Monday, June 7, 2010

Athens to Rome by B

We hopped on a plane from Leo da v airport to Athens. This was the place that I wanted to go to the most so I was really excited when we landed. We took the metro from the airport to our hotel right by the acropolis, when we got to the place I couldn't believe our view! We stared right out of our hotel balcony right onto the acropolis hill. Just down our street was the arc of Hadrian and right across from that the temple to Zeus, and right around the corner Socrates jail cell! Athens is an amazing city just think, almost all of our modern ideas inventions and art have in some way there roots in Athens, can't do much without Pythagoras and all of his formulas. The first thing we needed to do was eat some food not just any food, gyros pitas. We sat down at a place right down the way from the Parthenon in the plaka, and the food and prices did not dissapoint. That night we walked around the plaka and I had ouzo for the first and last time. We also went to the famed mars hill to watch the sunset I didn't realize where we were till the next day when I was asking everyone where the apostle Paul Preached the gospel to the athenians, and they told me right there. I translated the plaque there the next day and it was Pauls actual address and call to worship the true and living God. " men of Athens I noticed on the way here that you are very religous people and while I was walking I saw a statue ' to the unknown god' him I declare to you today". What an incredible place to watch the sunset!!! On the hill we took a bunch of shots of the modern city of Athens which in some ways reminded me of Mexico city. The buildings seemed right on top of each other it was crazy looking, on one side you could see the famous port of Piraeus and on the other the parthenon it was easy to imagine yourself in the golden age of Greece sporting a toga and theorizing with the others. The next day we visited 2 museums. First we went to the national archaeological museum it was very interesting, they had many artifacts from all over Macedonia and even some from Egypt. I was amazed at all the liitle bronze statues of all the deities of the time they had what seems like a god for everything. We all know the main gods but they had other ones and some they took from other cultures like Egypt. Gods, gods and more gods I had to laugh looking at one such bronze goddess Aphrodite the goddess of beauty, because well the time had not been kind to this goddess she looked like some kind of monster. The coolest things in this museum for me were the more lifesize statues that they had like Zeus poised to throw a lightning bolt or Poseidon with a triton in hand. Next we went to the Parthenon museum which was just recently built it houses some of the original pieces of the Parthenon and areas around the Parthenon. The orig caryatids that were on the temple to Apollo are there they are quite impressive especially for being 2500 years old. There was parts of this museum that had a clear floor so you could see some of the excavations going on underneath awesome (Jess had a difficult time with this because some were very high up and it was a little weird and Erie being on a glass floor). Next we headed over to the Agora which was the social place of ancient Greece there were tons of ruins here so many that there ruins on ruins crazy this must be an archaeologists dream city. We walked down and went to the temple of Hephaestus the god of ingenuity, this is the most preserved ancient temple anywhere it is amazing! While we were strolling around the temple we noticed tortoises walking around in the grass, I love turtles and I have never seen them in the wild like this it was great I was taking tons of pics and video and then I realized we still have to go to the acropolis. We walked up there and it was pretty awe inspiring I can imagine the ancient peoples as they saw this place they must have thought truly that's where a god would live. It wasn't too crowded up there and we got to stay till they started locking the place up which was very cool. Over all Athens is quite a city I would deffinately go back there is so much to explore and experience.

The next day we hopped on a bus and headed over to nafplio which is on the Grecian peloponnesus. The bus ride out was beautiful we got to see the greek coastline and country side also we went through Corinth, which is just a small town compared to it's former glory. I thought about Paul writing to the Corinthians about love in 1 Corinthians 13 amazing that this is that city! We got to nafplio it was a gorgeous sleepy little beach town, perfect for some r&r away from the big cities. We instantly went off to the beach and it did not dissapoint, the waters were green and blue very tropical looking. I instantly wanted to rent some snorkel equipment so I ran into town and combed the place for goggles and possibly a snorkel but not one store had them it was extremely frusterating! That night Jess an I searched some more and found out goggles are called yaya yabano which def helped our search. We finally found some goggles so I bought them immediatly and took off for the beach too bad they filled up with water constantly oh well they were better than nothing. We ate tons of gyros pitas and Greek yogurt and relaxed a ton it was a really great time.

We headed back to Rome for one day so we could rap up our tour de Rome and Europe this time we caught the Vatican museums where I took a lot of pics of early Christian tombs and writings they were pretty incredible! I have to study the pics when we get home because thanks to school of ministry I could make out some of the words in the writings. We also caught the popes papal audience which was pretty incredible to be there as he was adressing the people. The cistine chapel though had to be the highlight just thinking about how michelangelo painted all of this monstrosity is quite amazing. St peters was humongous, the biggest church I've ever seen. We also went back over to the forum area and accidently crashed a wedding reception, although it was quite beautiful. Our time in Europe had come to an end but it was an incredible adventure and I couldn't have done it without or with anyone other than my amazing wife who has the patience of a saint when it comes to my directions and planning or lack there of. Thanks, my girl! I love you

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