The Center of the World | My Family Travels
View from Delphi
Amphitheater at Delphi
Omphalos

When Zeus instructed two eagles to circumnavigate the earth, I doubt he envisioned that thousands of years later, a younge blonde girl with red plastic sunglasses would stand in awe marvelling at the omphalos, the site his eagles had chosen; and yet, there I was.

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There wasn’t an inch at Delphi that didn’t capture my heart and imagination, nor that I didn’t capture on camera. It was as close to Mount Olympus as I, a mere mortal, would ever come. The Sanctuary of Athena, The Temple of Apollo: massive stone monuments as immortal as the gods they were erected for.

The entire site was carved into the mountainside. Steep stone steps led from one location to the next. The (admittedly painful) treck up several flights gave way to a panoramic view with the ability to make one feel simultaneously insignificant and great: A verdant landscape, stretching out beyond sight, composed of nothing more than olive trees, save the thin slivers of road that snaked through the green. And within all this lay an ancient city, a once-thriving civilization, not consumed by the vegetation, but growing from it.

My peers, my friends, my travel companions, had turned back after we reached the amphitheater. I was tempted to join them and descend to the base of the site, but I had heard there was more- not just more stairs, but more Delphi. I was determined to see it all. So I did,

I screamed when I reached the summit: partially out of pain, my weak city legs unaccustomed to such grueling climbs, but mostly out of disbelief. I was, both literally and metaphorically, on top of the world. I was standing in a stadium, yet another achievement of strength and faith; how appropriate that I felt like a champion here. I was a young woman among the gods. An eight hour flight from home, and a six hour drive from our cozy hotel in an Athenian suburb, and I had made it: the center of the world.

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