It’s difficult to remember everything exactly the way it was, and even though a picture may be worth a thousand words, nothing can compare to the experience of seeing profound creations with my own eyes. Last summer a group of students from my Latin class made a journey to the sites of ancient Rome and Greece. As quasi-chaperones, my parents accompanied us and also got to experience the wonder. The most vivid memory I have from our two week trip is difficult to describe in mere words and far more amazing than what any picture can reveal.
It was the eighth day of the trip and our tour group, organized by Education First (EF) Tours, disembarked from our trans-Mediterranean overnight cruise and boarded a vibrant purple bus. As our bus made its way across the Grecian countryside, everyone marveled at the sights. We stopped for lunch at a little place by the Mediterranean Sea and snuck in a quick swim before embarking on our journey once again. The bus headed into the mountains and we made our way up to Apollo’s temple at Delphi.
Just as we drove up the last part of the road, rain began to fall from the sky. Our tour guide was afraid we might be rained out and we would miss our chance to explore the ancient grounds. We all settled for looking around the museum during the downpour. Luckily, just as we finished our turn around the awe-inspiring museum, the rain began to let up and our guide informed us that we could proceed up to Apollo’s Temple as long as we were careful not to slip. We took what we thought would be a quick elevator ride from the museum. Just after starting to move, the elevator lurched to a stop. There was some screaming (not me) and some giggling (me) and general confusion. From outside a voice instructed us to press the little red button. Sure enough, the elevator began to move and we were once again on our way to the Temple.
A few raindrops were still falling as we climbed up the mountain. We all admired the ancient stones, the ancient language, and the meanings that came from it all. We turned around a little corner and uttered a near-unison gasp. The sun had appeared from behind the clouds and crossed the still-dripping rain to create a vibrant rainbow. The rainbow spanned the sky above the site where an ancient Oracle would have delivered prophesies from the God, Apollo. As we were all taking it in, someone exclaimed “Look! The rainbow ends at our bus!” We all saw the way the rainbow seemed to fade into our purple bus.
It was the perfect way to see the beauty of something so old, in conjunction with something so fresh – both so meaningful. In those moments as we stood in silence, and in the rest of our time exploring the abandoned temple, everything just seemed perfect. Nothing could have been a better introduction to Greece than that vivid rainbow linking Earth to sky while we were at the site of the ancient tie between Earth and sky. I suppose that is what was so wonderful about that day: we were connected through space from land to clouds and connected through time from antiquity to present day.
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