Sunday, June 26, 2011

Parthenon and other tidbits

Zachary at Parthenon
Bill at Parthenon
We stopped in Chapel Cove for one night at anchor after leaving Kea island; then checked into Zea Marina in Piraeus to await arrival of our son and grandson.  Their flight was delayed 5 hours but they arrived in very tired fashion mid-afternoon on Wednesday, 15 June.  Our dock space at Zea Marina was convenient -- right across the street from Carrefour supermarket.  We had an early night for Trey and Zachary's first night in Greece since they had been awake almost 28 hours straight.  The marina receptionist had warned us that there was a big strike planned for Wednesday and that mass transit would not be operating, so Thursday would be a better day for sightseeing,
Archaeological dig at museum
Archaeological dig at museum

The next morning we struck out to explore the train/subway system of Athens to find the Acropolis.  Zea Marina is conveniently located for mass transit access -- about 15 minute walk to the Piraeus train station.  We took the train/subway to Omonia and changed to the Red Line.  Three stops later was the Akropolii.  Very easy even for first-time visitors.  

Archaeological dig at museum

Our first stop was the very nice, relatively new, Acropolis Museum.  This museum is unique in that it is built on top of and next to an active archaeological dig of an ancient neighborhood which is viewable beneath the glass floor.  This is really cool!

View of Parthenon from inside museu
The upper level of the museum affords a panoramic view of the hillside topped by the Parthenon.

After the museum we found a spot for lunch.  Gyros cost 9 Euro in this touristy area rather than the 2.10 Euro at the shop across the street from our marina.  Lunch was okay but rather pricey for what was served.

Then we bought admission tickets (anyone under the age of 19 is free!!) and started the hike up the steep hill to the Parthenon.

Much later (during our exit via a different route) we learned that there is a free tram that would have taken us about half-way up the hill and saved our aching knees half the effort.  But then we would have missed the two old amphitheaters and lots of pretty views that we stopped to appreciate as we trudged up that steep hill.  

Buy your tickets to listen to music in Agrippa's place
Story of theater
One of those old amphitheaters is used today for musical concerts and symphonies. It was built during the time that the Roman general Agrippa ruled this area.  Interesting to us because we had recently once again watched the wonderful HBO series ROME and remembered that character well.

Agrippa's place

Agrippa's 3rd Odeon (amphitheater entrance)

Oldest amphitheater on Acropolis hill
Seating for special persons at oldest amphitheater on hill

Agrippa's 3rd Odeon (view from Parthenon)

Bill and Zachary skipped on ahead of me and Trey.  Trey and I moved very slowly up the hill -- he due to his defective knee and his weight and usual lack of activity other than computer keyboards  and me due to my mitral-valve heart thing and bad knees and hip.  We stopped to rest several times.  But we fatties finally made it to the top!  And the pain was worth the effort.
Old amphitheater below.  We are sitting on wall around Parthenon

View of oldest amphitheater from Parthenon

At the Acropolis Museum we had watched a video about the Parthenon.  None of us had been aware of the fact that this famous structure was at one time painted bright colors.  That must have been something to see. 

What a shame that various societies destroyed portions of the Parthenon over the centuries.  Senseless destruction.  

And we also learned that it had been used as a mosque for some years.   That was the period when most of the statues and carvings were defaced.

At the top of the hill where the Parthenon is located, there are several other buildings.  We did not hire a guide, so we have no idea what these other buildings were used for or when they were built.

Another building at the Parthenon
The Parthenon is undergoing major renovation or reconstruction.  The only sign we found indicated that this reconstruction started almost 25 years ago.  Slow progress!
One of the out-lying buildings on top of hill with Parthenon

View of Athens from Parthenon

Zach & Trey; Parthenon under reconstruction

Bill, Zach & Trey at Parthenon.  We grow them big in Texas!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Your comment will be posted after we confirm that you are not a cyber stalker.