If a bird has the flu, does it sneeze?

Trip Start Feb 10, 2006
Trip End Mar 07, 2006

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Flag of Greece  ,
Monday, February 27, 2006

The day is beautiful and is a perfect day for a day in the Park. The National Garden is this oasis of green in the middle of Athens. It is beautiful even though it is still winter and the flowers and plants aren't blooming. The tree lined paths seem to beckon you. 

The ponds are full of turtles and fish. 

In the middle of the park is a small zoo. Because of bird flu there are signs posted everywhere warning about bird flu. You aren't able to get anywhere near the hundreds of chickens, peacocks, ducks and anything with feathers. Actually the whole zoo seems to be closed and we were only able to walk around the outside of the fences. As with most parents, Heathers parents were worried about her. They seemed to focus on the bird flu so we have taken lots of photos of the birds to torment her parents. 

I could have spent all day in this beautiful, quiet heaven but we had lots of places to go. Cutting through the park gave us a short cut to the Panathenaic Stadium. In ancient times it was used to host the athletic portion of the Panathenaic Games in honor of the Goddess Athena. The remnants of the ancient structure were excavated and refurbished for the revival of the Olympic Games. Olympic Games were held there in 1870 and 1875. The stadium was refurbished a second time in 1895 for the 1896 Summer Olympics.

Poor Paulie has come down with some sort of flu. He has been taking cold and flu medication and each time we slow down he falls right to sleep. Of course he claims that he is just resting his eyes. That was the case here at this beautiful marble stadium. 


We took the Metro out to Kerameikos. It is an old Greek cemetery. There is a museum full of Greek Artifacts. We stopped by there first before exploring the rest of the area. The original memorial stones are kept inside the museum to preserve them. The copies stand in the the original locations. The area is fenced in and the cemetery is located near the museum. Further on down is the remains of an old Greek village. In the confines of the foundation stones there are turtles everywhere. I can't get over the number of turtles living in this small fenced in area. We were almost completely alone in Kerameikos. It was so quiet and pleasant.


Our next stop was the National Archaeological Museum. This is a beautiful museum holds some of the finest Greek and Mycenaean artifacts in the world. One of the most recognizable is the death masks from Mycenae.  We studied this mask as part of our art history courses in college. We are planning on visiting Mycenae later this week so the museum is a nice introduction to that time period. 

I think that the most amazing art from this period of time is the pottery. There is so much detail put into the painting on the earthenware.

Of course you can't visit the National Archaeological Museum without being drawn into the sculpture of the period leading from ancient Greek to ancient Rome. I was totally amused at 4 french ladies that had found a bench, eye level with the buttocks of a Greek statue, and sat there discussing the view for quite a while. 

Poor Paulie is so exhausted. He fell asleep in the museum after only sitting down for a moment. We decided to give him some crap and tried to sneak off while he was sleeping. He woke up in time to catch us tip toeing half way across the museum.


We picked up a little rum and fanta for the evening. Walking back from the liquor store we passed a shop where there were two men dancing to greek music dotted occasionally with their exclamations of Opa!!!!!  All that was missing was the dishes being broken. Feeling brazen I ducked into the shop and danced with them for a few moments and then left without a word. It really was pretty funny. I can only imagine the conversation those two had about the strange tourist that hijacked their dance.

Well I guess that it is time to hit the sack. It has been a very long day!

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