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I wasn't exactly sure of how to do this, so I decided to make a picture blog of the trip that I and my mother recently took to Greece and Turkey in June / July of this year. That way you can read this if you want to, or just look at the pretty pictures.
We started off in Athens where we visited the National Archaeological Museum, which has so much stuff in it that there is no way to see it all in a day or even two. Here are some Mycenean death masks -- The Mask of Agamemnon (left) and below, which is kind of sad, a death mask and metal plating which would have been used for a baby.
We also went to the Acropolis and saw all four temples there. And down to Cape Sounion to the Temple of Poseidon, at the point where Theseus' father Aegeus is said to have jumped into the sea. The weather down there was so warm and yet also quite windy, and in fact I suppose it's no surprise that the weather was hot for a lot of the time we were in Europe.
Corinth, Mycene, Epidavros, Navplion
After that we went to Corinth, Mycene, Epidavros, & Navplion -- heading out of Attica and Southern Greece and towards the Peloponnese. At Mycene was the centre of the Mycenean civilisation; huge blocks of stone used to build the walls, and a tomb dedicated to some royals that was like a great big dome:
...carved into the hillside and lined with stones. This was what Schliemann called the "Tomb of Agamemnon" after the legendary king of Mycene and main Achaean general in the Trojan War.
(And this just to get some idea of scale.)
At Epidavros there is an amphitheatre where for some mad reason I volunteered to stand in the middle of the stage and sing a song. For an outdoor place, the acoustics were amazing.
Next I have some pictures of the ancient stadium at Olympia (we already saw the 1896 Olympic stadium at Athens, and later we would drive past the 2004 stadium -- but this is the ancient one which to be honest interests me a lot more than the modern Olympics! So there's a bunch of temples there, and a forge where the statue of Zeus was constructed. Unfortunately no-one can see the statue of Zeus any more because all the materials were sold for scrap.
And here is the entrance to the field where the runners competed. It is a small, flat & dusty space -- which they used to run back and forth twice along it. Honestly there is little to suggest that the space ever held games, except that it is so flat and with a small slope around it for an audience to watch the race from.
And just below, we have a picture of the forge of Phidias who fashioned the famous Zeus statue.
The next day we were in Delphi, which is most famous for the Temple of Apollo and the Delphic Oracle... I guess lots of people know about the Pythia, who reputedly told King Croesus "If you go to war, a great city will be destroyed" -- and it turned out to be his city, when he lost. So anyway, here...
If you look, you can see the same temple further down from this amphitheatre, and even further down is a building which functioned as a "Treasury", or a place where city-states would store their battle-spoils. There were other treasuries at one point, but the Treasury of Athens is the best preserved.
Also on the way up we saw a smaller bit of carved rock, which was shaped to represent a navel, called the Navel of the World. (Supposed to represent the centre.)
Meteora, Thermopylae, back to Athens...
More pictures. The only time -- and I mean the only time -- while in Greece when there was a hint of rain was on the way to Meteora. But as you see, the moody weather was so fitting to the environment around the place, where there are a whole bunch of monasteries perched at the top of high rocks. And we all went to see some of these, where monks and nuns all vow to spend the rest of their lives.
And so after spending the night in Meteora we drove all the way back to Athens on the bus, but with a photo stop at Thermopylae, where there is a statue of the king Leonidas and with the words "Molon Labe" beneath ~~ which is the challenge Leonidas sent to King Xerxes: basically you want our weapons, come and get them!
Okay so I know this is a highly summarised account of everything, but most of those who actually see it will probably be more interested in the pictures huh. And it doesn't even cover all of this trip so I think I'm going to have to do more parts! Hope you like it.