Sunday, May 20, 2018

2018 Eastern Mediterranean Trip - Day 26, The Ancient Athenian God Of Photography

One of our reasons for resting up on Saturday, was to be sure we had the energy to tackle the Acropolis. The Acropolis, the spiritual heart of ancient Athens, is the city's A-List attraction...and yo all know how de-I LOVES A-List attractions. According to our guidebook, it was a very strenuous climb to get to the top. It recommended going early in the morning to beat the crowds that come and to beat the heat.

We took this advice to heart. figured it made no use to shower in the morning as we were just going to get all hot and sweaty. So we got up, ate a quick breakfast, grabbed a cab with our taxi hailing app and were on our way. The streets were empty at 8 AM. When we got to entrance of the Acropolis there were no lines. WE had bought a package ticket so we just went right in. The guidebook also said they did not allow you to bring backpacks inside. That turned out to be incorrect.

It was certainly a bit of climb to get up to the Acropolis but nothing, nothing like the schlepp back out of Petra. We were pleasantly surprised by that.

We were favored by some beautiful blue skies. It was already feeling warm with the bright sun and the humidity. Wife and I immediately fell into photographer mode, wandering around, looking for shots, trying to make use of the information and lessons we had gotten from our workshop on Thursday. The site was much smaller than we expected so after about an hour and half of picture taking we were ready to move. And by now the hoards of other tourists and tour groups were coming up the slope like volcanic flow going up hill.

We made our way down to the city and the Roman Agora and the Ancient Agora. The Agoras were the central spots of the Greco/Roman civilized world towns...the place where business was done and the whole community engaged.

We spent quite a bit of time wandering around looking for more photo ops but honestly after being at places like Jerash, Petra, and Bet Shian, there really wasn't much to see. Nor was the signage as good. Nor were there much in the way of models to give you a picture of what it had been like.

One of the better things we saw was a museum in the Ancient Agora that gave a historical narrative. In short it goes like this.
  • Mycenaean Bronze Age civilization builds first Agora  
  • Fist Agora destroyed during Doric barbarian invasions
  • Classic Period Athens builds next Agora
  • Second Agora destroyed during Persian invasion 
  • Athens of the Athenian Empire builds a third Agora
  • Rome conquers Athens and destroys the Agora
  • Roman Athens rebuilds yet another Agora and adds lavishly on to it
  • As Roman civilization is falling, barbarians destroy the Agora
  • This pattern happens another couple of times under the Byzantines
It is little wonder there is little left to see.

It was around 12:30 when we finished the ancient Agora. Four hours on our feet in the heat was enough. Plus tomorrow is a transit day. We went back. I cooked up a meal making a fish stew from the left over fish and crispy potatoes from those leftovers. Tomorrow we are off to Kalamata, a town on the southern edge of the Peloponnese peninsula. In our conversations with tour guides and taxi drivers, we've found out that it is rare for most tourists to venture outside of Athens and the Islands. So we are looking forward to seeing a different side of Greece.

1 comment:

alexis said...

I'm glad you to see the original, authentic rebuilt x 30 Agora.