I will travel with Globus/Monograms. I want to change planes in an English speaking country, then fly to Athens International. Globus will be waiting at immigration and customs with a sign. It is called transfer. Cynthia is my contact, and her extension is 7042. I will take the Greece Escape tour. I will have companions on the coach.
Athens Airport - Globus/Monograms. Transfer. I meet the tour guide and my traveling companions.
Classical Greece lasted 150 years, the 5th & 4th centuries B.C.
Acropolis means high place. Several temples were built during the 5th century B.C.
The Parthenon is on the Acropolis. It was built between 447 B.C. and 432 B.C. under Pericles, Athen's great leader. The Parthenon was designed by the sculptor Phidias and housed his statue of Athena. The Greeks understood that beauty is a matter of proportion.
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 and to the British Museum.
Greek architecture with its marble columns influenced buildings in Europe and America. Marble statues are idealized. Not only are gods and goddesses perfect, but humans are given godlike form.
Marble is a metamorphic rock, which has been changed by heat and pressure. It came from limestone.
The Erechtheum is a temple on the Acropolis dedicated to Athena and Poseidon. There was a contest between them to see which one would be the patron of Athens. Each offered a gift. Poseidon offered water, which was salty. Athena offered the olive tree as a symbol of peace. She won, and Athens was named after her.
The Erechtheum was named after Erechtheus, the first king of Athens. He is the constellation Auriga the charioteer.
Porch of the Maidens - 6 marble statues serve as columns for the Erechtheum, They are called Caryatids and face the Parthenon. They are replicas. The originals are in a museum.
The Temple of Zeus was dedicated to the leader of the Olympian gods.
The Temple of Athena Nike is the smallest temple on the Acropolis. It portrays Athena as the goddess of victory.
The Thesium is the best preserved temple. It is older than the Parthenon and was dedicated to Athena and Hephaestus as patrons of the arts.
The Theater of Dionysus is 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 here.
The Agora was the marketplace where people assembled for politics. Socrates taught here.
The Panathenaic Stadium was built for the Panathenaic games. It is made entirely of marble. The first modern Olympic games were held here in 1896.
We cross the Corinth Canal to enter the Peloponnese. Corinth was a city-state.
The Peloponese is a peninsula resembling a hand with a thumb and 3 fingers. Mycenae and Olympia are in the Pelopponese.
Mycenae was a bronze age city, and Agamemnon was its king. He 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.
Agamemnon's Palace at Mycenae dates from 1350 B.C. to 1200 B.C.
We see the Beehive Tombs. (called The Treasury of Atreus, Agamemnon's father). The tomb of Agamemnon.
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 Sea.
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.
The theater of Epidaurus is in the Peloponnese. It is still used. This theater shows that the Greeks understood how sound waves travel.
Nauplia is a seaport in the Peloponnese.
Day 4 - Nauplia/Olympia
We spend the day at Olympia. Olympia was a sanctuary for Zeus. A Greek sanctuary was a sacred place for the worship of a particular deity. There are temples here for Zeus and Hera.
Zeus had affairs with mortal women. He became a swan (constellation Cygnus) to seduce Leda. He became a bull (constellation Taurus) to seduce Europa. He turned Callisto into a bear (constellation Ursa Major).
Zeus had an affair with Alcmene, who gave birth to Heracles (Constellation Hercules). Hercules' labors included killing the Nemean Lion (constellation Leo) and Ladon (constellation Draco). Ladon guarded the golden apples of the Hesperides.
The statue of Hermes with the Infant Dionysus by Praxiteles is in the Olympia Archaeological Museum. It was found in the Temple of Hera. The statue of Zeus and Ganymede is here. Ganymede is the constellation Aquarius. Zeus wanted Ganymede for his cupbearer and sent his eagle (constellation Aquila) to fetch him.
The Arkadian Mountains are in the Peloponnese.
Day 5 - Olympia/Delphi
The Oracle of Delphi
Delphi was a sanctuary for Apollo. It was home to the oracle that 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 represents Erechtheum, the first king of Athens.
Mount Parnassus towers over Delphi. It was home to 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 built on sandstone pillars. Delphi/Arachova/Athens
Marathon & Thermopylae
Athens and Persia were enemies. The Greeks won at Marathon but lost at Thermopylae. 300 Spartans fought Xerxes' Persian army at the Battle of Leonidas. We hear a lecture about Thebes, Sophocles & Oedipus Rex. Sparta beat Athens in the Peloponnesian War.
Day 8 - Breakfast - Transfer - Airport. Globus will help me check in and get on the plane. I change planes at Heathrow? in London and fly to Nashville. Get to Vanderbilt and write my paper. Put it on jimcolyer.com and post it.
Ancient Greece is the cradle of western civilization. Science, astronomy, architecture, theater, philosophy, democracy & history began in Greece. Greek science was forgotten 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. He suggested that the stars were distant suns.
3 Eratosthenes measured the earth's circumference to a degree of accuracy.
4 Hipparchus divided stars into 6 magnitudes, a system still used. He called the first stars to appear after sunset first magnitude. He called the next group to appear second magnitude and so on. Hipparchus 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 Mercury and Venus orbited the sun because they stayed close to it.
8 Ptolomy (a Greek living in Alexandria) listed the original 48 constellations.
The great tragedians were:
1 Aeschylus - Prometheus Bound
2 Sophocles - Oedipus Rex, Antigone
3 Euripides - The Medea
Their plays were performed at the theater of Dionysus near the Acropolis. Karen and I saw Antigone and The Medea in Nashville.
The philosophers were Socrates, Plato & Aristotle. Aristotle retarded science for 1400 years. 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 the leader. He became the swan of the constellation Cygnus and the bull of Taurus to seduce mortal women.
2 Hera was Zeus' wife. She resented his affairs and sent a crab (constellation Cancer) to attack Heracles (constellation Hercules), Zeus' illegitimate son. Greeks saw the Milky Way as Hera's milk.
3 Poseidon was a brother of Zeus and ruler of the sea. In the movie Ulysses, Kirk Douglas destroyed Poseidon's (Neptune's) statue. The god cursed Ulysses, and it took him 10 years to get home after the Trojan War.
4 Hades (Pluto) was a brother of Zeus and ruled the Underworld.
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 big one.
7 Artemis was the huntress associated with the moon. She befriended Orion, which made her brother Apollo jealous. He sent a scorpion (constellation Scorpius) to sting him.
8 Demeter ruled the harvest. We see her as the constellation Virgo.
9 Aphrodite was the goddess of love and beauty and the wife of crippled Hephaestus.
10 Hephaestus (Vulcan) was a metalworker who made armor for the heroes.
11 Hermes (Mercury) was the messenger who escorted the dead to Hades.
12 Ares (Mars) was the god of war. Wonder Woman killed him in the 2017 movie.
Cities visited - Athens, Mycenae, Epidaurus, Nauplia, Olympia, Delphi, Arachova
The Acropolis in Athens dates from the 5th century B.C. The tour begins here. We visit the ruins of Mycenae, dating from 1350 to 1200 B.C. and described in Homer’s “The Iliad." We stroll among the ruins of Olympia, where the Olympic games began in 776 B.C. We experience Greek cooking. History comes alive. We see the 2300-year-old theater at Epidaurus. Ancient Greeks came to Delphi to seek the wisdom of the Oracle. We tour the excavations and visit the Archaeological Museum. Our guide shares Greece's history and stories. Adding to our Greek experience is a Sirtaki dance lesson.
Day 1: ARRIVE IN ATHENS, GREECE.
Welcome to Athens! At 6 pm, we meet our guide and traveling companions.
Day 2: ATHENS.
We visit the Acropolis, perched on a hill overlooking the city. Here, we see the Parthenon, the Erechtheum with its Porch of Maidens & the Temple of Athena Nike (goddess of victory). We see the Temple of Zeus, Theater of Dionysus, the Agora (where Socrates taught) & the well-preserved Theseum. 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 built entirely of marble. It hosted the opening ceremonies of the first modern Olympics in 1896. Tonight, there is a dinner with local fare.
Day 3: ATHENS, CORINTH CANAL, MYCENAE, EPIDAURUS, NAUPLIA
We stop at the Corinth Canal. Today's highlights include Mycenae, where excavations reveal splendors described by Homer. We see the Beehive Tombs (known as the Treasury of Atreus), the Lion Gate & Agamemnon’s Palace. We visit the museum before driving to Epidaurus for a tour of the 2300-year-old open-air theater. We spend the night in Nauplia.
Day 4: NAUPLIA–OLYMPIA.
We drive through the Arkadian Mountains and spend the afternoon in Olympia, where athletes competed. We walk through the ruins of the Gymnasium and the Temples of Zeus and Hera. We visit the museum to see Praxiteles’ Statue of Hermes. There is a cooking demonstration.
Day 5: DELPHI.
We journey to Delphi. We tour Apollo's ancient sanctuary on the slopes of Mount Parnassus. We visit the Archeological Museum. The Charioteer is a 5th century BC bronze statue. We dance the sirtaki from the movie Zorba the Greek.
Day 6: DELPHI–ARACHOVA–ATHENS.
We leave Delphi this morning and drive back to Athens, stopping at the town of Arachova located on the slopes of Mount Parnassus. There is a panoramic view. We stroll around the town admiring the architecture before arriving in Athens. Tonight, we savor Greek delicacies with an optional dinner at a local restaurant.
Day 7: ATHENS.
The trip ends with breakfast. Transfer takes me to the airport.
The Greek Orthodox Church is the eastern wing of Christianity.
My 4th trip to Europe was my first good one.
I fly ?. I change planes at ? in ? and fly to Athens. There are 3 airports, and I fly 4 times. Check in at the airlines desk 4 times. Get 4 boarding passes and look at the blue departure boards for flight numbers and gate numbers. I have done this before and can still do it. Stay calm, but hustle. I will get help when I need it.
Arrive in Athens
Arrive in Nashville,
I make my way to Vanderbilt, put my paper on my site and send it out.
Athens 38 degrees North
Athens 24 degrees East