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Katakolon, Greece

Katakolon is on the west coast of th Peloponnesus, Greece’s largest peninsula.   It is a sleepy fishing village of only 300 people but is the gateway to Olympia, the site of the original Olympic Games.   Held every four years between 776 B.C. and 393 A.D., when the Emperor Theodosius banned pagan festivals, the Olympic Games celebrated the ideal harmony of the mind and body.   Every four years, the sacred flames of Altis is rekindled to light the torch for the Modern Games of today.

The ruins of Olympia are a short drive from Katakolon.   After the Emperor Theodosius banned the games, the temples were destroyed.   An earthquake in the 6th century compounded the destruction.   Excavation of the ruins began in 1875 and Olympia was declared a National Park in 1976.

For our short stay in Katakolon, we made a trip the the Archaeological Museum for viewing the collection of Olympia remains and to a tavern in Olympia for snacks and the performance of Greek folk music, song and dance.   The Museum was our first stop.

The first room we entered in the Museum displayed a collection of sculptures that at one time occupied the triangular space of a building pediment or cable.   Use the people to obtain a sense of scale of this collection.

The Winged Victory (Nike) of Palonios

Hermes of Praxiteles

These are some of the other sculptures in the museum.   Try as I did, I could not find out of what the sculptures are.   I do seem to remember that last two, the warrior, is of Zeus.

The below gets into the commercial side of the National Park.   T-shirts of all designs and miniature sculptures of Greek figures.   The prices were good on T-shirts and what kind of tourist comes home with no t-shirts?   The last photo is of an area adjacent to the parking lot.

From the Museum, we went to a restaurant sort of place.   There was some Greek food, song and dancing.   Very crowded with cruise tourist but we finally got in to a table before it was over.   It was fun watching the Greek dances.   Outside, a very colorful cart which could not missed.

Next Port Call and Last Greek Isle, Corfu