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Published: April 5th 2010
ATHENS Day 60
Yay for free day! I started my free day at the folk art museum, across from my hostel. It had some really lovely art as well as the various traditional costume/dress of the different cultural areas of Greece. I had to be quick inside of this museum because I wanted to make it in time to watch the changing of the guards at the government buildings.
The guards’ ceremony was really amazing. It is very elaborate. Not just the costumes but also the movements of their march. Their arms swing so high and their feet kick up as though they could knock themselves out with each step. Apparently, the costumes have a lot of meaning relating to the wars against the Ottoman Turk rulers. Their shoes have lots of nails in the bottoms so they make a load of noise with every step. It was strangely moving watching the ceremony with the music playing and the emotion coming off of the guards. You can feel the importance of remembering the freedom from Turkish rule. As I watched the guards a family walked by with a bunch of little girls all dressed in the traditional clothing.
Next stop… Acropolis. I made the long walk up the road to the Acropolis. On the way you can see the ruins of the Theatre of Dionysos. Once on top of Acropolis it is really neat. The whole mountain is slippery from the marble under foot. You can almost imagine that gods would sit at the top of this mountain. I would definitely recommend the Acropolis even if it wasn’t free. The view from up top is really great.
Back down the mountain I passed a few other ancient monuments such as the Roman Agora, baths, and wind tower; all really neat to see. I find it strange that the stones could be so very old but they don’t look it. The bits that are crumbling obviously look old but the parts that are intact and preserved look brand new. But then again I don’t know how an old or new rock could look different from each other.
After the ruins I took the long walk to the Archeology museum. The jewelry is really lovely but some of the gold pieces look so thin that they would crumble with the slightest touch. The museum is full of
statues. I don’t really like the bronze statues because they have holes for eyes, which gives this really hollow darkness to the statue; almost evil. I did really enjoy all the statues of the Greek gods. It is strange to imagine that people actually worshipped Hercules, Pan, and Aphrodite because to me they are cartoon characters. It is funny that something that was once religion for some is now mere children’s entertainment.
After the museum I made my way back to Plaka for some more Greek salad for dinner along with chicken gyros, delicious.
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