Honors Grecian and Turkish Odyssey - Day 3 - Athens

Temple of Athena Nike on Athenian Acropolis
Our full-day tour of Athens began at the Greek Parliament on Syntagma Square.  After some close encounters with the local pigeons, we witnessed the guards perform their stretching exercises in front of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.  We then traveled back to the 5th century BC as we entered the Acropolis through the Propylaea, viewing the Temple of Athena Nike and the Parthenon.  Cristiana shared with us the history and the architecture of the Parthenon, including the purposeful slight lean to the columns and curvature of the stairs, possibly to give the illusion of straightness when viewed from afar.  We also viewed the 5000-seat Odeon of Herodes Atticus and the 30,000-seat Theatre of Dionysus Eleuthereus, the site of the original productions of some plays by Aeschylus, Sophocles and Aristophenes.  We ended our Parthenon tour at the Old Temple of Athena and the Erectheum, at which Cristiana shared the story of the conflict between Poseidon and Athena which resulted in the salt water well where Poseidon struck his trident into the ground and the olive tree where Athena struck a rock with her spear.  We then traveled further back in time to the 6th Century BC as we visited the Ancient Agora of Athens, walking the same paths that Socrates likely walked as he taught Plato and his other students.  We observed the chariot wheel traces in the stone path leading down to the city and the highlight was the Temple of Hephaestus.  Our day of sightseeing concluded with a visit to the Acropolis Museum and then we had an authentic Greek dinner on a patio near the Acropolis that included stuffed wine leaves and baklava. 
Parthenon on the Athenian Acropolis

Unfortunately, my camera was not fully charged and I missed out on many wonderful pictures today.  I will likely change the pictures on this post when the students send me their pictures, including a better picture of the group in front of the back side of the Parthenon.


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