It’s Greek to Me

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The Erechtheion, is an ancient Greek temple dedicated to the daughter of Zeus; Athena, the goddess of wisdom, courage, war, the arts and-the list could keep going. She certainly had it going on in Greek mythology. I am surprised she shares the temple dedication of the Erechtheion, built between 406 and 421 B.C., with Poseidon, the God of the Sea. Two mythological power heads sharing the same temple?DSC_3359
Now that’s Greek to me!!! I don’t know many competitive people that want to share the crown. Especially, when the people of Athens chose the olive tree, that Athena created, over the saltwater spout Poseidon created. Maybe there was a joint tree and water flow that was not talked about to bring peace? Something they talked about in private that they could create so they could get along somehow? DSC_3109
Probably, not, since Athena turns Poseidon’s girlfriend, Medusa into the snake head we know of today??? Talk about forgiveness and extending the olive branch for the two to have a temple dedicated to them both……Two mighty, mighty ego’s sharing the same temple………Again, it’s all Greek to me!
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We thoroughly, enjoyed the exploration of the Parthenon on the Athena Acropolis.DSC_3327
Now the Parthenon was getting a face lift, so standing outside the ropes, trying to take shots without the cranes in view, well, it didn’t happen. You really couldn’t avoid them.DSC_3259
But my favorite was of the one a tourist took. We were hoping to have the whole thing in view with all the scaffolding and metal with us at its base. It was a family funny moment, in which our son was trying to capture with our camera. That was after he cooled off with the ancient marble that was super, duper cold!DSC_3261
We found this place, diagonally across from the Parthenon in a nook, where there were no other tourists wanting a shot. This one lady, who walked up as we were taking shot after shot of the area below was just standing behind our son. We motioned her to take a photo and said, “Go ahead, we are just playing around.” But she waited and waited as we were trying to execute our funny shot but it wasn’t so funny anymore because she just kept standing there, like a marble column frozen in time.DSC_3316
If she were a man, we would have probably been a little more hesitant in accepting her offer to take our family photo. Now that was a sexist statement, but truth. Chasing a man down to retrieve goods, if stolen, is a little bit harder for my husband then chasing down a female. So we accepted the offer just to get her to go on. It was so odd, because she wasn’t taking photos, just standing there. We knew why she wouldn’t go on because she didn’t understand English, just the point and shoot via sign language thing. Our only family photo in front of the Parthenon, thanks to the lady who would not go away…..Angels come in various forms and she got one of all three of us together. Doesn’t really happen a lot while we are out exploring.DSC_3258
 If you visit Athens, Greece and someone gives you advice to visit the Acropolis early in the morning, heed their advice. We were there right when they opened and our walk up to the top was cool and calm. We took our time checking out the Theater of Dionysus. It was used to celebrate the Greek God of wine and the patron of drama, Dionysus. The marble theater is currently being restored and should be completely restored by 2015. The theater of Dionysus, is considered to be where theater began in Europe.DSC_3138Before we look down from the top of the Acropolis, into a theater where Greek comedians and actors performed, as early as 500 something??? B.C., try and look hard for the names of dignitaries engraved in these ancient marble thrones.DSC_3142 Now, once you get to the top of the Acropolis, you can look over the edge below and fantasize about being a thespian. Many before us performed for thousands of Greeks, who enjoyed the arts in this open air theater.
DSC_3285Now on our hike up to the top we passed the Odeon of Herodes Atticus, also known as the Herodeon, built in 161 A.D. in memory of Herodes Atticus’s wife.DSC_3189I wonder if his wife was high maintenance. Some really need more than a card or flowers to bring a smile to their face. Talk about over the top and exceeding diamonds or pearls as a gift.DSC_3183
This amphitheater is quite grand and brings forth a gasp as it is currently still used to entertain thousands. I bet the sounds echoing through here during the Athens and Epidaurus Festival bring the vibrations not only through the body but to the buildings below.DSC_3174
Now this was one of the last fascinating structures we saw before we slipped our way up on the marble to the top of the Acropolis.DSC_3195
Once we got to the top, it was like a dam broke and the sea of fish were never going to end. The tourists came out of nowhere. They were not behind us on our hike up, but the crowds once we rounded the bin were insane.DSC_3217
It felt like the conveyor belt of people would never stop. I had gone across the school of fish, to get this shot of the city below.DSC_3200
I turned around one minute smiling at my boys, who were cooling off in the shade, to the next minute a human road block dividing us.DSC_3222Once we were reunited, we joined in the migration to the top where we could view the Temple of Olympian Zeus and the Olympic Stadium.DSC_3284
Two sites we visited after lunch. Before we made our way into the Temple of Olympian Zeus,DSC_3542
we passed by the Hadrian’s Arch, that was constructed in 131 AD by Hadrian who was known for peace during his reign and being an excellent builder. DSC_3519If I were an ant and could describe what life was like below humans, it may be something like the magnitude of this gate. It was crazy large! My boys were well ahead of me and my husband came back to make sure I was on track with them. Sometimes, during our adventures we can be lazy travelers but on our journey into Athens, we were not.DSC_3613
Our soles hit the pavement and walked from the Acropolis, through the old streets of Greece. Old streets, aren’t they ALL old streets? I mean, come on there has to be archaeological ruins yet to be discovered under these old ruins.DSC_3593Humans like to build and re-build. Decorate and redecorate just didn’t start yesterday, so there have to be items that are still unearthed. But these views were enough for my eyeballs. I can do without cranes that are needed for restoration or do not cross lines because excavation is ongoing.DSC_3590
We walked around the Temple of Olympian Zeus, in which construction began in 6th century BC. Totally unreal the size of these marble columns that are still intact-except for one that tumbled to the ground like a game of dominoes. It met the soil when an Earthquake in 1852 brought it crashing down.DSC_3588It’s Greek to me, was one adventure that I would love to repay a visit. Greece is a country I hope and pray that my family will be able to visit, time and time again. From Thessaloniki, to Crete we still have much more exploring to do there. There are so many unbelievable places to visit on Earth and Greece is one of them and one I did not want to leave.DSC_2937
I’ve had Greek food many times. One of my best friends, Kip and I would have Gyros it seemed every other night during our teenage years. I fell in love with the flavors so many years ago. Leaving Greece inspired me to add its flavors into my weekly meal planning. Let’s put it this way, it has been hard to find dill here in Portugal but I found one last pack at the Jumbo and a big herb plant at the Lidl to feed my Greek food addiction. I’ve loaded up on Greek yogurt to make Tzatziki. Three times this week might sound a bit crazy, but I can’t get enough. I won’t be moving on from its tangy cuisine, anytime soon, but I will be moving on here from blogging about her.DSC_3324
Greece will continue to come out of me this next week on Facebook as I start our next contest, “It’s Greek to Me”…..I will share a photo of a day along with some albums from Athens, the island of Paros and the island of Santorini that will lead us up to the contest. So if you want to see a little more of Greece, the continued journey will last one more week!  It’s all Greek to Me!DSC_3004

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