At Epidaurus exists an ancient theatre which can hold 10,000 people(and indeed, even as Professor Salowey can personally vouch for, has held as many in recent years). The acoustics in the theatre are magnificent. Someone standing in the orchestra section of the theater can talk softly, even whisper, and still be heard by all the audience members. To prove the quality of the acoustics, some of the members of the group decided to act out a Cliff’s Notes version of Beauty and the Beast. Samantha, Brynn, Christy, Lindsay, and Laura all put on a wonderful show while the rest of the group observed from the top of the theatre.
As Epidaurus is known as a place of healing and the location for the sanctuary of Asclepius, the theatre also was meant to exist in a healing capacity as well. Seeing the performances that took place here could very well be therapeutic to ailing patients as they sought refuge and healing here. Beyond the theatre, we were able to visit a stadium area, where footraces would take place.
To see the original ruins at the site, juxtaposed with the reconstruction, made us more aware of how daunting a task trying to rebuild these ancient buildings, as well as the dangers of going overboard in trying to reconstruct the architecture here.
On our way to Ancient Corinth, we drove through many fruit orchards. The leaders of our trip made an executive decision to stop so that we could buy(for only 5 euros!) a bag of plump, juicy oranges from a group of friendly gentlemen on the side of the road. The fruit in our grocery stores in the United States seems rather puny in comparison to the produce that is grown here in Greece. In addition to the oranges, which we devoured in record time, lemons were also being sold. Some of these lemons were so large that they were mistaken for grapefruits by a few groupmembers.
Having filled our stomachs with the unexpected treat of the oranges, we made our way onwards, to Argive Heraion, a sanctuary of Hera, queen of the gods in the Greek pantheon. The view from this site over the plain stretched nearly as far as the eye could see, and the landscape before us was indeed, as Professor Salowey pointed out, a testament to the area’s power and wealth. Our time at this site was restful, marked by a moving story about two young men which Professor Salowey read to us as we looked over the scenery:
Solon, to indicate to King Croesus that some people in the world were more blessed than he, tells the king a story about two young men, Cleobis and Biton. The mother of these two men, a priestess of Hera who desperately needed to get to the sanctuary for a festival taking place, could not find the oxen that pulled her cart. Dutiful as they were, the brothers yoked themselves to their mother’s cart and took her to the sanctuary in that fashion. Afterward, in the midst of the festival, the two brothers went into the temple and died peacefully, in their sleep.
This sanctuary was our last site for the day. Off to Corinth we went!
*Our apologies that our post for the 22nd is out of order. We hope it will not make reading the travelblog too confusing for everyone to read.