Thursday, October 30, 2008

Vacation Pics

Hi Marty,

Just came back from a great trip and thought I would share some pictures.

Spent 4 days in Athens, what a great city, so much to see and so little

We visited the Panathinaiko stadium, the first big stadium in the mordern
world and site to the 1896 summer Olympics. It's the only major stadium in
the world built fully of white marble. Built in ancient time, it was remade
in marble in 329 BC, it was enlarge and renovated in 140 AD to seat 50,000.
The remnants of the ancient structure were excavated and refurbished in 1870
and again in 1895 for the 1896 Olympics.

Our next stop was the Acropolis hill (acro=edge and polis = city) it's the
most significant reference point in Greek culture and was developed in the
5th century BC. From the Acropolis you can see all of Athens.

The Parthenon is a temple to the Greek goddess Athena built in the 5th
century BC on the Acropolis, it replaced an older temple of Athena that was
destroyed in the Persian invasion of 480 BC. It was used as a treasury. In
the 6th century AD the Parthenon was converted into a Christian Church
dedicated to the Virgin. After the Ottoman conquest it was converted into a
mosque in the early 1460's. In 1687 an Ottoman ammunition dump inside the
building was ignited by Venetian bombardment severely damaging the Parthenon
and its sculptures.

The Temple of Athena Nike (Nike means "Victory" in Greek). Athena was
worshiped in this form as goddess of Victory on the Acropolis. Her temple
was the earliest Ionic temple on the Acropolis. It was erected on top of
the remains of an earlier 6th century Athena temple demolished by the
Persians in 480 BC. Sometime after 410 BC the temple was erected again.

We walked through Hadrian's Arch constructed in 131 AD by the Roman Emperor
Hadrian as part of a wall separating the old and new cities of Athens. This
59 ft gate was made of marble. On the other side of arch is the Temple of
Olympian Zeus, its foundations were laid on the site of an earlier temple in
515 BC and abandoned in 510 BC. The work resumed in the 3rd century BC but
was delayed again. The temple was taken up again by Hadrian and finally
completed in 139 AD.

We saw the House of Parliament and the change of the guard and the hotel
Grande Bretagne built in the 1870's.

There are dogs and cats running wild everywhere in the city, even at the
Acropolis, because there is no SPCA in Greece.

We went to a traditional Greek show at a taverna in Plaka, we were
entertained through dances and music from all parts of the country. Good
food and great wine!

Next, our 1,200 km trek to the Peloponnese peninsula (Mycenae, Olympia)
Delphi and Meteora.


Thanks Louise & Barry D.

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