Echoes of parties past – Dion

18th June 2006

We were now off to Dion the religious centre of ancient Macedonia. We arrived at the deserted site and visited the small museum and viewed the beautiful frescoes within it first. There was an exceptionally beautiful one of Dionysus the god of wine and celebration, whom I suspected the city had been named after. We went down to the site, which was very green due to the rising water table in the area and passed the ancient stadium as well as a temple to Isis an Egyptian goddess. We saw the ancient bath house and walked down the ancient street. At one point I wandered off in a different direction to Antones and lo and behold my tour mates (who now all knew of my degree in Ancient History) followed me! Antones called over to them with a smile “Now, now, you’re all following the wrong tour guide” and we all laughed. We got to the back of the site, which was almost flooded with water, moss grew everywhere, but there was something worth seeing here. A Greek drinking room, where symposiums (drinking parties) would have been held. The floor had beautiful frescoes again and I looked at it and thought this is where Alexander the Great and Phillip of Macedon would have drunk and had fun.

We boarded the bus and as Antones counted I raised my hand and said, “Don’t worry, I’m here”, a comment which was met with raucous laughter from my tour mates. We left Dion and drove to our hotel in Naossa, meaning many churches where we would be spending the next three nights. The hotel rooms bear the names of wines instead of numbers.

My room was very large with a four-poster bed, with a red quilt and the walls were that awful mental patient green which made me feel quite at home, although the shower rivalled the bath/shower in Rome for the title of worst shower ever. It was very old, and the shower head was not attached to the wall and had to be held over your head, but at least the water was hot so, no it didn’t beat Rome.

Dion Ancient Street
Ancient street in Dion

I went down to the lobby and Bruce and I went exploring in the bowels of the hotel. We found a whole gym, a games room and an indoor pool, none of which were being used, which we thought very strange. I then went for a shower and after that ordeal, went to join everyone else. Everyone else was getting set up to watch the Australia vs Brazil world cup match at the area next to the bar. We watched the game which Australia lost until 9:30pm much to the dismay of the hotel staff who made repeated attempts to get us to go to the dining area to eat our dinner, not a chance I thought. I sat and talked with my tour mates until 10:30pm about my travels and then went and slept in my big comfy bed, after one of the most life altering days I had ever had, due to my experience at Meteora.

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