152 .Route 13. PARNASSOS.
The ascent of the famous Parnassos, now called by the surrounding
inhabitants Lidkoura, may be accomplished from Delphi, or, still better,
from Arachova (p. 154), in about 8 hrs., and well repays the exertion.
The ascent occupies two days, the night being spent in a comfortless
hut. Warm coverings for the night must be taken, as well as an abundant
supply of provisions, and even water for the latter part of the ascent, as
there are no springs on the upper part of the mountain; the guides have
also to be provided for. Those who start from Delphi and combine the
ascent with a visit to the Korykian Grotto must also take torches or candles.
In other respects the ascent is comparatively easy, and it is possible to
ride to the summit (horse from Delphi about 15 fr.; from Arachova 10 fr.);
in descending, however, it is frequently necessary to dismount. The ex¬
pedition is best made in July; before June there is too much snow on the
ground and after July the days favourable for the view become fewer.
Fkom Delphi a steep winding path, beginning near the stadion,
ascends in 50 min. to a ridge where the walking is easier. Farther
on we traverse a flat summit and descend slightly to the Livddi, a
small upland plain belonging to Arachova. Above this plateau lies
the cave of Sarantdvli, the Korykian Grotto of the ancients, de¬
scribed by Pausanias, in and around which wild Bacchic festivals
were celebrated. To the right of the usual entrance is a rough
cube of rock with inscriptions in honour of Pan and the Nymphs.
The interior of the cave, the damp recesses of which cannot be ex¬
plored without a light, contains numerous stalactites. From the
cave we proceed, passing a spring of good water, to (1 hr.) the
Kaly'via Arachovitika (see below).
Fkom Arachova (p. 154) we ascend in 1 hr. to the plateau of
Livadi. We then pass the village of Kaly'via Arachovitika, which
lies in the N.E. part of the plain and is inhabited in summer by
the Arachovians. We next ascend two steep pine-clad slopes; and
in 2'/2 hrs. more we have accomplished two-thirds of the ascent.
The upper part of the mountain is barren and covered with blocks
of stone, across which we make our way (no path), to the plateau
below the two highest summits, the Gherontdvrachos (W.) and the
Lykeri (to the left); the latter is the chief summit. The Strounka
tou Lazdrou and the Strounka Kalogheriki ('monk's yard') are two
miserable shelters for the night, roughly built of stones, one of
which must be shared with the shepherds by travellers who intend
to climb to the summit before daybreak. The latter is preferable
as it lies nearer the summit, which is still 1 hr. distant.
The summit of *Parnassos (8070 ft.) commands a wide and
magnificent view. As it is generally clearest just before sunrise,
the traveller should start in time to be on the summit at daybreak.
"View. To the E., across the narrow strait which separates Euboea
from the mainland and over the serrated peaks of that island, may be
distinctly seen (in clear weather), the outlines of the N. Sporades, rising
from the wide expanse of sea, which stretches beyond them until it is met
on the horizon by the mountain-lines of the more distant islands of the
Archipelago. — To the N.E. the steep promontory of Alhos, the 'sacred
mountain' of the Greeks, is visible. — To the N. rises the dark mass of
Olympos,beside which even theThessalian (Asaand Pelion look dwarfed; the