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Athens – museums

September 22, 2015 Leave a comment

Athens has a lot of museums. A lot.  We didn’t have enough time for all so we just visited the New Acropolos Museum and the Archaeological Museum.   We could have spent days in either one.

The New Acropolis Museum is considered one of Athens most important museums.  Beautifully laid out, and still respecting the excavations underneath.  In fact, you can still observe the ongoing excavations, either through viewing openings or transparent  floor panels.  Much of the Acropolis’ treasures are on display in this museum.

The National Archaeological Museum houses some of the most important artifacts from a variety of archaeological locations around Greece from prehistory to late antiquity. It is considered one of the greatest museums in the world and contains the richest collection of artifacts from Greek antiquity worldwide.  Of special interest was the Antikythera mechanism,  an ancient analog computer designed to predict astronomical positions for navigation as well as predicting the cycles of the Ancient Olympic Games.

Acropolis museum, at night

Acropolis museum, at night

Artifacts

Pieces of the frieze

Parthenon carvings

Parthenon carvings

Parthenon carvings

Parthenon carvings

Parthenon carvings

Parthenon carvings

Parthenon carvings

Parthenon carvings

Parthenon carvings

Parthenon busts

Archeaological museum

National Archeaological museum

Detailed figurine

Detailed figurine some 5,000 years old

Gold burial decorations

Gold burial decorations

This statue is some 8 feet tall

This statue is some 8 feet tall

Tall statue of a virgin

Tall statue of a virgin holding her robe

Men spent much of their time in the gymn, and showed off by running around nude (really!)

Men spent much of their time in the gym, and showed off by running around nude (really!)

Artemision Bronze (God of the Sea), either Zeus or Poseidon

Artemision Bronze (God of the Sea), either Zeus or Poseidon

Depicting s killed warrior and his sad slave

Depicting s killed warrior and his sad slave

Massive bronze statues

Massive bronze statues

World's first analog computer

World’s first analog computer

Athens – Acropolis

September 22, 2015 Leave a comment

Athens has been the center of Greek civilization for some 4,000 years. The capital of modern Greece, it’s still dominated by 5th century BC landmarks, including the Acropolis, a hilltop citadel topped with ancient buildings such as the colonnaded Parthenon temple.   So it was fitting that we started our Athens trip at this iconic location.

The first observation was that of people.  Crowds everywhere, it took1/2 hour to buy tickets, then 15 minutes to get in.  There was even a 15 minute line to leave the grounds!  But put all that behind you, and enjoy not only the scenery but the awareness of walking in (on) the steps of people over some 4,000 years.  And marvel at the abilities of people who did not have any benefits of modern equipment.

Across from our hotel was the Temple of Olympian Zeus, definitely worth a visit.   The work on the column top was incredible.  Then a walk to the Panathenaic Stadium, site of the first modern Olympic games in 1896, again in 2004, and now hosting ceremonial events & live music concerts.

We ended the day with a terrific dinner at a most pleasant local Greek restaurant.  And oh yes, we walked around 9 miles today.

The Parthenon as viewd from the Olympic Stadium

The Parthenon as viewed from the Olympic Stadium; Zeus Temple peeking from behind the trees

Pantheon, from a distance

The Parthenon, picture taken from the rooftop bar in our hotel

St. George Chapel, on Lycovitus Hill

St. George Chapel, on Lycovitus Hill

Parthenon elevation

Parthenon elevation

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Parthenon coner

Parthenon corner

Hard to imagine how these were built!

Hard to imagine how these were built!

Looking up at the massive stonework

Looking up at the massive stonework

Tanya and Romola in front of the Parthenon

Tanya and Romola in front of the Parthenon

Lots of pieces left to put together!

Lots of pieces left to put together!

A view down to the old theater, still used today

A view down to the old theater, still used today

“Porch of the Maidens”

Tanya and Shane in front of the caryatids (female statues)

Tanya and Shane in front of the caryatids (female statues)

Hadrian Arch

Hadrian Arch

Detail of the column tops

Detail of the column tops

Temple of Olympian Zues

Temple of Olympian Zues

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Looking into the open end of the stadium

Statue at the Stadium

Statue at the Stadium