2016 Greece - Day 7
Greece Day Seven
Athens, a city buzzing with life from friendly ice cream vendors to bikers with no helmets. As we boarded the tube, we once again stuck out like a sore thumb in our sun hats and shorts whilst local commuters were tucked up in thick coats. Typical tourists. We first went to the Acropolis museum, which is overlooked by the Acropolis itself. The marbles from the Parthenon were incredible. The Parthenon is the main temple on the Acropolis, and the marbles include the frieze that surrounded the temple. They depict the 'Panathenaic Procession' which is a feature of one of the ancient festivals that celebrate Athene, patron God of Athens', birthday. Beneath the museum’s glass floor were Ancient Greek houses, or 'oikos', which showed the foundations of where the people lived.
We then explored the Sanctuary of Dionysus, God of theatre and wine, in particular the Theatre of Dionysus. This was the very first theatre, where all original comedies and tragedies were performed. It was very well preserved, and it was great to see all we had been learning brought to life.
We then got to visit the Acropolis. On the walk up, there was a fantastic Roman period Theatre, which is still used today. The pictures of the Parthenon we saw in class, don't do its size justice. It is massive! There is lots of renovation work done on it to try and restore it. But even without being fully reconstructed it was awe inspiring. Opposite the Parthenon is the Erechthion, a temple dedicated to Poseidon and Athene. The greatest part of this temple are the pillars shaped like women: the Caryatids, the originals are located in the museum. Located at the entrance of the Acropolis is a really graceful temple dedicated to Nike, goddess of victory.
We then stopped for lunch on the Hill of the Muses and visited the Pnyx - where democracy was established and first practised. As we made our way down to the Agora - ancient marketplace, we had to re-apply the sun cream as even the slightest bit of sun resulted in us resembling tomatoes. It was a short visit but the temple of Hephaestus - the best preserved temple was awe inspiring. We then trundled down to the Keremeikos to look at the foundations of the famous Dipylon Gate: ancient entrance to Athens.
We stopped for another ice cream and made our way back to the hotel, all very tired from what Freya Homewood’s pedometer recorded as a seven mile guided walk led by Mr Giles.