today, we actually have adjusted our time clocks to the proper sleep patterns. We slept until our 6:00 a.m. wake up call (which means I didn't get up and run before breakfast). Today was a travel day so we spent about 7 hours on the bus and are now in a small town called Kalambaka at the Meteora hotel. It is at the base of some serious rock formations where century old monasteries are built on the top. Tomorrow we will tour one.
We headed north this morning for about three hours until we came to the town of Delphi. This was the ancient spiritual center of Greece. Here people from all over the world would come for spiritual advice and guidance from an oracle (a word from a priest). But here's the gig...the place was built over some place where some natural gas of some kind was emitted next to a spring where laurel grows. They built a room (temple) over this spot and a priestess (usually teen - aged) would sit there all morning smelling the gas, drinking the water and chewing the laurel. At some point she would come into some kind of trance and then begin some estatic utterances! Crazy stuff, basically chicks that were high would babble and guys from all over the world would listen to their advice.
What's cool is that a major complex complete with temple to Apollos, statues, ampitheatre, hippodrome (hippo is Greek for horse), and stadium all became a part of this complex in the side of the mountain. The stadium was at least a mile hike up where 7,000 stone slab seats are still in existence after 4,000 years. It was incredible! We had a great lunch at a roadside cafe that overlooked about a 800 foot gorge. We were impressed with the mountainous terrain and the villages built into them.
There were some cool remains from a church that was built in Delphi around 400 AD when the Roman empire opened up to Christianity and it spread basically putting the oracle out of business. So this building is there that became the church at Delphi. Very cool to think about the Christians (former brothers and sisters) who attended this church with an incredible view and to think that we worship and follow the same Jesus.
I had the opportunity to have a great conversation with Kent Odor on the bus ride this afternoon. He's the Sr. Associate at the Cincinnati Vineyard church. Great to experience this trip with a fellow brother.