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Saturday, June 26, 2010

Day 16: Acropolis of Athina

The great reason many people come to Athens, the Acropolis, was finally ours to behold in its full glory today. Aunty L stayed at the hotel because the trek would probably have been too treacherous for her. Needless to say, it was! And unfortunately we forgot to put sunscreen on today, so I got a bit burnt. Being as I am supremely pale, I always try to put on SPF 50 sunscreen, but for some reason or another it just completely slipped my mind today. Thankfully only my shoulders got a bit pink, and it will likely fade fairly fast.

The sights were amazing! The stairway up, though, was laid out in marble and very slippery. I'm not kidding. Marble steps are very deceptively unsafe and it's so easy to lay your foot in the wrong place and slide a few inches. If it had rained at all (as it was forecast to) we would have been in a bit of trouble trying to scale our way to the Acropolis and down again. But, being as we're all trekkers, we would have been fine in the end anyway.
We passed on getting a tourguide because we knew most of our info anyway. That, and I had been educated in the area already thanks to my thorough Art History lessons in college. Anyway, we saw for ourselves the acropolis and the Temple of Athena. it rises 150m above sea level, and the view from the top is definitely vast. The Parthenon was under repair but it was easy to see what was the new and what was the old. We also saw the old temple of Athena which I found to be quite beatuiful, as well as the temple of Athena Nike. From the top we could easily see the Theatre of Dionysis and the Temple of Zeus, as well as the Odeon of Herodes Atticus.

While we were touring the area we stopped by the Stoa of Eumenes, and saw a variety of examples of statues taken from various sites in Athens. Of course, most all of them had their heads missing. During times of war, enemies would quite literally deface the statues of gods and idols by knocking their heads off. It's sad that such things happened, beccause now very few statues remain in their entirety. There were also many amphoras on display, a few examples of hydria and kantharos, and I think I even remember seeing a krater. I forgot the proper term for many of them, but included in the display were a few skeletal remains. It was quite an impressive display.
It was interesting to see the various buildings at the Acropolis and see the columns used in each of them. Those with doric pillars were probably made before those with ionian columns, and definitely before those with Corinthian pillars. So you can kind of imagine how the place looked like through the decades and eras of time, gradually growing.

For dinner, we had more greek salad and some souvlaki. Greek salad is definitely made best in Greece.

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