reason you stop there is to visit Olympia, where they held the Olympic Games in antiquity. There is supposed to be a train from Katakolon to Olympia, but it wasn't working when we were there (and from what we hear, it's rarely working) so we bused it instead.
Olympia is one of those pancake archaeological sites, meaning that there's been stuff there for like a gazillion years with newer stuff built on top of old stuff ("newer" being a relative term here). So the oldest stuff dates back to the 10th century BC and then there's newer stuff from the Classical period on through Roman times.
While it's interesting to see these places in ruins, I really wonder what they all looked like in their heyday. It's hard to imagine. I think we're going to have minimal blah-blah from me today and just lots of pics of ruins : )
Ongoing excavations at Olympia. Typical of workmen everywhere, there's one dude actually working and three or four watching. And by the time we left the site like an hour and a half later, they were all on coffee break. Or maybe they were done for the day.
Here you can see how pitted and weathered the stone columns are.
The day we visited Olympia, it was hot and sunny with nary a cloud in the sky, so the shade trees were lovely. Apparently it doesn't rain too terribly much here because everything was dry and dusty.
One of the fun things to see was Phidias' workshop. Phidias was pretty much the rockstar of Ancient Greek sculpture; he did the statue of Zeus at Olympia that was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, and also the giant statue of Athena that used to grace the Parthenon in Athens. (I now want to visit Nashville to see the replica there.) So anyway, this column capital was in Phidias' workshop.
One of my favorite pics of the day. Isn't that carving beautiful?
That's the view of the outside of the workshop. Next up: more Olympia! And I think I need to go re-watch Nia Vardalos' movie My Life in Ruins.