You know those places where you feel your soul light up in connection, a vibe about the place that you recognize deep inside yourself, or those places where you feel the magic of its presence surround you. That is Delphi. Delphi is considered the center of the world in Greek mythology, the site where Zeus sought to find the center of his “Grandmother Earth.” He sent two eagles flying from the east and the west, whose paths crossed over Delphi, thereby deeming it the navel of the world. Delphi also was host to the oracle Pythia, and served as a worship site for the god Apollo.
Staggering columns of varying heights rim one area of ruins and lead towards an amphitheater with stones crumbling apart, appearing crestfallen at the lack of its appropriated use. The ruins tumble down the side of the mountain, looking out into the green hued valley. The rocky foothills and mountains are studded with emerald bushes. After touring the ruins, we sat along a stone wall gazing out over the horizon. The sight lends itself a perfect meditation spot, with the sunshine warming our bones and enough of a breeze to keep the sweat at bay. The specialness of Delphi, its magical quality, created the perfect Zen mode for a quiet moment of meditation and deep reflection. I can’t explain it, but both Whitney and myself felt the same soulful connection to that remote spot among the hills. I truly hope that we find our way back to Delphi the next time we travel to Greece and can only pray that we experience that same kinship again.
Ephesus: one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. It hails as the largest collection of Roman ruins in the eastern Mediterranean and is famed for the Temple of Artemis, completed around 550 BC. The sloping stone road weaving down to the majestic library front is one image I will never forget. The towering edifice is magnificent, with cream colored stone columns multiple stories tall that dwarf any mere mortal standing in its archways below. The fact that it was home to a library in its past only heightens my adoration.
Ephesus is one of the few ruins that are preserved enough to truly picture how bustling the city once was, complete with homes, market stalls, government buildings, and religious sights. Exposed stone walls and pieces of carved statues fan out in every direction, exploding over the surrounding landscape. It must have been quite the town in its heyday.
These two sights were among many equally significant ruins that we ventured to during our exploration of Turkey, Greece, and Italy in the summer of 2012. I chose to highlight these two places because of their unique beauty and the sense of aliveness we felt while roaming the grounds that seemed to be missing at other sights. We are very spiritual people and the connectedness we appreciate in any given spot heightens our experience in a way that no amount of historical significance or beauty ever will.