Sunday, May 29, 2016

Athens

Our ship docked in Athens today. Our tour bus took us to the Acropolis where we saw the Parthenon and other ancient structures. We sure are getting a history lesson on this trip. To get to the Parthenon, we had to climb 200 slippery marble steps to the highest point in Athens.

On our way up to the Parthenon, we saw a few incredible sights. The city of Athens is very densely populated as you can see from the buildings in the background. This is part of the Odean (musical theater) of Herodes Atticus. This theater was built in 161 A.D. and is still used for concerts today.

This is the Erechtheion which once housed a life size, olive wood statue of Athena in her role as protector of the city of Athens. This temple accommodated the worship of gods such as Poseidon and Athena.

The huge rock in the foreground with people standing on it is Mars Hill (also known as the Areopagus). This is where the Apostle Paul preached to the Athenians (Acts 17:23). Paul looked out over the Agora and started talking about an altar he had seen that was dedicated to an "unknown god." Then he proceeded to tell them about the one true God.

This is a shot of the Parthenon. It was so huge it was difficult to get the whole thing in. A restoration project has been taking place since 1983 and it is expected to be completed by 2020. All the light colored spots on the columns are new marble which will oxidize within 20-30 years to look just like the ancient marble.

This is a side view of the Parthenon. It is huge.

After our tour, we walked around the center of Athens for awhile, had Gyros for lunch and did some shopping. This man was selling all kinds of nuts from his cart.

I glanced down this street and saw the Arch of Hadrian which was built in 132 A.D. to celebrate the completion of the Temple of Olympian Zeus.

Tomorrow is a day at sea, so no sightseeing. I'm glad to have a day off to relax. We will be in Naples on Tuesday, then on Wednesday we return to Rome and fly home.

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