Day 299, Acropolis

Friday, 9/27/2019

Slept very well, more than 8 hours sack time. Woke early enough to read email and the news before breakfast.

At 7am I went to the breakfast room. By 8am most of the tour were in the lobby and we headed out.

anastasia leads out
Anastasia leads out the troops

We walked around two sides of the rock and up to the, um, I guess it’s the western end, where is the only entrance/exit to the park grounds. Here we looked down on some famous places, the site of the Agora where (among many others) Sophocles like to sit and ask uncomfortable questions, the Pnyx, the hill where the Athenian citizens met to debate and vote, etc.

From Anastasia’s talk I suddenly realized how differently, all right, how incorrectly, I’ve been pronouncing Greek terms. Take the Temple of Dionysus. I’ve always read that as “DIE Oh NIGH Sus” but she says, “dee ONNY shush”.

We got to the top and entered about 9am. The strong morning sun was making the old columns glow.morning light on columns

From the south side we looked down on the theater where Sophocles’ plays were staged, and beyond to the Acropolis Museum.

theater and museum

After a while there were quite a few people with us.

toooooristsAt 10:30 we met and walked down to the Museum. A dramatic building outside and in, the displays are mostly the bits of the friezes and statuary from the temples on the Acropolis. A repeated theme was, “the ones that are pure white are plaster casts of the originals which are in the British Museum.” Lord Elgin, who originally looted the best friezes, and the British Museum which so far refuses to repatriate them, are not well regarded here.

The Museum is built on columns that support it above an archaeological dig, and the floor is made of glass so you look down into the old foundation stones underneath.

By the time we’d finished with the Museum and started walking to our lunch destination it was 1pm, and it turned out the restaurant was a good kilometer away on the far side of the Plaka. The walks to the restaurant, and back to the hotel, were via different shopping streets in the Plaka. Lots and lots of shops, selling all varieties of tourist things. Quite a few have cheap straw hats, and I wouldn’t mind getting one, but it isn’t convenient just now.

As of 4pm, back at the hotel, the Health app shows 12,188 steps for the day. At 6pm we meet in a conference room for a nice presentation by an archaeology professor on the history and methods of archaeology in Greece and Europe. At 7:15 or so we go up to our hotel’s roof garden restaurant for dinner. I sit with a couple who take three trips a year(!) and have been to Africa 10 times. As well as many South American and European countries.

The plan for tomorrow is to transfer to Mykonos, by a ferry that leaves Piraeus, the port of Athens, at 8am. Which means we have to get on a bus at 6am. Which means a wakeup call at 5am and “bags out” at 5:15. Other than the early start it is expected to be an easy day, with a 5-hour boat ride, and one sight-seeing thing after.

 

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