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Monday, September 08, 2014

Home of the Olympics - Athens

It will surprise no one that after two 10 hour bus trips, my traveling partner who can not sleep on buses decided the planned ferry from Athens to Crete was a no go. Upon arrival to the Athen's airport, he immediately inquired about the next flight to Crete. Lucky for me his generous nature paid for my way too!

Ahhhh but we were in Athens - how could we squeeze a little sight seeing in I wondered. Not to fear - I asked the ticket agent what we could do during our 5 hour wait and was pleasantly surprised to find out we could take a city bus to the heart of Athens and see all the sights Athens is known for. The very kind ticket agent even offered to keep our backpacks in his office! This turned out to be a huge gift that my back is still thankful for... remember I did not get the world's greatest massage and was now no longer so trusting to try again.

In short, we took the bus (very easy! and inexpensive) and were let out near the downtown area. Equipped with a map and directions, we made our way to the Olympic Stadium ( the one built for the recent Olympic games in Athens), then walked to the ruins of the first Olympic Stadium - taking time to pose in front of the great columns. But I must say our true goal was to reach the Acropolis.

This is the remains of the theater on your hike up to the top. This statue looks like it is someone very important... I don't know who. Let's imagine who it might be. A play write? A poet? A patron of the arts?

 This chair belong to the important folks who came to see the plays.

And these fellows are holding up what looks to have been the backstage area.

And here is the theater in its entirety - this is just one of the several theaters on the mountain.

 I enjoy the theatres - it is the actor/director in me. i love the thought that here was the space where the art of theatre came into being - and was elevated to such a high form. ***spoiler alert*** In Rome we ate in a resturant housed in a 2000 year old theater that was copied from the Greeks. General Pompey was inspired when we came home from his campaigns. But you have to wait for that story.***

Views from the top - Modern day Athens goes on and on!

 SCAFFOLDING!!!!ARRRGH - This is a theme throughout the trip. Much of these treasured places are being worked on or cleaned or refurbished in some way.

  Oh well.. still more to see.

 Do you see the Muses above? Zoom in on the picture if you can. Those are the lovely Muses from Greek mythology who inspire. If you go to the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago, you will see them there as well holding up the Museum still inspiring us all.

 With our goal accomplished, we were back on the bus and to the airport. This whirlwind tour of Athens took us a total of 4 hours. More then enough time to make our plane. Note, however, I foolishly wore flip flops not realizing how much fast walking we would be doing. My tootsies would pay for that in Crete.

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