12th November 2009

Post

Greek Extravaganza

I’m a bit behind, but I have kind of come to the conclusion I will never catch up considering I haven’t even posted anything about Spain, and that is where I’m living…oops, sorry Mom.

Anyway, I went to Greece two weekends ago, hence the title. The weather provided a bit of a deterrent for any excessive site seeing, so I can’t say it was my most productive trip, but we enjoyed ourselves regardless. My friends, Katherine and Margo, and I arrived in Athens later in the day Friday, so we immediately sought after some Greek cuisine.

(Note: this is your chance to skip this next paragraph, more about my ravenous eating habits, my apologies.)

I’ll just go ahead and sum up my food experience ahead of time. As soon as we ventured out into the streets we were coerced into eating at a restaurant by an especially aggressive waiter. It must have been fate that brought us to him because we immediately became chummy and ate there the rest of the weekend. In short we had stuffed peppers, asparagus soup, chicken kebabs, gyros, a plethora of fetta cheese, and our at our most glutenous hour a waffle with three scoops of ice cream, hot fudge, whipped cream, and a brownie, because we couldn’t say no-oh and more fetta. I’d like to say I describe all of this because these delectable meals added to the authenticity of our trip and my blog would not be complete without it. This could be true. But the reality is that I want to prepare everyone for the over-sized Sarah that will be turning in just five short weeks. I fear the shock.

Now to the important stuff. As I mentioned, the ferocious winds slowed us down a bit (Margot weights about 100 pounds, so it was a bit of a hazard), but we were able to make it to the Acropolis pre-rain, and the clouds actually provided a stellar backdrop for the ruins. Acropolis literally means “high city,” and usually provides a save-haven to the inhabitance around it. There are obviously other acropolises in the world, but only the one in Athens is known as “The Acropolis”. It is a flat rock 490 feet above sea level and the rest of Athens, and it of course provides a rather spectacular view.

At the Acropolis were able to see the theater of Herod Atticus, the Parthenon, the Nike Athena temple, the Erecthion, and probably more things I don’t know the names of. From what I gathered, since their erection in the 5th century BC (crazy, I know) they have been destroyed and rebuilt and destroyed and rebuilt, etc. Of course, in my utmost laziness I’m going to direct anyone with further interest in the actual history and background to Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_acropolis.

One little fun fact, though. There is “entasis” in the columns or small “bulge” meaning none of them are completely straight up and down. Apparently there are arguments as to why there are no straight lines, but it may have been for a reverse optical illusion effect. Parallel lines give an optical illusion of a bow when intersected by converging lines, so they may have been counteracting that. Those ancient Greeks were really thinkers.

They were truly amazing though. The only disappointment was that there was scaffolding all over the place for a little refurbishing to fix the last attempt at redecorating-apparently it did not go so well. It did not stop us though. We tried to to maintain some degree of normalcy while we scampered around the ruins, but we honestly had too much fun. Definitely worth a visit for anyone in Greece!

As the storm rolled in, we made our way to the brand new Acropolis museum. The set-up was really cool. It was actually built over ruins, and the floors were clear so you could see them underneath you. Perrty neat. You also got a glimpse at what the reconstructed statues and details of the parthenon and other structures would look like. It is a little empty, because apparently the rest of the artifacts are found in the British museum, which seems rather silly.

The rest of the day involved some temperamental weather, so we went to a movie, which involved a nice little jaunt through Athens. I’ll go ahead and say it is an ugly city with a plethora of sex stores, but I wasn’t really expecting much, and I’m sure someone out there may appreciate what it has to offer in that respect.

Moving on to Sunday. It was a bit struggle, but a successful one at that. If we didn’t get lost, I wouldn’t consider it traveling. We basically went on a scavenger hunt across Athens to find the bus to take us to Sounion where the Temple of Poseidon is. Naturally this took us 3 hours because we missed the first one, but it allowed for some excessive eating, and the wait was worth it.

The bus trip may have actually been the best part, partially because it shielded us from the wrath of the clouds, but we also caught a glimpse of some unreal scenery.  We drove along the coast for about 2 hours. The sun began to peak out from the brooding clouds, and I swear it looked like the heavens were opening up. There were sharp rays hitting the bright blue of the Mediterranean-well, you’ll just have to look at the pictures.

The actual Temple was pretty impressive as well. It was up on a cliff looking over the Mediterranean, so you can’t go wrong with that. We were wimps and could only handle the smacking winds for 25 minutes, but it was still quite an experience. Of course, pictures will be provided.

The rest of the evening involved hanging out at our hostel’s bar and reminiscing about our time. Overall it was a good experience, and we even made some 27-year-old  Aussie friends along the way, so you cannot go wrong with that. I’m already pondering the next time I’ll go back- and after catching a glimpse of the god-like qualities of the coast, I might have to check out the islands.