Ever since my first trip to Rome I have tripped over Pantheon and Parthenon. One is the world’s best-preserved Roman building, dating back to 126 AD, with the world's largest unreinforced concrete dome and an oculus. The other, from 438 BC, is the most important surviving building of classical Greece. Now if someone asked me if I’ve seen the Pantheon or Parthenon I can say yes without hesitation. But I would have to think about which is which again…
Our tour began with a drive through Athens. Mellissa had told me that Athens is chalk full of graffiti, but I would never have thought it would be as…well…graffiti’d. From the view of the bus the city is concrete, dirty, with graffiti everywhere. Our guide said the messages were focused on three things: sports, politics and art. I can be frank in saying none of the graffiti I saw had anything to do with art. In my town we call it tags, not art.
We visited sites that were part of the 2004 Olympic Games as well as the site of the first modern Olympic Games. Our guide said Greece had not planned past the games and the venues are in sad shape. Not like other places we’ve visited who have made their cities into Olympic tourist traps like Barcelona and Beijing. It’s sad since Greece could really use the money…
For all you Greek history buffs out there who have dreamed of seeing the Parthenon, I’m going to make you mad. I was underwhelmed. We were lucky to be there when admission was free, or a visit would have cost $20 Euro.
Maybe I have been saturated by history, or perhaps it had something to do with the scaffolding. But I climbed to the top, took a few pictures like a tourist, then left. Don’t get me wrong. I love the Greeks. I like their yoghurt, hummus and pitas, and I don’t even mind their olives. But they don’t know how to put on a show for the tourists at the Parthenon.
MEDITTERANEAN BLOG Hi all. There is a quote on my homepage that says, "I haven't been everywhere but it's on my list." My words to live by. I want to see it all. On this trip we will see Turkey, Greece, Croatia, and Albania. All places I have not been. So time to take a few off my list!