Boom! Boom! Boom!
October 28, 2016
I've woken to church bells, I've woken to the call to prayer, but waking to booms is new. Since it's Oxi day in Greece I figured the booms and the accompanying sounds of drums must be the kickoff of the celebration. Cool.
We spent the day checking off the big two sights on the Athens list, the National Archaeological Museum and the Acropolis. We had the pleasant discovery that both were free today - this being a national holiday - though I wouldn't mind paying, I hear the Greeks could use the euros.
The National Archaeological Museum was about a 45 minute walk from our apartment and it was packed with visitors which is the downside to free. Have you tried the Prado when it's free? Don't.
The museum presentations are arranged chronologically and are well documented in English as well as Greek. I'm fortunate that the sole language I speak is the second language in the country I'm visiting. Ditto the Netherlands and Portugal.
The archaeologists have done a fine job of digging up, analyzing, organizing, and explaining what the've found. It's amazing what has been gleaned from the bits of pottery and sculpture and charred bits that have been dug up.
But just like church ruins in Mystras, a little bit of archaeology goes a long way and soon we left, though we came away impressed with the beauty of the culture. And what a long history they have. Impressive.
In the afternoon we climbed up to the Acropolis, a massive rock that dominates all of Athens. I can't add much save to say the Parthenon is huge and beautiful - the use of optical illusions is brillant - and, like the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, I wish they'd hurry up and finish it.
Just as we were about to leave - sunset was on its way - a line of fellows in curious costumes walked by, heading for a platform where a large Greek flag was flying in the strong cold breeze. Think Swiss guards but in black and white. They were followed by a small band carrying instruments. The costumed fellows were Evzones, the presidential guard, and they gathered at the flag while the crowd circled around to wait. As the sun set they performed a flag-lowering ceremony, accompanied to music. A nice end to the day and a reminder that we in the west should appreciate the freedoms that others have fought so hard to protect.
And again we heard boom! Boom! Boom!
Nice building unfortunatly graffittied
Lots of naked guys at the museum
Busts in the Archaeological Museum
The Parthenon looks like you could draw it with a ruler but actually it has few straight lines
Ceremony at the Acropolis