Olympia, Greece

We thoroughly enjoyed our time in Loutraki and were a bit sad to depart.  Our next place to stay was near Sparta.  Although Olympia was a bit out of our way, we did not share the map with the kids.

Who knew McDonald’s doesn’t have the market cornered on restaurants with arches?  There was a tour bus parking at this gas station/restaurant.  From past experiences we have found the food where the high end tour buses stop is good.  This stop was at the midway of our trek to Olympia.  When Rachel spotted the arches again, the kids knew Olympia was out of our way.
The tour bus people must have purchased most of the pre made sandwiches. We did have a pleasant snack with popcorn, baked potato chips, and 1.5 liter bottle of Coke.  The weather was perfect, probably about 70 with no apparent humidity.  Sarah tried to run out of the picture but alas her dad was quick with the camera this time.
The sole column at the Temple of Zeus that was built in the 5th century BCE.
I wanted to take a picture of Marcia next to the column for the Temple of Zeus.  They had rope across the wood steps to get up to floor of the Temple.  The wood steps had clearly been built for tourists. I jumped the rope, but was quickly told to get off. Hence the above photo was taken in a legal area to walk.  It reveals the actual diameter of the massive columns.
Marcia in front of the Temple of Hera, wife of Zeus. Notice the doric capitals on columns.


Entrance to the original Olympic Stadium.


The flat green area to the right of the dirt path is spot of the original Olympic track.
While we saw mostly Doric capitals, Philippeion was the exception with classic Ionic capitals.  It is the only the only structure at Olympia that was not dedicated to a god. It was built in the fourth century BCE, later than the others at Olympia.

Unfortunately we had to rush through Olympia.  We left Loutraki an hour later than the plan, and I had thought it would be about an hour from Olympia to Sparta. It was over two hours.  Much to my dismay we missed the theater at Olympia.  It was not in the same location as the stadium and temples.  Similar to Argos we would have had to drive to a separate location to find the theater.  We left sooner than we wanted and headed to our next apartment outside of Sparta.  We arrived 45 minutes late, but fortunately the woman  stayed to meet us and show us the mini villa.

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