Post 2 of 7.
Finally made it to Delphi, 50 years after we arrived to find the site closed – as explained in a previous post. The site was simply humming with bees this time, though the sight of pine processionary moth cocoons in some of the trees was distressing. The museum closed before we could get to it – and not too long afterwards the site as a whole was closed. But we had moved on by then.
A truly wonderful visit, with relatively few other people visiting such sights as the temples of Athena Pronaia and, higher up, of Apollo. A fuller account of the site’s history can be found here. One bit of the recent story that Jeremy (Paterson) challenged was the idea that gases from a chasm under the site had helped induce a state of trance in the priestesses. I confess, though, that I still find the explanation seductive – even if many shamans can get there unassisted.
As we travel, with a fair number of books in our baggage train, I have been reading A Rising Man, by Abil Mukherjee. A wonderfully engaging portrait of Calcutta back in 1919, just after WWI, with a simmering independence movement that would take another 30 years to come to blood-spattered fruition.
And I find myself constantly wondering what it is about today’s world, apart from COVID-19, the gathering climate emergency and the exponential undermining of the natural world, that we ought to be paying more attention to as clues to the future in the present?