Which means "Hello" in Greek.
We arrived in Athens on Saturday evening and quickly got everyone settled in their rooms. We met at the rooftop restaurant which had panorama views of Athens including views of the Acropolis.
On Sunday morning we breakfasted and walked to the Acropolis on winding cobblestoned streets past cafes and small local shops. We were met by our guide Sophia who walked us up to the top of the Acropolis. It was a hot and winding path, alternatively tricky with rubble and super smooth on the marble.
Our guide taught us many interesting facts about the various invasions of Athens and the repeated destruction of the Parthenon and statues. The Acropolis of Athens is the most striking and complete ancient Greek monumental complex still existing today. It is situated on a hill (156m). Strong fortification walls have surrounded the summit of the Acropolis for more than 3,300 years. The first fortification wall was built during the 13th century BC and surrounded the residence of the local Mycenaean ruler. In the 8th century BC, they established the cult of Athena, the city’s patron goddess. In the 5th century BC, the Athenians, empowered from their victory over the Persians, carried out an ambitious building programme under the leadership of the great statesman Perikles, comprising a large number of monuments including the Parthenon, the Erechtheion, the Propylaia and the temple of Athena Nike.
For some of us, learning that the origin of the word “idiot” is “someone who cared only for themselves and not for the greater good and politics” was fascinating!
We also spent some time in the Acropolis Museum seeing the remaining statues and their recreations. Afterwards, students were given free time to wander the Plaka and grab lunch before meeting back at our hotel for afternoon classes.
On to the Islands!
Monday morning bright and early we left Athens via a high-speed ferry to the Cycladic island of Paros. The 4.5 hour trip seemed to fly by and suddenly we were in lovely Parikia, the main city on Paros. The water is sparkling and the village of Parikia is charming. We transferred to our hotel on the beach where everyone had lunch and then lined up for their swim tests in the hotel pool before being allowed to access the beach, which has a lifeguard.
Please stay tuned for more exciting details as we get set to enjoy Paros and the surrounding islands.
Yours in Greece,
- Blyth Academy News