The Magic of Carnivale and Delphi…And Midterms

Spring is here! At least technically. I only know that because the calendar on my phone tells me so. The weather recently gives no indication of spring whatsoever. It’s been fairly cold and for the most part rainy as well. But that hasn’t stopped the Greeks from celebrating Carnivale! The weekend before last, the streets were filled with music, people dancing, and all sorts of festivities. During this time of celebration, everyone donned their most out-of-the-ordinary costumes, from clowns, goth kids, and Fred Flinstone. On the following Monday the mood abruptly shifted to one of a familial nature, when everyone is supposed to rid their fridges of meat and usher in lent with feasts of seafood. Just stepping outside my apartment building, the scent of fish, fried calamari, and everything good under the sun (or sea) spread through the air.

The next weekend, College Year in Athens (CYA) took us on a trip to Delphi, which is said to be the most holy site of the ancient world. Home to Apollo’s temple, which he leaves only in the summer months to care for Dionysus, thousands would flock to it nine times a year to have their oracle ready by the Pythia, a priestess of Apollo with the ability to answer any question she is asked. We were able to see the temple of Apollo where the Pythia would speak her fortunes, as well as see the various treasuries setup by the Greek city states so they could jump in line and see her first. The view was incredible, and it was easy to see why that spot held so much spiritual value to the Ancient Greeks.



The Athenian treasury at Delphi, where the ancient Greeks demonstrated their dedication to the god Apollo. If they were lucky, they could skip the line to visit Pythia, who would read her oracle.


A sphinx, the guardian of the underworld.


The Umphalos, which marks Delphi as the “center of the universe,” and Panhellenic site of worship for Greeks.


The ceiling of the Ossios Loukas monastery, which still operates today.


Aside from the excitement of carnival and the serenity of Delphi, there are also exams. Somehow I thought that just by being in Greece and living the opportunity of a lifetime would make them less stressful. Suffice to say, it did not. Exams will never be your friend. Ever. No matter where you go. I’m the sort of person who over-prepares and worries all the same. On the bright side though, after this week of little sleep and much anxiety, Easter will be one week closer! And I’ve been looking forward to the parades, midnight service, and egg cracking games since my first day here! That’s all for now, but I’ll have details about Thessaloniki and the Island of Crete next time.

Until then,




All of my books as I prep for midterms.


The beautiful mountains of Delphi.

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Filed under Destiny in Greece, Western Europe

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