Wednesday, October 13, 2004

October 12th in Athens


It is pretty warm here today.  I wore my cut-off capris.  I started out wearing flip-flops, but thought better of it and changed before we went up to the acropolis.

Our tour guide, Chrisoola (Chris for short), met use with the bus at Syntagma Square, and we took the tour of Athens.  The parliament building is right there on Syntagma.  We drove by the Prime Minister's house and the state gardens, and later the ruins of the Temple of Zeus on our way to the Acropolis. WE went up on the Acropolis and entered through the Propylaia.  The Temple of Athena Nike had been dismantled for restoration, so it wasn't even there.  We walked around the Parthenon and Erechtheum (see school journal for Western Humanities for details about them).

It was a perfect day to be there, because a ceremony was being held because it was the sixtieth anniversary of Greece's liberation in World War II.  I stood on a rock and watched a parade of sorts--a band in uniform played as the participants came by, and next to them was an honor guard n traditional Greek dress uniform.  Several men and women in suits came by first; I assume they were government officials.  A boy scout and girl scout troop went in the middle, and then a group of girls dressed in brightly colored old-fashioned costumes carried a huge flag.  The band and honor guard followed them down to a round overlook area at the edge of the cliff of the Acropolis.  There was a flagpole there, and they raised the flag and the speeches began.  I went on the the museum then since it was all in Greek anyhow.

The museum had many of the things that had been found on the acropolis as they've done restoration.  A lot of the friezes from the Parthenon are inside there (that haven't been taken off to the British Museum), and there are quite a few statues that were votive offerings. 

 From the acropolis, we went down just a little and then back up onto Mars Hill, the Aereopagus.  It's more like a second summit of the acropolis hill than a separate hil.  It is basically just a huge, craggy rock, with a good view of the city.  It looks out right over the old agora, with the stoa and the Hephaiston on either side. I expected more of a man-made, comfortable kind of place, but I can see how if people were sitting ont eh rocks at the top it would be a great place to sit and talk, in full view of both the city and the acropolis, yet out of the noise and bustle.  If someone stands on the flatter part near the edge, they have a good view of everyone, rather an amphitheater feel.  It's a good speaking place.   It was especially interesting to see because Paul spoke there.  Usually Dr. Taylor reads Paul['s sermon on Mars Hill from Acts while up there, but he forgot his Bible at the hotel. I took several pictures; I want to be able to show Papa and everyone what Mars Hill is like.

After that we walked own from the acropolis and ate lunch at an outdoor place in the Plaka area.  The first course was moussaka, which is mostly potatoes and ground beef put together something like lasagna.  Naturally, I didn't eat much of that, but someone else was glad to finish it for me.  I ate quite a bit of the bread, and there was a salad, and I ate some of my chicken, but it was very dry without any ketchup.  I know I'm a horrible. European. :)

After lunch, we went to the National Archaeological Museum. 

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