After visiting the archeological site in Delphi, I got to thinking about oracles. People would come from far and wide to consult a raving (possibly high on fumes) women about anything and everything. And her rantings were taken as gospel. I got to wondering… what is the modern day equivalent of the oracle?
I think we all know the answer to that one.
Who do you consult when you have a question you need answered? Google.
Who do you consult when there is something you are worried about? Google.
Whose advice do you trust above all others? Google.
Google is the modern day oracle.
Which is why it was extra upsetting for us when Google let us down. If a person had given us the wrong information, we would be understanding. If a guide book led us astray, we would be understanding. But when Google turns out to be wrong – well, it is almost unforgivable.
But despite how much I love and trust Google, one thing I have learned is this….
DO NOT TRUST GOOGLE WHEN IT COMES TO ALBANIA (and specifically, when it comes to driving times.
When planning our road trip around Albania, we relied upon Google Maps when deciding on our itinerary. When Google Maps said it would be 3.5 hours from Berat to Butrint, we thought “oh good, that is a reasonable amount of driving for one day.
And of course, we are not naive about Albanian roads. We knew we would be up against some pretty spectacular obstacles… so we added an hour onto the driving time estimate.
Five hours later, we were still not even close to Butrint. Jacob was getting more and more restless in the back seat and we were running out of baby bribes (aka cookies.) And the road so far had actually been pretty reasonable! We had gone the speed limit for the majority of the trip…. so why was it taking us so long?
We pressed on. “How could Google lie to us like this?” we wondered…. “How could their driving time estimate be so off?” But we pressed on anyway.
Soon we came to a fork in the road. Google maps told us to go one way, but the sign post for Butrint said to go the other way. We decided to stop listening to Google. We were mad at Google… we went the opposite way to prove a point.
And it paid off.
The way we went was the correct way. I’m not sure exactly where Google was leading us, but it wasn’t to Butrint. From looking at the map, and comparing it with information from the archeological site, it appears that Google was leading us to the old Roman bridge to Butrint…. which, like the rest of Butrint, is in ruins. If we had listened to Google we would have spent hours possibly off roading, just to discover we had come to a dead end. And if we had back tracked and decided to continue around the rest of the lake in search of the entrance to Butrint, we would have been confronted with another dead end. (One which would require a ferry to cross.)
I can just imagine what it would have been like to brave the questionable route that Google had chosen, only to finally find the archeological site, but not be able to reach it because the river had no bridge. I would have been in tears.
So I guess even the most trusted Oracle can sometimes get things wrong.