I will travel with Globus/Monograms. I want to fly from Nashville to Philadelphia to Athens going and fly from Athens to Philadelphia to Nashville returning. Monograms will be waiting for me at the Airport in Athens with a sign. It is called transfer. Cynthia is my contact, and her extension is 7042. The Greece Escape tour is from November to March. I will have companions in the coach. Greece is the southernmost country in the Balkan Peninsula.
Athens Airport - Globus/Monograms. Transfer. Meet tour guide and traveling companions.
Acropolis means high place. It was built during the 5th century B.C. There are 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 housed the statue of Athena by Phidias.
Pericles finished the Parthenon, completed in 432 B.C. The Parthenon was designed by the sculptor Phidias and housed a statue of Athena, patron goddess of Athens.
Rome conquered Greece in 146 B.C. The Parthenon became a Christian church, then a Muslim mosque. Venetians besieged the Parthenon 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. They had a contest.
The Erechtheum was named after Erechtheus, the legendary first king of Athens. Auriga the charioteer is associated with him.
Porch of the Maidens - 6 marble statues serve as columns of the Erechtheum, They are called Caryatids and face the Parthenon.
Temple of Athena Nike - This is the smallest temple on the Acropolis and portrays Athena as the goddess of victory. It was completed in 420 B.C. during the High Classical Period.
Temple of Zeus - Temple dedicated to Zeus, head of the Olympian gods.
Theater of Dionysus - The birthplace of Greek drama was dedicated to Dionysus, the god of ecstasy and wine. During the 5th century, the plays of tragedians Aeschylus, Euripides & Sophocles were performed here.
Thesium - The best preserved Greek temple is older than the Parthenon and was dedicated to Athena and Hephaestus as patrons of the arts. Socrates taught here.
The Agora was the marketplace and where people assembled for politics.
Panathenaic Stadium - Built for the Panathenaic games, this is the only stadium in the world built entirely of marble. Site of the first modern Olympic games in 1896.
Corinth is a city-state on the Isthmus of Corinth. Paul wrote 2 letters to them.
Corinth Canal - We cross this waterway separating the Peloponnese from mainland Greece.
The Pelopponese peninsula looks like a hand with a thumb and 3 fingers. Sparta and Olympia are in the Pelopponese. Athens is not.
Mycenae - A bronze age city in the Peloponnese. Agamemnon was king of Mycenae and led the Greeks in the Trojan War according to Homer.
Treasury of Atreus - Called the Tomb of Agamemnon. Atreus was the father of Agamemnon.
Lion Gate - The main entrance to Mycenae, named for 2 lionesses above the entrance.
Agamemnon's Palace - 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 Greece era 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 - This open-air theater in the Peloponnese is still used.
Nauplia - Seaport town in the Peloponnese. Its name has changed several times.
Olympia - Spend the afternoon at Olympia in the Peloponnese. Olympia was a Greek sanctuary dedicated to Zeus. Temples of Zeus and Hera are located in Olympia.
The statue of Hermes by Praxiteles - Hermes and the infant Dionysus were discovered in the Temple of Hera and are on display in the Archaeological Museum of Olympia.
The Arkadian Mountains are in the Peloponnese.
Delphi - Oracle of Delphi
Delphi was an 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. bronze statue in the Delphi Archeological Museum. Auriga the Charioteer is said to be the legendary ruler of Athens, Erichthonius. Zeus placed him in the sky.
Mount Parnassus is a mountain in central Greece. In mythology, it was sacred to Apollo and the home of the Muses.
Seaport of Patras - A fishing village.
Sirtaki - The dance from Zorba the Greek.
Day 6 - Meteroa area - The Meteora is a rock formation with Eastern Orthodox monasteries. 6 monasteries 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 longtime enemies. The Greeks won at Marathon but lost at Thermopylae. Sparta whipped Athens in the Peloponnesian War.
Day 8 - Breakfast - Transfer - Airport. Monograms will help me get checked in and on the plane. Come home and write my paper. Put it on my site and post it.
Ancient Greece is the cradle of western civilization. Democracy, science, architecture, theater & philosophy have their roots here. The ancient Greeks codified the original 48 constellations. They had science even though it was ignored during the Middle Ages.
1 Thales of Miletus was the first scientist. He predicted a solar eclipse.
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 sphere.
6 Anaxagoras knew the moon reflected sunlight.
7 Heracleides Ponticus knew Venus and Mercury orbited the sun because they stayed close to it.
The great tragedians were:
1 Aeschylus wrote Prometheus Bound
2 Sophecles wrote Antigone
3 Eurripides wrote 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, and his teachings inexplicably became Church dogma.
Ancient Greece had its religion, very different from the monotheism of Judaism and Christianity. Gods and goddesses ruled over special areas. There were 12 Olympians:
1 Zeus - The sky god and leader became a swan in the constellation Cygnus and a bull in Taurus. He assumed guises to seduce women.
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, war & the arts. She sprang from Zeus' head. The olive tree was sacred to Athena.
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 a huntress and associated with the moon. She befriended Orion, which made her brother Apollo jealous. Apollo sent a scorpion (constellation Scorpius) to kill Orion.
8 Demeter ruled over the harvest. We see her in the sky as the constellation Virgo.
9 Aphrodite - The goddess of love and beauty was the wife of the crippled Hephaestus.
10 Hephaestus was a metalworker. He made armor for Greek heroes. Romans called him Vulcan.
11 Hermes - The gods' messenger 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
You've seen photos of the ancient Acropolis in Athens, dating back to the 5th century BC—now’s your chance to see it in person on this escorted Greek vacation. You've watched the Olympics on TV—now’s your chance to walk among the ruins in Olympia, where the Olympics began in 776 BC. You've eaten at Greek restaurants—now's your chance to enjoy an authentic Greek cooking demonstration, where you'll learn how to make the traditional Greek tzatziki appetizer. All this and more await you on this Greek Escape.History comes alive on your guided visits to many of Greece's ancient sites. In addition to the Acropolis and Olympia, you'll also visit the ruins in Mycenae, dating from 1,350 to 1,200 BC and described in Homer’s epic poem, “Iliad.” Also see the amazingly well-preserved, 2,300-year-old open-air theater in Epidaurus. In ancient Greece, people traveled to Delphi to seek the wisdom of the Oracle. Learn about the Oracle, tour the excavations, and visit the Archaeological Museum. To add to your Greek experience enjoy a Sirtaki dance lesson and try a glass of ouzo. Plus, you'll be accompanied by an expert Tour Director who will bring this country to life by sharing its history, stories, and insider secrets. From the picturesque fishing villages to ancient historic sights, the Greek Escape has it all!
Day 1: ARRIVE IN ATHENS, GREECE.
Welcome to Athens! At 6 pm, meet your traveling companions for a welcome drink with your Tour Director.
Day 2: ATHENS.
Sightseeing with a Local Guide features a visit to the world-famous ACROPOLIS, perched high on a rocky outcrop overlooking the city. Here, see the Parthenon, the Erechtheum with its Porch of Maidens, the Temple of Athena Nike, and enjoy a panoramic view that includes glimpses of the Temple of Olympian Zeus, Theater of Dionysus, and the Agora, where Socrates taught, with the beautifully preserved Theseum. Later, a city orientation tour features the Parliament House and a picture stop at the Panathenaic Stadium. Built in the 2nd century AD, it is the only stadium in the world built entirely of marble, and was host to the opening and closing ceremonies of the first modern Olympics in 1896. The rest of the day is at leisure. Tonight is your chance to join an optional dinner outing to try the local fare. (B)
Day 3: ATHENS–CORINTH CANAL–MYCENAE–EPIDAURUS–NAUPLIA.
Stop at the spectacular Corinth Canal to take a photo. Highlights today include MYCENAE, where 19th-century excavations reveal impressions of the splendors so vividly described by Homer. Admire the Beehive Tombs, known as the Treasury of Atreus; Lion Gate, Europe’s oldest known monument; the remains of Agamemnon’s Royal Palace, and the impressive fortifications of the Citadel. Also visit the museum before a short drive to EPIDAURUS for a tour of its amazingly well-preserved 2,300-year-old open-air theater. Stay overnight in nearby Nauplia. (B,D)
Day 4: NAUPLIA–OLYMPIA.
Take in the spectacular scenery on the way through the Arkadian Mountains. Then, spend the afternoon in OLYMPIA, where the athletes of antiquity competed in honor of the King of Deities. Learn about the history of those original Olympic Games as you walk among the impressive remains of the Gymnasium and the Temples of Hera and Zeus. Also visit the MUSEUM that displays Praxiteles’ magnificent statue of Hermes. Tonight, enjoy [LF] a COOKING DEMONSTRATION and learn how to make the traditional Greek tzatziki appetizer. (B,D)
Day 5: OLYMPIA–DELPHI.
Journey to mystic Delphi. The afternoon is devoted to a fascinating tour of the ancient sanctuary of the god Apollo in its dramatic setting on the slopes of Mount Parnassus. Hear about the Oracle and tour the EXCAVATIONS. End the day with a visit to the ARCHAEOLOGICAL MUSEUM to admire the Charioteer, an extraordinary 5th-century-BC bronze statue. A highlight this evening is [LF] a DANCE LESSON, where you’ll learn how to dance the sirtaki, made famous in the movie Zorba the Greek, accompanied by a glass of the traditional Ouzo. (B,D)
Day 6: DELPHI–ARACHOVA–ATHENS.
Leave fascinating Delphi behind you this morning and head back to Athens stopping en-route in the pretty town of Arachova located on the slopes of Mount Parnassus, boasting panoramic views. Stroll around the town and admire the picturesque architecture before arriving in Athens with time to do some last-minute exploring on your own. Tonight is your chance to savor more Greek delicacies with an optional dinner at a local restaurant. (B)
Day 7: ATHENS.
Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (B)
The Contest of Poseidon and Athena
There was a contest between Athena (goddess of wisdom) and Poseidon (god of the sea) to determine which one would be the patron deity of Athens. They were asked to offer a gift. Poseidon offered water, which was salty and of no use. Athena offered the olive tree as a symbol of peace and prosperity. Athens won, and Athens was named after her.