Dude, Where’s My Wool?” and Other Dodonian Questions

June 12

Left Corfu today. *sad face* We got on the ferry bright and early and sailed into a misty abyss. Eventually it cleared out and we arrived on the mainland. We hopped right on the bus and headed to Dodona. It’s in the region of Eipus, and one of the oldest and most important places of ancient Greece. Homer references Dodona in the Iliad and the Odyssey. In the 4th century BC, it was merely the oak tree that was the Oracle of Zeus and a small hut. 

The Oracle was the oak tree, and a priest would interpret Zeus’s message through the sound of the wind in the trees and the direction of the birds, as well as the sound of acorns hitting bronze cauldrons around the site. Priests were always in contact with the ground–they slept on the ground, went barefoot and never washed their feet.

By the 3rd century BC, there was a brilliant theatre that housed 18,000 people and multiple other buildings. The theatre was later destroyed in Roman times and repaired as a gladiator arena. We could see the ruins of the rooms in which they may have kept the wild animals. Standing in the orchestral space in the theatre, we talked about the gladiatorial events like man vs. animal, animal vs. animal, etc. If animals wouldn’t fight, they’d be chained together. Romans brought in animals from far away as a display of political power. 

But I digress.

Anywho, people would come to Dodona from all over Greece, which archaeologist discovered through the different dialects of their inscribed questions. People came with pretty mundane questions, unlike the Oracle of Apollo at Delphi (which we’ll be seeing soon), which was used for political, strategic, and religious inquiries. People wrote questions on a lead tablet, and the priest would interpret a short answer and write it on the back of the tablet. Questions could be, “Is this child mine?”, “Shall I do commerce here or somewhere else?”, or even, “Did Pistos steal the wood from my bed timber?”

The oak tree was eventually uprooted in the 5th century AD by an Illyrian man looking for treasure.

After leaving Dodona, we left for a short drive to Ioannina (pronounced Yawn-eh-nuh) for lunch. I was preparing to pay for my gyros and tossed my 10 euro bill in the air like a rapper making it rain. Aristotle then took the dollar and said that’s what the Greek government has been doing–making it rain unnecessary cash. Then he added, “But somehow it all happens to fly backwards into their own pockets.” Solid analogy to help me understand some causes for the crisis. Thanks, Aristotle 🙂

We took a stroll around Ioannina and discussed the architecture. It was gorgeous–one of my favorite things about Greece and Europe in general is the flowers and vines on the buildings. I think that is so pretty. I want my future home to have those. We passed many houses and a synagogue, and Aristotle discussed architecture and told us that he had some sort of reputation in his college years in Ioannina. We then strolled back to the bus and to our hotel! 

Epirus Palace is our hotel–five stars and super swanky. We seem to be the only people here though. Dinner was empty except for our group and people have compared it to the Shining. I’ll admit, the loneliness creeps me out a bit. In addition, tomorrow is Friday the 13th If you don’t hear from me, I love you all.

I ALREADY ADDED IN ALL MY FUN FACTS IN MY PREVIOUS PARAGRAPHS WHAT DO I DO

FUN FACTS ABOUT ALLIE THAT ALLIE HAS LEARNED ON THIS TRIP

1. I apparently occasionally blog in the third person (see above).

2. In the morning, I enjoy getting ready silently, which I didn’t know until now, but I assume it’s because I don’t usually room with people (or the people I room with are still asleep when I get up).

3. When you eat at a fancy dinner, your conversation becomes more inappropriate than usual because you’re at a fancy dinner (i.e., tonight).

4. When you eat granola bars in bed, chocolate gets on the sheets. Don’t eat granola bars in the bed anymore. Especially at a 5-star hotel.

5. I miss berries and peanut butter from the states. That’s about it. I could eat gyros probably forever.

Now All Allie’s Feels

Feeling swell, thanks for asking. The WiFi here is good so pictures will be able to be uploaded. Every time someone talks about going home or how many days we have left my whole body clenches a bit because WHAT DO I EVEN DO AT HOME? WHERE ARE THE ANCIENT MONUMENTS TO VISIT? WHY CAN’T I GET A FREDDO ESPRESSO? TAKIS? ARISTOTLE? BARNES? NAOMI? HELLOOOOOO?

So that’s kinda freaking me out. Being here so long makes you settle in to the culture, the setting (why am I not surrounded by beautiful mountains constantly?), the routine…and seeing incredible sites and learning interesting things every day–going from that to Fulton, MO again is a bit weird to think about right now. So I’ve been trying to plug my ears and “LALALALALALALA” my way out of it. 

I’m never leaving, right? RIGHT?

So it’s safe to say I’m having an amazing time, as would be expected. I have really enjoyed the towns recently, Ioannina, Corfu, etc. 

Peace ‘n’ Blessin’s ❤

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