Unlike our drive from Nafplio to Sparti, the next drive to Olympia was relatively uneventful and we arrived in Olympia on a cold and rainy day, 2 hours before our agreed meeting time with the guesthouse owner. In that 2 hours we started exploring the town. 5 minutes later, we had finished. Oh dear. We had 2 nights in the what we now realised was a small tourist village. Perhaps a bit too long. So after checking in and a tad more exploring, we decided to get some groceries and do some cooking as a bit of a treat to pass the time for the remainder of the day – we had realised a few years ago that simple home cooked meals are what we crave most after long periods travelling, and so we had booked the occassional property with a kitchen so we could get our fill.
The next day we went to the historical site of Olympia itself. It was a very different experience from Mycenae, Sparta, Mystras, Epidaurus, and the Temple of Asclepius. Being essentially a site that was used by the rich and famous to watch games, and in later years by Roman emporers, it had a bit of an exclusive feel to it that the other sites didn’t appear to have. But that aside, it was hugely impressive. Standing on the grounds where the first Olympic Games took place was pretty incredible, and the temples and buildings around the site made us realise how big of a deal the games were. We did find it a bit odd that possibly the least impressive structure of the ruins was the place where the Olympic torch is lit every 4 years. But of course the impressiveness of a structure doesn’t always correlate with the magnitude of its importance.
That afternoon we went on a tiki to a nearby town to have a bit of a look. It was quite pretty, but mostly closed up for the winter. We ended up enjoying a coffee in Doris while watching the boats bob away in the harbour. It was oddly relaxing.
Next stop, Delphi.