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Greece 2013, Athens

parthenon

The reason I went to Greece was to scratch this monument off my bucket list.

The above is of course the Parthenon. It sits atop the Acropolis, which is the second highest hill  (the highest was too small) in Athens and is visible from just about anywhere in the city. I always think of it as the birthplace of Democracy. You can always discover the history of this building yourself, and probably had to learn about it in school, so I will not bore you here.

But look at it. It is iconic, and it may be the most architecturally replicated building in the world. Every thing from the US Capitol  building to the Peoria library have used pillars like these to pay homage.

Parthenon

I have renamed the Parthenon the “Temple of Cranes and Scaffolding”

This building is in perpetual restoration. No one has a schedule. It will be done when it is done. Will it then be a complete building? No one seems to know this either.

Just another shot. This one taken from the roof top bar at our hotel.

Just another shot. This one taken from the roof top bar at our hotel.

Temple of Athena

This building dedicated to the goddess Athena also sits atop the Acropolis. It is almost ignored because everyone is there to see the Parthenon.

This temple has a wonderful story to be told, but not here. Sorry. I will however say that those four ladies on the side of it are reproductions. Three of them are in a wonderful museum situated  below the Acropolis. They are under careful restoration. Up close they are really beautiful. The fourth was stolen way back by some Brit who though it would look better in his garden.

underground Athens

The entrance to the museum, and indeed parts of it inside have glass floors. You can see people’s  living spaces, and in this case what I think is a grain mill.

Visiting the museum is an absolutely essential part of a visit to the Acropolis. We did it afterwards, some people say to do it before. Either way you get a much more explicit understanding of the culture and art of ancient Greece.

Hadrians Arch

About three hundred and  twenty-five meters away from the Acropolis is the Arch of Hadrian

 

It  is a monumental gateway resembling – in some respects – a Roman triumphal arch.  It was most probably built to celebrate the arrival of  the Roman Emperor Hadrian. Those early tourists really had it made. I mean there is no Arch of Forrest anywhere I have ever been.

Temple of Olympian Zeus

Just the other side of the Arch of Hadrian is the Temple of Olympian Zeus.

This is just a bit of a large complex, but it is the best preserved part. If Zeus ever comes back, I think he will be a bit perturbed that his temple has not been better taken care of. After all he was known as the king of the gods. He could make thunderbolts go places you do not want them to go. While I was there, I think he sent one to my spine because I could hardly walk away for some reason. I should not have mocked the unkept status of his temple. I caught a cab for the two block trip back to my hotel, where I had a therapeutic massage. The masseuse asked me if I knew my back was out of alignment. I have had the same spine for sixty years now, so I blame Zeus.

Mythos Beer

While I was getting rubbed and pounded by the masseuse, my wife enjoyed a few of the local Greek beers called Mythos. Lucky her.

Next post, a couple of absolutely marvelous Greek Isles. Stay tuned. Share with a friend. Do not be shy, make a comment or I will tell Zeus!

 

 

 

 

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