Friday, October 24, 2008

Our visit in Athens included seeing the Temple of the Olympian Zeus and the Arch of Hadrian. Just standing up looking at these 55 feet pillars and the Arch which is 60 feet high by 45 feet wide made you wonder how did they do it without cranes or modern tools. The Arch and temple were only minutes from our hotel and you can see the Acropolis through the arch.

Our visit would not have been complete without visiting the claimed Center of the Earth in Delphi. It is an ancient and modern city built high in the mountains. More hiking as the entire ancient city literally spans the mountain. This is where the famous Delphic Oracle was and where people came to speak to her to get direction. It also housed the Temple of Apollo-seen in the background behind our group and hosted the Pythian Games, the precursor to the Olympic Games.

My favorites have been the Theatres. The ancient Theatre of Delphi was built in the 4th century B.C. and seated 5,000 people. Incredible that so many theatres made it through the centuries. Sue Hales and I decided to do a little theatrical acting of our own. :)

After our visit to Delphi, we headed back to Athens - a 3 hour bus ride. We spent our last day at the National Archaeological Museum. This museum is incredible. It is considered one of the great museums of the world. It houses finds from 6800 B.C. to the Neolithic times through the famous Cycladic and Mycanean--and even Egyptian art. Most of the findings are from the 500-300 B.C. times. The statues were amazing. The Greeks loved the human body, particularly the male body. Think of the athletes and Gods from that time. We were not allowed to pose with the statues...but we did take several photos.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Greece and the Greek Islands

We're back!! What a great 3 weeks of sun, sailing, and sightseeing. We had a blast! We started our trip on Sept. 28, 2008 and flew to Paris then Athens. We'll have to go back to Paris since we only saw the inside of the airport.

We traveled with 4 other couples...who joined us throughout the week in Athens before taking off on a 60 foot sailboat for 2 weeks to the islands.

Of course our first stop in Greece was the Acropolis of Athens, home of the famous Parthenon. It is even more magnificent in person. Below is a picture of us in front of the Erechtheum, though the statues are replicas and found in the museum, it is still incredible. And you can't forget the Theatre of Dionysus Eleuthereus...most famous in modern days for Yani Live at the Acropolis. Look familiar? We toured several ruins including ancient angoras and plakas. Since Acropolis means high city - the "Sacred Rock", and there are Acropolis' all over Greece, we were introduced to stair climbing--the first of several hundred--no, make that thousands before our trip came to an end. Not mention the subways in Athens. We skipped the escalators and ran the stairs.

Maybe we worked off a little bit of Baklava :)