Day 1 by Taria Fitch and Hollande Friborg
Today was a gorgeous day filled with so much history to explore.
We started the day with a bright and early departure time to begin our adventure. Mostly everyone attended breakfast at the hotel, which was so good! It was a cloudy day and just the right temperature to explore in.
We walked about 25 minutes from the hotel up to the acropolis through city streets and ancient ruins. The trek up the side of the acropolis was a fun experience to view the city of Athens along with its most iconic monument. For example, we stopped and briefly learned about “where the turtles live” which was referencing a landmark formerly built as a Roman library. We only viewed the back side of this landmark, but briefly learning about the Roman influence in Athens was amazing. The beginning of our day was spent atop the Acropolis listening to presentations from peers about the monuments we were viewing. We heard myths and histories and architectural facts about the construction of the Parthenon, the Erectheum, the Propylaia, the theater of Dionysus, and the temple of Athena Nike. There was much to be learned, but there’s no greater classroom than the monuments themselves.
The most memorable part for me was the white pieces of marble laser cut to fit the remains found on the acropolis in effort to restore the monument. While they will never fully restore these building, it is fascinating to see them in their current state, even with all the construction going on. To add, it was also incredible to see how much of the structures were still standing after surviving attacks.
After we walked down to the other side of the Acropolis, we separated for lunch. The majority of people had Greek street food, while others sat down in a restaurant to eat. With either option the food was delicious. Personally, I had a gyro from a little restaurant stand that made the food almost as fast as you placed your order. It was incredible to see! And others like me had grab and go food like a turkey sandwich!
The Acropolis Museum:
After lunch, we went to the museum next to the Acropolis and spent hours exploring the statues and other carvings housed there. On the first level there was pottery and little offering statues as well as an exhibit on ancient paint and of course, statues. On the second floor there was a Lego replica of the entire Acropolis with fun characters like Gandalf and Indiana Jones hidden in the image. But The third floor was by far my favorite. It is positioned to match up with the Parthenon and houses the carvings that were on and around the building. There were plenty of pieces missing which were either destroyed or taken by the British. My personal favorite part of this was the scenes of the centaurs. It was so astonishing to see how much of the pieces were taken by the British and not stored in their home. Although the pieces were missing the museum still was arranged as if the pieces were there, which translates to me that the Greeks have hoped they’ll eventually obtain the missing pieces.