13th May 2012 - 15th May 2012
Well our tour of Greece has really started!
On Sunday we headed to the beach, but had to leave early due to… an awkward incident. We’re just pretending Sunday never happened.
On Monday we moved from our hostel to our hotel in order to meet with our Contiki group. We were lucky enough to have figured out where the hotel was ahead of time and we were able to walk there prety quickly. After checking into our hotel room we just decided to shower and watch Greek MTV, and just relax for a bit. We met our roommate Coleen and the rest of our tour group. Everyone is really nice, and it seems to be dominated by Canadians. I am the youngest of the tour, followed by Megan, but the next two are twenty year olds from Edmonton. It’s nice to be able to talk with people with such similar backgrounds.
After a cool Greek dinner with Greek music and dancing we went out to a bar with a few of the other tour members, which is why I didn’t blog last night. When red wine is free I seem to drink it, and when I drink red wine I don’t seem to have the ability to stay awake.
Our day today got started at 5:45 AM and by 7 we had started our tour of Athens. A lot of sites we just drove by, like the temple to the Olympian Zeus, but we walked all the way to the top of the Athenian Acropolis (meaning high city). We saw the Parthenon (meaning “virgin house”) the temple of Athena, as well as the Arectethon, the temple for Poseidon and Athena as equals. The story of how Athens was named came from a contest between Poseidon and Athena. Athena struck the ground and a fig tree sprung up- representing a gift of agriculture to the people. Poseidon struck the ground and salt water sprung out- representing naval power. The people wanted to live in peace so they chose the olive tree, naming the town after the goddess of wisdom, but in order to appease both gods they built the Arectethon. We also got a few glimpses of the temple of Nike as well as the temple of Hephaestus (the god of metal smithing).
After the Acropolis we drove to the Corinthian canal- a canal shortening the trip around the island by 9 years. It is beautifully blue, and has quite a long history. It was built by the French and the Greeks, but it was all thought up by one man.
After some more driving we got to the Mycenaean palace of Agamemnon. First we saw the hive-shaped burial tomb. It possibly housed the bodies of Agamemnon and/or his father, but no one knows because it was looted before archeologists found it.
The palace of Agamemnon is huge, but there is not much left of it. The outlines are still there, but much of the place is roped off due to too many people falling.
After Another 4 hours of driving we have finally arrived in Olympus and are just getting settled into our hotel room. Tomorrow should be another packed day, and I have a feeling that tonight might be a late one again.
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