Thursday, January 28, 2016

Walking With Bill - Part 1

When Bill our walking guide shared stories about Athens - its people, the myths, culture and many more I was very thrilled. I am no history buff. Never excelled in history in school. Somehow history lessons to me was all about memorizing dates.

However now late in life, I actually regret my fooling around during those history lessons days. During my travels, I saw how the engagement with history of a certain country or ancient civilization would provide you with a better understanding of the people, culture and politics of the country. 

Before we started our walk with Bill, he explained the routes we were going to take. He said there was quite a bit of walking especially when we get to the Acropolis area. As there were only the 3 of us, Bill had more time to share stories about the places he took us - very much to our delight!

Our first stop was Temple of Olympian Zeus.

Temple of Olympian Zeus, also known as the Olympieion, is a Greco-Roman temple in the center of Athens.

During the years of Greek democracy, the temple was left unfinished.The temple is made of fine marble brought from Mount Pentelus. Originally 104 Corinthian columns, each 17 meters high; 48 of these stood in triple rows under the pediments and 56 in double rows at the sides. Today, only 15 columns remain standing. 

Not far from the Olympian Zeus Temple, close to a Metro station we saw an excavated site that was believed to be the bath area of the ancient Athenians.

This ancient bath complex was uncovered during the building of subway in Athens in preparation for the 2000. This was a Roman bath actually - a well-preserved complex that can be viewed from above.  Clear view of the pillars that would have allowed the floors and rooms to be heated for a luxurious bathing experience.
The bath must have been quite a happening place I imagine. After a hard day at work, folks come here to chat and share latest gossips while they soak and relax. 

We continued with our walk until we arrived at the Zappeion.

The Zappeion - its architecture is in the neoclassical order, with a Corinthian portico. It was an exhibition hall and was the first building in the world to be constructed in order to serve Olympic needs.

The columns in Zappeion

From the exhibition hall the Zappeion, we passed its lush green gardens known as the Parrilissia and headed to the Panathenaic Stadium.

The home of the first modern day Olympic Games. 

Reconstructed from the remains of an ancient Greek stadium, the Panathenaic is the only stadium in the world built entirely of marble from Mount Penteli and is one of the oldest in the world.

For museum souvenirs

to be continued....

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