I have mentioned previously that I am a teacher and one of our standards, I mean targets, is teaching about Greece. Greece is very important to Americans and much of America’s culture is influence by Greece. Maybe you aren’t from the US or maybe you are and you can’t recall the importance of Greece, so I’ll do a quick reminder.
Greece is very important to the United States because we derived our government from that of Ancient Greece. We of course altered it somewhat to be a better fit for us just as we did for our English Language. We took Greece’s practice of a direct democracy and altered it to form a representative democracy. This is very important to us today as it was when it was first set up. Besides getting our government from Greece we also took a lot of their architectural ideas from them, such as columns. As well as these important facets we also borrowed ideas of art work from them from pottery to sculptures. One last important thing we got is their love of learning and philosophy from all their great thinkers.
Enough with the background lets rush into what Greece was like. Flying into Greece we grabbed a taxi and took it into the heart of Athens. From a distance it looked like a sea of white buildings covering the land. At a closer distance you saw the makes of any large city in the US, graffiti covering the walls and abandoned buildings. The signs of a troubled economy with many homeless on the streets. We arrived into the bustling city where apparently there are no traffic rules and cars randomly startle lanes and edge by others in the same lane. Speed limits are just decorative signs not even a suggestion for those around. Our taxi driver was going 160 KM when the sign said 60 KM. I was prepared for my death as we zipped along the roads.
After arriving safely at our hotel we dumped our small carry-ons into our room and went and walked around the city, grabbed some grub and headed back for the night.
The following day we headed over to the Parthenon which was only a mile from our hotel. We explored the ancient ruins along with several hundreds of other people including a school. The ruins were like these old columns that were deteriorating and some were being replicated. You were able to distinguish the newer parts of the columns from the older authentic parts. Some areas had what looked like a graveyard of fallen columns and the ruins of ancient buildings. Some of the temples were more intact than others. You weren’t able to get too close to the ruins due to lines and machinery and scaffolding. After leaving the Parthenon we went across the way to a look out and looked out over the city against the olive trees.
After that we headed to the Temple of Zeus which was closed so a delightful Taxi driver told us all the places closed at three but he would show us the town. We went by the Olympic Stadium and then then we went to a mountain. We ran to the top as fast as we could so we could go to Poseidon’s Temple by sunset to see the remarkable sunset. We hurriedly raced back down and jumped into his Taxi cab which we later found out was a small bullet train. We hurtled through time and made it to Poseidon in time to catch the sunset. On the way back he dropped us off at a local eatery where we inhaled A plate Gyro. Hand Gyros are rare and hard to find in Greece.
We spent a couple more days in Athens exploring all the ancient ruins and several museums. We also sifted through the shops and eating at local cuisine. Athens over all was a great place to visit once you get over the fact that it Ignore a modern city with ruins in the midst. The city is bustling with speeding cars, graffiti covered walls, and homeless all around.