Back to Athens

We started our day exploring the Nemean ruins; this time accompanied by a pack of watchdogs. Nemea is under supervision of the University of California at Berkley. This site showed us the effects of properly done preservation. However, the extent of their reconstruction and rebuilding efforts showed us the delicate balance in recreating the past. Restoration can be controversial when re-creation takes precedence over preservation.

Afterwards, we went to another site, which is supervised by the American School in Athens. The Corinthian ruins were extensive. We started by seeing the Temple of Apollo where professor Salowey pointed out some of the evidence that indicates that this is an early archaic temple. We explored the fountain of Glauke, the Agora and the Lechaion road, walking on marble that was placed by the Romans.

Then we shopped at local supermarkets to supply a picnic lunch before heading off on our greatest challenge to date: the Acrocorinth. As we started our journey we encountered a woman dubbed “Evil Maria” by another archaeologist. This woman is a legendary sheepherder and ancient ruin ruiner. She lets her sheep roam over the ruins of Acrocorinth. It should be noted that sheep dung is not the best preservative for marble and ancient rock. It gave Greece’s current travel theme of “Explore your senses” a whole new meaning.

 

Evil Maria

Evil Maria

 

We then began the arduous trek up 1600 feet of pure Salowey torture. We have become Salophobic, which is the fear of hiking mountains at a fast pace. We love her, but we hate the disease. We are planning a return trip to the Temple of Asclepius to cure our sore feet, although we have little hope of curing the phobia itself. However, even thus daunted, we all made it to the top, including the geriatrics who showed up after a slight delay. But, what goes up must come down. Following the example of Prof. Richter who has learned to live with his Salophobia, we all excelled at downhill.

 

 Acrocorinth

 

Upon arriving at Athens we got a strong sense of longing for the quaint villages we had explored. However, we do appreciate the use of telephones, internet, bathtubs and hot water. As much as we love exploring the traditional village cultures and try to be travelers and explorers in the truest sense, we struggle with our own culture’s spoiled nature of having these conveniences. Now we are comfortably back in Athens, nestled in our modern conveniences.

 

Kalinichta!
Jenny & Ashley

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3 responses to “Back to Athens

  1. best post yet : ) modern conveniences are a nuisance…
    creased and intricate,
    psychic origami,
    i watch the melodrama unfold.

    When we’re on different sides of the globe
    I thought we’d keep our veins tangled
    like a pair of mic cables,
    And if there ain’t enough slack to reach
    that we’d solder them together
    and across oceans they’d stretch.
    Our faces reflected in separate windshields
    and all our body hair pricked up
    an elephant eyelash.
    Should we be tempted by thief or saint
    it seems I leave and you stay
    to crawl the cage and curse.
    But don’t regret the done dirt,
    there is no life plan set,
    you just swallow the cold
    and follow your breath until death.
    Now even if the will to sleep persists
    I can’t ’cause a harsh cloth, it grazes my blisters.

    Only 4 more days dearie, tres love,
    W

  2. Rachel (Jenny's friend)

    Sounds like you’ve all had an amazing trip – thanks for the great journal entries (and don’t feel bad about not being able to upload photos; I had the same experience in my travels last summer). Enjoy the mod cons in Athens and we’ll see you soon!

  3. I remember the grueling trek up the Acrocorinth myself. Really harsh but the view was worth all the effort. And yes, the Temple of Apollo in the ancient city is one of my favorites. After being out in the countryside, coming back to Athens does take some getting used to. But Athens grows on you. It’s an acquired taste. Climb the Areopagos (Mars Hill) in the evening and watch the city lights. Not an experience you’ll soon forget.

    Your blog is truly wonderful.

    David Sheppard

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