Intro & Greece Day 1: Athens

So this post is going be a little different. I flew to Greece this morning with my core class and I’ll be touring and traveling through Athens, Delphi, Mycenae, and Napflio until Saturday. For the sake of my future memory, and also for the enjoyment of my large handful of fans back in the States and beyond, I’ll be posting every day or two because I know that this trip will be once for the books.

So today I woke up way too early to catch a train to the airport. It wouldn’t have been so bad if there was even a chance of sunlight at 5:30am, but fall in Copenhagen means walking in the dark using your cell phone as a flashlight and wearing 3 jackets and a scarf you know you won’t need once you get to your final destination later that day.

Fast forward to final destination later that day-  We land in Athens at around noon and I am immediately comforted by the familiar landscape. I’ve never been to Greece before let alone Europe but the desert climate so close to the water, the bush-covered mountains that look slightly golden in the sun, and the spontaneous bunches of palm trees along the 5-lane highway distinctly remind me of the Ontario airport and the San Bernardino mountains so close CMC. Anyone who knows where I’m talking about also knows that this area is by no means nice to look at so you can imagine my dismay. No olive  oil or feta cheese falling from the sky here.

We had to take a bus around the central mountain to make it to downtown Athens and wow was that ever a polished white marble slap in the face. The mountains were densely covered in green, the balconies boasted blue and white flags, and The Acropolis is placed literally in the center of the city. It was clear that that was where the city was started and slowly expanded outwards in a circle, all roads literally lead to The Acropolis.

After a quick lunch that was refreshingly dirt cheap since Denmark’s standards, we climbed the path to the landmark.

We stopped first at the Areopagus, a rock where Saint Paul supposedly preached to the Greeks about Christianity. It gave us a wonderful panoramic of Athens and also an unblocked view of The Acropolis upon which sits the Temple of Athena, the Theater of Dionysus, and most famously, The Parthenon. img_3512img_3531img_3560

We continued climbing to the top. These pictures really don’t do these structures justice. img_3546img_3540img_3547

I had seen the friezes and the pediments of to The Parthenon at the British Museum in London back in August. The presentation in the museum was amaxing but I was taken aback by the sheer size of The Parthenon in real life. To think that thousands of years ago men climbed that same path we did, hauling thousands of tons of marble, to give praise to the gods. Dedication like that doesn’t exist today. Incredible. Just absolutely incredible.

For dinner, we went to a very well-known restaurant called Manimani just around the corner from our hotel. A 10 course meal featuring both classic and more-modern Greek dishes and great red wine; we sat and ate and talked for more than 3 hours. Another incredible moment to a completely different degree.

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