I will travel with Globus/Monograms. I will fly to Heathrow in London on March 21, 2020, then fly to Athens International. Globus will be waiting at the Airport in Athens with a sign. It is called transfer. Cynthia is my contact, and her extension is 7042. I will take the Greece Escape land tour. I will have companions in the coach. Greece is the southernmost country in the Balkan Peninsula.
Athens Airport - Globus/Monograms. Transfer. I meet my tour guide and my traveling companions.
Classical Greece lasted 150 years, the 5th & 4th centuries B.C.
Acropolis means high place. It was built during the 5th century B.C. Several temples on the Acropolis.
The Parthenon is on the Acropolis. It was built between 447 and 432 B.C. and dedicated to Athena. It was completed under Pericles. The Parthenon was designed by the sculptor Phidias and housed his statue of Athena.
The Greeks understood that beauty is a matter of proportion, and that led to the Parthenon.
Rome conquered Greece in 146 B.C. The Parthenon became a Christian church, then a Muslim mosque. Venetians besieged it in 1687, leaving it in ruins. Lord Elgin shipped the "Elgin Marbles" to England, where they are housed in the British Museum.
Greek architecture with its marble columns influenced public buildings in Europe and America. Marble statues are idealized. Not only are gods and goddesses perfect, but humans are given godlike form.
The Erechtheum is a temple on the Acropolis dedicated to Athena and Poseidon. There was a contest between them to determine which one would be the patron deity of Athens. Each offered a gift. Poseidon offered water, which was salty. Athena offered the olive tree as a symbol of prosperity and peace. She won, and Athens was named after her.
The Erechtheum was named after Erechtheus, the legendary first king of Athens. He is the constellation Auriga the charioteer.
Porch of the Maidens - 6 marble statues serve as columns of the Erechtheum, They are called Caryatids. They face the Parthenon.
The Temple of Athena Nike is the smallest temple on the Acropolis and portrays Athena as the goddess of victory. It was completed in 420 B.C. during the classical period.
The Temple of Zeus was dedicated to Zeus, head of the Olympian gods.
The Theater of Dionysus was the birthplace of Greek drama and was dedicated to the god of ecstasy and wine. During the 5th century B.C., the plays of tragedians Aeschylus, Euripides & Sophocles were performed.
The Thesium is the best preserved Greek temple. It is older than the Parthenon and was dedicated to Athena and Hephaestus as patrons of the arts.
The Agora was the marketplace and the place where people assembled for politics. Socrates taught here.
The Panathenaic Stadium was built for the Panathenaic games. It is the only stadium in the world made entirely of marble. The first modern Olympic games were held here in 1896.
Corinth is a city-state on the Isthmus of Corinth. Paul wrote letters to them.
Corinth Canal - We cross this waterway separating the Peloponnese from mainland Greece.
The Peloponese peninsula looks like a hand with 3 fingers and a thumb. Olympia and Sparta are in the Pelopponese. Athens is not.
Mycenae was a bronze age city in the Peloponnese. Agamemnon was king of Mycenae and led the Greeks in the Trojan War according to Homer's Iliad. The Lion Gate is the entrance to Mycenae, named for the 2 lionesses.
Treasury of Atreus - Called the Tomb of Agamemnon. Atreus was the father of Agamemnon.
Agamemnon's Palace is an archaeological site at Mycenae, 1350 B.C. to 1200 B.C.
Mycenae was the main Greek city when Homer wrote in 800 B.C. about the Trojan War of 1200 B.C. The Iliad and the Odyssey were already old during the classical period 500-350 B.C. Troy was in modern Turkey on the other side of the Aegean.
Heinrich Schliemann, a German archaeologist, discovered Troy in 1870, and Mycenae in 1876. He found what he believed to be the death mask of Agamemnon. Schliemann's wife Sophia was photographed wearing jewelry found by her husband.
Epidaurus is an open-air theater in the Peloponnese. It is still used. The theater at Epidaurus shows the Greeks understood how sound waves travel.
Nauplia is a seaport in the Peloponnese. The Peloponnese is a peninsula.
Olympia - We spend the afternoon at Olympia in the Peloponnese. Olympia was a sanctuary dedicated to Zeus. Temples of Zeus and Hera are here.
The statue of Hermes and the infant Dionysus by Praxiteles is in the Archaeological Museum of Olympia. It was found in the Temple of Hera. The statue of Zeus and Ganymede is here. Ganymede is the constellation Aquarius.
The Arkadian Mountains are in the Peloponnese.
Delphi - The Oracle of Delphi
Delphi was the ancient sanctuary sacred to Apollo. It was home to the oracle which predicted the future. It is on Mt. Parnassus. The Charioteer is a 5th century B.C. statue in the Delphi Archeological Museum. The constellation Auriga is the legendary ruler of Athens, Erichthonius (Erechtheum).
Mount Parnassus towers over Delphi. It was sacred to Apollo and the home of the Muses.
The seaport of Patras is a fishing village.
The sirtaki is the dance from Zorba the Greek.
Day 6 - Meteroa area - The Meteora is a rock formation with Eastern Orthodox monasteries. They are built on natural pillars: Varlaam Monastery & St. Stephens Monastery. Nuns inhabit St. Stephens.
Thermopylae & Marathon
Meteora area - Thermopylae - Athens
Thermopyae - Battle of Leonidas - 300 Spartans fought Xerxes' Persian army.
Lecture about Thebes, Sophocles & Oedipus Rex
Marathon - Athens and Persia were enemies. The Greeks won at Marathon but lost at Thermopylae. Sparta beat Athens in the Peloponnesian War.
Day 8 - Breakfast - Transfer - Airport. Globus will help get me checked in and on the plane. Change planes at Heathrow in London and fly to Nashville. Get to Vanderbilt and write my paper. Put it on jimcolyer.com and send it out.
Ancient Greece is the cradle of western civilization. Science, democracy, architecture, theater & philosophy have their roots here. The Greeks had science even though it was ignored during the Middle Ages.
1 Thales of Miletus was the first scientist. He predicted a solar eclipse. Ancient Greeks tried to understand the laws of nature.
2 Aristarchus knew the earth revolved around the sun and that the sun was the center of the solar system.
3 Eratosthenes measured the earth's circumference to a degree of accuracy.
4 Hipparchus divided stars into 6 magnitudes, a system still used. He discovered precession, the 26,000 year wobble of Earth's axis.
5 Pythagoras knew the earth was a globe.
6 Anaxagoras knew the moon reflected sunlight.
7 Heracleides Ponticus knew Venus and Mercury orbited the sun because they stayed so close to it.
8 Ptolomy (a Greek living in Alexandria) codified the original 48 constellations.
The great tragedians were:
1 Aeschylus - Prometheus Bound
2 Sophecles - Antigone
3 Eurripides - The Medea
Plays were performed at the theater of Dionysus near the Acropolis.
The philosophers were Socrates, Plato & Aristotle.
Aristotle retarded science for 1400 years. He was wrong about everything, but his teachings became Church dogma.
Ancient Greece had its religion, different from the monotheism of Judaism and Christianity. Gods and goddesses ruled special areas. There were 12 Olympians:
1 Zeus was the sky god and leader. He became the swan of the constellation Cygnus and the bull of Taurus to seduce mortals.
2 Hera was Zeus' wife. She resented his affairs and sent a crab (constellation Cancer) to attack Heracles, Zeus' illegitimate son. We know him by his Latin name, Hercules. Greeks thought the Milky Way was Hera's milk.
3 Poseidon was a brother of Zeus and ruled the sea. In the movie Ulysses, Kirk Douglas destroyed Poseidon's (Neptune's) statue. Poseidon cursed him, and that is why it took Ulysses 10 years to get home from the Trojan War.
4 Hades was a brother of Zeus and ruled the Underworld. Romans called him Pluto.
5 Athena was the goddess of wisdom. She sprang from Zeus' head. The olive tree was sacred to her.
6 Apollo was the god of the sun, music & prophecy. Greeks went to oracles to seek advice and to learn about the future. Apollo's oracle at Delphi was the most famous.
7 Artemis was the huntress associated with the moon. She befriended Orion, which made her twin brother Apollo jealous. He sent a scorpion (constellation Scorpius) to sting Orion.
8 Demeter ruled the harvest. We see her in the sky as the constellation Virgo.
9 Aphrodite was the goddess of love and beauty. She was the wife of the crippled Hephaestus.
10 Hephaestus was a metalworker. He made armor for the heroes. Romans called him Vulcan.
11 Hermes was the gods' messenger. He escorted the dead to Hades.
12 Ares was the god of war. Wonder Woman killed him in the 2017 movie.
Arachova, Athens, Delphi, Epidaurus, Mycenae, Nauplia, Olympia
The Acropolis in Athens dates back to the 5th century B.C. Now we see it on this guided tour. We walk among the ruins of Olympia, where the Olympics began in 776 B.C. We experience an Greek cooking demonstration. This and more await us on our Greek Escape. History comes alive on our visits to Greece's ancient sites. In addition to the Acropolis and Olympia, we will visit ruins in Mycenae, dating from 1350 to 1200 B.C. and described in Homer’s epic poem, “The Iliad.” We will see the well-preserved 2300-year-old open-air theater in Epidaurus. Ancient Greeks traveled to Delphi to seek the wisdom of the Oracle. We will tour the excavations and visit the Archaeological Museum. To add to our Greek experience, we will get a Sirtaki dance lesson. We are accompanied by a Tour Director who will share Greece's history and stories.
Day 1: ARRIVE IN ATHENS, GREECE.
Welcome to Athens! At 6 pm, I meet my traveling companions for a drink with our Tour Director.
Day 2: ATHENS.
Sightseeing with a local guide features a visit to the ACROPOLIS, perched high on an outcrop overlooking the city. Here, see the Parthenon, the Erechtheum with its Porch of Maidens & the Temple of Athena Nike (goddess of victory). We get a view that includes the Temple of Zeus, Theater of Dionysus, the Agora (where Socrates taught) & the well- preserved Theseum. Later, there is a city tour featuring the Parliament House and a stop at the Panathenaic Stadium. Built in the 2nd century AD, it is the only stadium in the world built entirely of marble. It was host to the opening ceremonies of the first modern Olympics in 1896. The rest of the day is for leisure. Tonight we have a dinner with the local fare. (B)
Day 3: ATHENS, CORINTH CANAL, MYCENAE, EPIDAURUS, NAUPLIA
Stop at the Corinth Canal. Today's highlights include MYCENAE, where excavations reveal the splendors described by Homer. See the Beehive Tombs (known as the Treasury of Atreus), Lion Gate, the remains of Agamemnon’s Royal Palace & the fortifications of the Citadel. Visit the museum before we drive to EPIDAURUS for a tour of its 2300-year-old open-air theater. Stay overnight in Nauplia.
Day 4: NAUPLIA–OLYMPIA.
View the scenery through the Arkadian Mountains. Spend the afternoon in OLYMPIA, where ancient athletes competed. Walk through the remains of the Gymnasium and the Temples of Zeus and Hera. Visit the museum to see Praxiteles’ Statue of Hermes. Tonight, there is a cooking demonstration.
Day 5: OLYMPIA–DELPHI.
Journey to Delphi. The afternoon is devoted to a tour of Apollo's ancient sanctuary on the slopes of Mount Parnassus. End the day with a visit to the Archeological Museum. See the Charioteer, the 5th-century-BC bronze statue. This evening, we dance the sirtaki, made famous by the movie Zorba the Greek.
Day 6: DELPHI–ARACHOVA–ATHENS.
Leave Delphi this morning and head back to Athens stopping en-route in the town of Arachova located on the slopes of Mount Parnassus. Panoramic view! Stroll around the town and admire the architecture before arriving in Athens with time to do some last-minute exploring. Tonight, we savor Greek delicacies with an optional dinner at a local restaurant.
Day 7: ATHENS.
The trip ends with breakfast this morning.
I fly, March 21, 2020. I change planes at Heathrow in London and fly to Athens. There are 3 airports. I fly 4 times. Check in at the airlines desk 4 times. Get 4 boarding passes and look at the blue boardsto get flight numbers and gate numbers. I have done this kind of thing and can still do it. Stay calm, but hustle. Get help when you need it.
Depart Saturday, March 21 @ 8:10pm on American Airlines flight AA6220.
Arrive @ Heathrow Sunday, March 22 @ 9:10am.
Depart Heathrow, Sunday, March 22 @ 12:10pm on British Airways flight BA632
Arrive in Athens, March 22 @ 5:50pm
Depart Athens. Saturday, March 28 @ 8am on British Airways flightBA631
Arrive Saturday, March 28 @ 10:05 @ Heathrow in London
Depart Heathrow, Saturday, March 28 @ 1:35pm
Arrive in Nashville, Saturday, March 28 @ 5:45pm.
I make my way to Vanderbilt, put my paper on my site and send it out.