Jeff's Blog - Friday, October 7, 2016 - Athens

Today I toured the Acropolis in Athens, the flat-topped hill where the Parthenon and other buildings are located. The Parthenon is still undergoing reconstruction / restoration, so much of it is covered with scaffolding and cranes. But the temple is still really impressive; by far the largest Greek temple I've ever seen. The restoration of the building next door, the Erechtheion, is complete and it has the beautiful Porch of the Caryatids, which is a small porch with female sculptures holding up the roof instead of columns.

Next I went to the New Acropolis Museum where they have quite a display of the friezes and metopes that went around the top of the Parthenon. Most of the sections in the museum are plaster casts since the originals were taken to the British Museum in London nearly 200 years ago. This is quite a sore spot in Greece now, since they've created the modern building to properly protect the originals and they feel they should be returned to their rightful home. I agree. The Greeks have indeed build a beautiful home to display them safely in, looking up to the real Parthenon through a large glass wall, and they could sure use the tourism euros the originals would fetch.

Anyhow, I went to another museum next, featuring historical artifacts from the region from about 2000 BC to a hundred years ago. I liked the part from 2000 BC through about 750 AD, then just breezed through the boring Byzantine and beyond stuff. Then I went up to a hilltop which has a nice view the non-scaffolded side of the Parthenon and enjoyed the view. The Parthenon was a bit small from that distance, but the shape of the Acropolis as a whole shows up great from there. I took a daylight shot and a night shot from the hilltop. Turns out the rooftop of my hotel has a great view of the Acropolis That's where the two close-up nighttime shots were taken, one of the entire Acropolis, all lit up, and one of the Parthenon.

Tomorrow is reserved for the National Archaeological Museum; I have very high expectations for this one.

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