Wednesday, October 19, 2011

My Big Fat Greek Vacation! (Part Three: Olympia)

The next stop on our road trip: Olympia.  From the moment we drove down the dusty old road to our hotel, tucked away on a quiet mountain, we fell in love with Olympia.  It was quiet, off the beaten path, peaceful, and beautiful.  We arrived at our perfect little hotel early enough to take a dip in the pool and enjoy a glass of Greek wine.  Our hotel included dinner that evening, so after swimming we were able to walk over to our charming little dinner spot with a gorgeous view of Olympia.  This was our favorite dinner of the trip.  The weather was perfect, the food was incredible, and the atmosphere was quaint and relaxing. 

Our perfect dinner in Olympia

The view from our dinner table

The next morning, we enjoyed a tasty breakfast at our hotel.  During breakfast, a cute grandmotherly British woman approached us, motioned to Peter, and said "I had the fresh squeezed orange juice for breakfast, but I really just want to squeeze him!"  Several of her traveling buddies joined her as they Ooohed and Aaaahed over Peter saying "Oh!  He's just a little poppet, isn't he!?"

After breakfast, we explored the ruins of the ancient city of Olympia!

Below are the ruins of the Temple of Zeus at Olympia. Inside this temple stood one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World: the Statue of Zeus at Olympia. The statue was said to have been huge and incredibly beautiful--made with sheets of gold for his clothes and sheets of ivory for his flesh.

The Beaudoin Clan and the Temple of Zeus

One of the most awesome sites on our trip that we visited was the ORIGINAL Olympic stadium where the ancient Greeks held their games!  Below is a photo of Dan and his sister, Hannah, at the starting line inside the stadium! These two were eager for a little friendly competition.  It was a close race!  : )  The track from one end to the other was a little over 200 meters. 

Next, Dan took a run with our little Olympian. 

On your mark, get set, GO! 

Below is the Altar of Hera in Olympia. It was in front of the Temple of Hera in Olympia. Hera was the queen of the gods (Zeus's wife).  The ancient Greeks made burnt sacrifices to Hera on this spot.

In modern times, this small pile of rocks is actually very significant...since the 1930s, the Olympic Flame for each modern Olympic Games is originally lit right here and taken to the site of the Olympic Games that year!!! Very cool!

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