Saturday, June 26, 2010

Day 17: Zeus, King of the Gods

Today we meant to get up, but somehow KP and I slept in 50 minutes later than we intended. We've been watching the news late at night, so there's a lot of stuff to keep up on. Currently what's going on is the G8 meeting for dealing with the financial crisis in Europe and around the world. Also, the football game is nearing its final matches now! So I'm sure it'll be even more intense the next few days. I wonder if the game with Prince Harry and William in attendance has happened already? I heard they were in Africa together promoting charities and good will efforts, similar to how their mother did. That's pretty princely of them!

We meant to see the Temple of Zeus with Aunty L today but alas, she decided to stay home. Well, home meaning at the hotel. So we ventured out on our own, and the temple was so massive -- it was amazing. One of the columns had toppled over in an earthquake and it was easy to see how the columns were connected to one another this time. It was a perfect example of the notches and whatnot that they used to piece the pillar bits together. Also, we met a lady from London who is staying at our hotel and her son said that Metallica was playing in Athens the other night. We missed it!
The thing I thought was interesting about seeing the Temple of Zeus, though, was that it was supposed to rain that day. It hardly ever rains in Greece, yet while we were there in Athens a lot of the forecasts were for rain. So when we went to see the Temple of Zeus and I was looking at my pictures later, I thought it was kind of cool how there were storm clouds up ahead. You know, because Zeus hurled thunderbolts from the sky!

Afterwards we went up the Hill of Pnyx, and it is also known as the Hill of the Muses. It is the highest point in Athens, and thus it was a trek that took a bit of time but was also well worth it. We also saw the Theatre of Dionysis up close and personal, as well as the Prison of Socrates. While we were walking we came across two tortoises, and of course we had to get a closer look. Of course I was the only one to touch it... KP gave me a look and said "make sure to wash your hands!". I made sure not to touch anyone until we got to a sink, haha.

It was really nice being in the theatre of Dionysis (also known as Bacchus). Where we sat, people had sat thousands of years ago. Our view was their view! It's quite a thrill to know you are walking in a place that ancients once did. In Canada, we tend to think of our history as only spanning a few hundred years... anything before that was neolithic and prehistoric. So in that sense, it is quite interesting for someone from Canada to experience places that are so culturally ancient. Of course, everytime we passed by a Roman Bath I couldn't help but sigh to myself and miss the water that once flowed there.

Later we returned home and learned Aunty L had stomach problems, so we brought her some salad from McDonald's for dinner (she had been tossing up breakfast most of the afternoon). We take it that it was the greasy factor of the food that made her ill -- something to do with pressure and gallbladder -- but alas she wasn't feeling well enough to eat in the end anyway. Meanwhile, we had gone for dinner at a restaurant for Greek salad and pita bread, but it was the worst retaurant we'd found yet! In fact, Aunty L probably had more salad in her McDonald's than we did in our restaurant order.

While we are here in Greece, the new Pension and Labor bill is being gone over to appease the European Union, so I think maybe that's one reason attributing to all the police in the area.

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