This morning started out with a very early 6:30AM wake-up call courtesy of our hotel front desk. We had an amazing continental breakfast waiting for us. In the words of Mary Joos, “It was beautiful!” We are all trying new foods; the full-fat Greek yogurt was definitely a hit. After breakfast and a quick currency exchange, we were on the bus and on our way to the Acropolis by 8:00AM. The Parthenon sits on the Acropolis, or “the top of the hill.”
The Parthenon is made up of eight different features, which include the Propylaia (Grand Entrance built by Paracles), the Temple of Athena & Nike, the Panathenaic Way (Original pathway through the Acropolis), the Parthenon, Panagia Chrysospiliotissa (Caves in honor of Dionysus), Herodes Atticus Theater, and the Dionysus Theater. While we were up by the Parthenon we could see the Temple of Zeus. After walking back down the Acropolis we climbed the Hill of Ares and saw the Temple of Hephaestus and the Greek forum, which was where the Ancient Greeks trained for the Olympics. We then got back on the bus at the base of the Acropolis and set out for the Temple of Poseidon which is located in Cape Sounion. Before arriving there however, we saw several interesting sights along the way. First we passed Parliament and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier with the guard. We took a short stop at the Kallimarmaro Stadium, which was used for the first Olympics in 1896 and later for the 2004 Olympics. We drove by the 2004 Athens Olympic complex, but were not allowed to enter without special permission. The last stop before reaching the Temple of Poseidon was at a small bakery for lunch. We all ordered various types of delicious pastries. The road to the Temple was very winding but offered a beautiful view of the sea. Upon arriving at the temple it was very breezy but still around 60 degrees.
We spent about two hours there and loaded back on the bus for our drive back to the heart of Athens. Along the way, Jered Wolbeck and Jamie Brooks presented on the Modern Olympic Games and challenged all of us to come up with a logical city in the U.S. for the future Olympics. The winners were Haley Kubista, Sara Welch, and Caroline Olson. When we returned to Athens we stopped at the National Archeological Museum, which was filled with ancient statues and vases along with the golden mask that was thought to be King Agamemnon’s. The temporary exhibit was statues, vases, and other artifacts recovered from a shipwreck. It was amazing seeing the large marble statues and how well preserved they are. We finished our day by doing some shopping at the local Flee Market and then having a delicious buffet-type dinner in our hotel. We are all ready for some much needed sleep.
-Jill Kalis & Travis Wayne