What an adventure to be in the cradle of western civilization.
We gather at a roof top terrace toasting our new adventure. With wine glasses lifted, we marvel at the sun slipping behind antiquity just as it has done for over 2500 years.
|The Parthenon is being restored|
|Detail of an ancient Corinthian column|
|Skilled craftsmen turn stone into art|
|Roman Agora - 1st century BCE|
Now it's on to the Ancient Agora.
We pass remains of the Roman Agora. The Romans added on to the Agora when the occupied Greece. Hence the name.
Both names means gathering place. It was a marketplace and center of political, artistic and social life.
I try to imagine buildings where now only foundations and fragment remain.
|Looking from inside the Gymnasium towards the entrance flanked by columns made of athletes.|
|Typical ruins in the Ancient Agora|
|Looking towards the Parthenon from the Ancient Agora|
|A temple in the Agora dedicated to Athena|
|Restored building hosting the Agora Museum|
Imagine creating such buildings with simple technology – levers, pulleys, hammers and chisels.
She tells them to disperse among the rows of seats. I decide to do the same.
Then she talks and asks if we hear her. I do. Then she whispers and I still hear her. Finally she takes a piece of paper and crinkles it. I hear it as if I was close, but I'm more than 20 rows away. The acoustics are perfect without electronics.
Interesting that these ancient people honored their dead immediately upon entering their acropolis.
The foundations of buildings and other fortifications sketch the shape of this formidable citadel.
Below the acropolis, royalty and other leaders are entombed in bee hive looking structures. Each slab of stone weights in at 5 tons and is offset to form the unique shape.
Originally the “burial hives” were filled with jewels, swords and personal possessions. Then they were buried in mounds of earth - inside and out - to protect their contents.
Still long ago, grave robbers found a way in. They disposed of valuables and scattered the bones.
Centuries later sheep herders came along and appropriated them as shelter for their flocks. The soot on the inside walls are testament that use as well as a distinct smell.
I think of the words from a verse of Amazing Grace - “ lost but now I'm found.” Their huge smiles belay the situation and give me a hint of hope.
We settle in and take a lunch at an outdoor cafe.
How fortunate it is to share these moments with friends.
I step into the turquoise blue water almost expecting my skin to be dyed. The color is amazing.
I see a few brown-black sea urchins. Bruce warns me not to touch them because of their painful spines.
I float along scooping handfuls of blue water. Ah, it's so Wonderful.
Why? Because we meet so many new and interesting people along the way.
I thought, “Maybe he doesn't have much, but he shares. I should be as kind.”
Like the woman at the photo shop who made it possible for me to keep taking pictures when my memory card was full. She wanted to be certain that the new one was working so I took her picture, of course.
And of course, to the bus driver, cleric and the table of men who waved good luck when we were lost and gave us directions and a bunch of grapes to “nourish our journey,”
On behalf of us travelers, I say sincerely, “Thank you!”