Between the ferries, the Mistral winds, and the Ministry of Culture, you will weep bitter, bitter tears of frustration.
"Oh non, <something something> de voitures, mais mini-vans, oui." Oh, mini-vans, you'll think, yet another word that has no translation.
Perhaps because the waiting line was quite long and they had only started their vacation, the French men say, "Do you have a reservation for a car? No?"
Then switching easily to English, they ask, "Have you just arrived?"
Where, they ask, will you go now?
Tell them you were planning to visit beautiful Mount Olympus, an easy drive. Hiking, perhaps even camping.
Oh, they will say, Have you not heard? Forest fires have closed Mount Olympus.
"Mais bien sûr!" you can say. But of course. Of course Mount Olympus is closed.
I underestimate my husband's ability to find joy in his moment. After mooching around the ruins, he suggested a walk, and we headed up the beautifully marked E4 European long-distance trail. Up up up the Kaki Scala.
A few hours later, as we followed signs and listened to the musical clanking of goat-bells sounding from the hills around us, we arrived at the Korykion Cave, where Pan was worshipped.
The actual Pan. Not an easy god, he.
We climbed into Pan's cave. Scene of who knows what-all sacred mysteries, the cave also sheltered Greeks from foreign invasion (the Persians in the 5th C BC, the Turks during the Greek War of Independence, and the Germans in 1943).
A good cave is a joy forever, evidently.
We picnicked, respectfully, and then wound our way back to the tiny white rental car, unscathed by Pan or the loud farm-dogs.
A couple of days is not enough for Delphi.
I am almost afraid to plan a trip back to the Temple of Apollo to see the Charioteer again and walk those fragrant dry hills –– in case my travel mojo destroys the entire town.
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