The Series of Unfortunate Events: Greece Chapter

Trip Start Jan 20, 2010
Trip End May 15, 2010

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Flag of Greece  , Attica,
Saturday, March 6, 2010

Day One:

Today we landed in Greece. We had to get up at 5 and be out on the bus at 545 ready to go to the airport. The flight was nice it took a little over than hour. After arriving at the hotel we took the metro to a square close by and walked around. There was a flea market and street vendors selling everything. There was a brass band playing in the middle of the square. After walking around we stopped to warm up at a cafe for tea and crepes. After sitting and enjoying ourself Paige, Johanna, Jeff and myself broke off and walked around and found this ally lined with outdoor bars and cafes. It was a very romantic, very European place to be. We sat outside for dinner with the heat lamps looking up to a light up view of the Acropolis. We had baked feta made with tomatoes and onion and I had a Greek salad. During dinner many Gypsies came up to us either trying to beg or sell us different things. It was neat to see them because we had just learned about them and their ways in my European cultures class.


Day two:

Today we went to the Athens Archaeological Museum. We learned that there were many objects made out of marble because it was the local material so they have services all these years. Most of the findings are from graves but they have no idea how they were placed in the graves. There are little violin shaped marble statures about three centimeters tall that were in fact statues of people however some of their details such as their faces and other features are painted on and due to the soft marble they have been lost. They are called stargazers because they reminded the English of people with their heads tilted back looking up at the stars. We also saw death masks the looked like someone had taken the dead's face and pushed their face in the gold leaf till it made an imprint. There were also little suits of what looked like armor for the burial of babies for the after life just like the Egyptians. We saw a ton of freskos and in order to keep the color on they used plaster with sand instead of sea salt because the sand absorbed the paint better. The painters did it while it was still wet so the color would absorb therefore the brightness was preserved all these years. The first signet rings were made out of gold and had scenes in them; this was so they were able to mark their possessions. The Helenica era was known as the "dark ages" or the "geometrical era". This is when all the ceramics had geometrical shapes and left little space untouched. The meander or zig zag shape lines all bowls and jugs. We also saw how statues started off larger than life and very square and unrealistic and over time life was breathed into them become more and more life like as well as closer to human size. They used to take a layer of clay and cover it with wax than recover it with clay and heat it up melting the wax out creative a mold for liquid wax to be poured inside. Than after it hardened the clay was removed creating a bronze statue!! The ancient Greeks are so cleaver.               

Next we went to the ancient ruins of the acropolis. It was very interesting to learn about how they chose that particular place (it had one entrance for protecting, had springs for water and another reason) it was very rainy and cold and they are in the process of rebuilding and restoring it so there was a ton of scaffolding up. When it was built it was constructed with no straight lines. For example the pillars are bigger at the top to give the illusion that the pillars are the same width. Also the back of it is built higher than the front so that it looks the same size. The reasoning behind this was because there are no straight lines in nature therefore there shouldn't be in buildings. To this day architects are baffled as to how they created the mathematical equations to come up with the design. After exploring the temples we were able to walk around the quaint side streets that are covered in colorful graffiti, which was amazing. We stopped for lunch at this really cool place that looked contemporary mixed with a cafe. Afterwards I met up with Rena, Ted and Yolie.

Day three:

Today we had all intentions of getting up and going to a Greek island for the day. While the rain held off the seas were very rough. Getting to the port was an adventure in of its self. We took the metro out and were told that the two stops closest to the port were closed. So we get off the metro and hope on a very crowed bus, after driving around for a little over an hour and having missed the 11ock ferry we finally made it to the port. We went to the counter to buy tickets and the lady said the next two ferries were cancelled so it would be at 1ock but there was a chance that would be cancelled. She also noted that since the weather was getting worse, and we did make it to the island there was a strong chance that we wouldn't be coming back the same day. So the island idea went out the window. We walked around for a while than decided to head home via the fast train. While we were waiting for the train to come this poor large black woman came and sat between two of the girls I was with and started pulling out all sorts of things from her bag and showing them to us, when the time came to leave we said thanks at which point she started yelling in Greek at us demanding money. After that whole ordeal a nap was in order than I went off to see Ted, Rena and Yolie for dinner and a movie. We had BBQ chicken, sausage, salad, pita and baked potatoes and watched the Oscars. In Cyprus we don't have cake, brownie or any type of baked good instant mix (the kind you add water, oil and eggs) so they were kind enough to load me up with these valuable goodies.

Over all impression of Greece:

It rained, was gray the whole time I was there and was sick so it was not enjoyable to be outside. Also we only had one tour while we were there so we had a lot of free time to explore. I loved the view of the mountains and of the blue roofed houses. The best part of the trip was seeing my family. It was the first time I saw where Yolie lived. We made cookies and watched movies and went out to dinner (Yolie lost a tooth at dinner!) It is always good to see the Whitakers and I cherished the one on one time we spent together.

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