Upon Shakked’s request (he is passionate about Greek Mythology) we stopped in Athens on the way to Israel. We had 2 days to see the sights and as we were blessed with beautiful weather we could walk everywhere.
Amit’s recount: “We woke up in the morning very tired but ready to go to the Acropolis. This is an ancient temple dedicated to Athena, the Greek goddess of wisdom and battle. It was a long walk; we were very confused because we did not know where the entrance was. At last we found the entrance and went in. Everyone was in high spirits. When we were walking by we passed the theater of Dionysus, this is not like a regular modern theater, in fact it is an ancient Greek theater. When we got to the acropolis we were amazed by the textures on the walls! Now there are three types of poles. Doric is one, one I don’t remember and Corinthian. Doric is the simplest and Corinthian is the fanciest. The Acropolis was built Doric style because when it was built, Corinth style wasn’t invented. I am now going to tell you why Athens is called Athens. Both Athens and Poseidon, which
is the god of the seas, wanted to have Athens named after them. So Poseidon struck a rock and a salt water stream was invented and Athens struck the rock and an olive tree appeared. The Athenians found more use in the olive tree and Athens was named after Athena. On the next day we went to watch guards marching, it was an amazing experience. My mom really liked that they had pompons on their shoes. Have you ever gone to a Greek museum? Well to tell you the truth, I found it hard to get interested in Greeks, it’s easier to get fascinated in Mesoamerica, where there are different cultures. “
Shakked, on the other hand, was fascinated: “Greece is the best part of our Sabbatical yet! It is awesome. When we at last got to our apartment in Athens after 4 taxi drives, 4 flights, a bus drive and a walk, we went to explore the local plaza. It was so much like the plazas in Mexico, with balloons and people and food. All except for one thing - the lights. There were giant lighted pillars sticking up like the teeth of some great beast and huge
luminous globes dotted the lawns looking for the world like the beast’s victims. On the second day we went to Athens’s highlight: the Parthenon on the Acropolis. The Parthenon is a huge temple of Athena the Greek goddess of wisdom and battle as well as patron goddess of Athens, Athena became patron goddess of Athena in a strange way: both Athena and Poseidon god of the sea wanted to be patron god of the yet unnamed city. They decided that each would give a gift to the people; whatever the town’s people judged to be the best gift would be patron god of the city. Poseidon struck the rock with his trident and a saltwater spring shot up. Athena then made an olive tree grow. The people judged Athena’s gift to be better since Poseidon’s gift just gave them undrinkable salt water while the olive tree provided them with oil, food and wood. Actually there are many temples on the Acropolis and the Parthenon is only one of them. Though the temples are now reduced to ruins the ruins are still amazing. Huge pillars stand sentinel where great roofs once soared. It is wonderful to think that beneath your very
feet the people of ancient Athens stood as they made sacrifices to the great Goddess Pallas Athena, bearer of the tassel led Aegis. On the third day we went to two museums. One was the National Museum of Archeology and the other was the Acropolis Museum. The museum of archeology contained all kinds of reminders of ancient Greece. Statues of ministers, warriors, athletes and women. Bronze spearheads, tools and weapons. Beautifully crafted golden jewelry, painted pots showing off battles, races and contests, All in all it was breathtaking. The Acropolis museum had all kinds of artifacts salvaged from the Acropolis. Mainly pottery and statues, but in my opinion the best part was the stone plaques that had once circled the temples. Carved into them were battles, monsters, the Trojan War and the Gigantomachy (the war between gods and giants). Athens was awesome!
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