Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Tuesday, May 16th, Athens, Greece


The strike is growing, and tomorrow the demonstrations in Constitutional Square begin. Meanwhile, we are the hapless victims. Inconvenienced tourists who must find other means of transportation are using taxis and private tour company busses and boats.  The locals just drive their cars and motorcycles, and the streets are chaotic.  To make matters worse, Parliament is meeting, the President's in town, and lots of street are blocked off.

We spent the day walking, taking a taxi to the base of a strategic hill (and a funicular up to the top of it) overlooking the City, and a taxi to the National Archeology Museum.

Along the way, we watched the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier (see guardsmen above), and checked out the lobby and bathrooms of the Grand Hotel Bretagne.

I know some of you think we spend too much time in museums.  Greece, like many other countries, tells its visitors a very narrow story about its history.  Most know black vases with golden images of naked athletes, fifty-six tall columns in a rectangle atop a central plateau, and a guy running twenty-six miles to let the City know it had won a battle.   All three had important moments in 480 BC.  But Greece has had a civilization for seven thousand years, and that story is told in the artifacts displayed in its museums.

So if you want to see what can be done with clay and bronze and marble and gold and silver if you have that long to practice, and you haven't lost too much of it, come to the museums of Greece.  
It will put our current world into perspective, help you evaluate how advanced you think we are, and broaden your appreciation of artisans and architects of the past.

It may even improve your optimism about the future.

To see all of the photos taken today, click on Tuesday, May 16th, Athens, Greece.

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