Mark & Linda's Tzatziki Tour of Greece, October 2017.
Olympia, Thursday, 2017.10.12.

The highly touristed site of ancient Olympia, and the wonderful Archaeological Museum of Olympia.

For me, two jaw-dropping details. To walk inside Phidias' workshop — no kidding, this is it right here. And to oogle Phidias' drinking cup in the museum — really, seriously, that's his cup. Breathtaking.

This site first brought home to me the radical change in tourist trajectories between my student trip here in 1979 and today. On December 22, 1979 my college friends Annie and Margie and myself were utterly alone in Olympia; as you can see here, here, here, and here, aside from ourselves there wasn't a soul in sight. I remember there being no admission charge, and we unluckily arrived on a day when the museum was closed. Today is Thursday, an ordinary weekday, and the place is wall-to-wall with Americans and Germans who arrive in buses and follow group leaders; the museum is now open seven days. We found this to be true in many places, Pylos, Epidaurus, Mycenae and Corinth most emphatically. Some of this tourism seems driven by Evangelical interest in biblical sites, but perhaps there's more generally a newfound notion that old shit is sexy. For the sake of my dating life I hope so.

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