Doug and Austin

Wednesday of last week, we decided to go to Athens. Just to check it out. We walked around some shops (I bought some sandals) and then we found some food. Girros, I’m not sure how to spell them, are peta bread with vegetables and meat and sauce, they are really good. If you want them vegetarian you just let them know and they add french fries.

We spent the rest of our time looking for a particular area of town. It is suppose to be were all the college students live, and there is a lot of graffiti. Like I said before, graffiti doesn’t have to do with gangs here, it has to do with creativity, and usually is about soccer teams or girls they like. Here are some pictures of what we found.

Once we made it to the top of the hill where this community was located, we found another hill and decided to climb that to. It was lots of fun seeing the view from the top of the hill. When we were done messing around on the little hill we split up. A couple of the guys stayed to watch the world cup game in Athens. Jolee and Tommy went back to the hotel. And Zach and I looked around the shops a little more, that is until they closed. We found some good stuff.

Me, Garrett, and Greg pointing to the Acropolis while Austin looks down the hill

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On the 4th of July we all got together in the basement (where our classroom is) to hang out after class. Our teachers had bought baklava and these fruit juice drinks that are really popular here. It was all very delicious. After we had had our full we sang some patriotic songs and then told jokes. When we sang the national anthem we all sang as loud as we could, our teacher went to shut the door, but I’m pretty sure everyone upstairs could hear us.

Hey everyone, I just wanted to make sure everyone realizes that all the academic information I am relaying to you is told to me by our tour guide, and then regurgitated to you. So it is very possible that even though our tour guide is not the regular and has a masters degree in history, I am hearing something wrong or am remembering something wrong, or that I just mis-type it. So don’t be upset if you learn somewhere else that what I said is actually incorrect. I believe I mentioned this before but I just wanted to make that clear :).

Garret and John on the bus (my back is to the camera)

Last Saturday we went to the English speaking church. It was mostly Africans and Filipinos. The Africans have a really bad reputation here, kind of like Mexicans get in America. Most of the Africans at church are here legally though, so that’s good. In order to get to the church we have to ride a bus for about an hour. It goes by fast if you have a seat (sometimes the buses are too crowded and you have to stand) and when you have someone to talk to.

The week before we went to the Greek church (the Adventist one), which use to be the same location of the English speaking church. A deacon came to our hotel to make sure we knew how to get there and gave us rolls in the service. I had special music and a couple of the guys were in charge of the afternoon program.

We were tired from the week before so one of the teachers went back with 4 of us students. Everyone else stayed for potluck and the afternoon program. Around here church is a day-long event. After a good nap Juan and I walked to town and just looked around. We found this little bakery where everything was homemade and looked amazingly delicious. We split some cream/sugar/pastry sot of thing. It was really good! Then we came back for dinner and studied for the test that was coming up.

Once you passed the really cool museum and went farther into the  archeological area, you got to this sort of courtyard/marketplace. Most of everything is falling apart, but this shop was still mostly intact. What is really cool is that the stones the serve as the roof, they aren’t glue together by anything, it is just their weight that keeps them there.

a shop

Greek buildings

Even farther out you come to his area, much deeper into the earth than everything else. This is some of the Greek buildings that were still used by the Romans. Behind the arches was a natural spring. So this was part of what made the market place successful. Since there was water, no one had to leave to go back home for a drink. And then down the river/spring a little ways they had toilets. The water just carried everything to the sea, so it was natural pluming. There were some pictures of what archeologists think this structure use to look like, and all of the pictures were gorgeous. Even now, when it isn’t so hot, the area surrounded by rock is full of bright flowers. I can’t believe how beautiful it must have been with whiter marble and clean fresh water running through!

After we were done looking at Corinth, we went down the hill to an inscription our teacher new about. To tell you the truth I don’t remember what it says exactly, but it mentions some guy in the New Testament, I think it is Acts. He is mentioned as a treasurer for the early church (I think), and this rock somehow shows that some guy buy his name was a treasurer of something. Even though I don’t have the story all ironed out, I thought it would still be cool to show you since it is really important to Christian Historians.

a close up of the writting

the whole inscription

main pillars

Wednesday afternoon we went to the church of Corinth. Because of the canal I showed you earlier, there were a lot of people who went through Corinth traveling to one of the seas I mentioned. This is one of the places where Paul was brought before the guy who kept peace. He wasn’t a judge, but he would settle disagreements for the people of the city to keep people from trying to fix things themselves, which obviously would lead to disorder. Anyway Paul was brought to one of these people, in the town of Corinth, when some of the Jews who lived in Corinth were upset with him.

probably where Paul stood

Where the broken marble column is sitting is where an archeologist thinks Paul stood. Our tour guide is very involved with the archeology part of everything, so the woman who placed that column is our tour guide’s friend. The large wall is actually a platform where the guy who keeps the peace would stand. If you want an ideal picture, you’d put the Jews a little to the right of Paul, probably not acting their best.

Rome on top of Greek

One of the many significant things when you look at Corinth is that it is a city built on top of another city. What happened was the Romans came in and destroyed the structure that was here while they over threw the Greeks who inhabited the area. Julius Caesar then came buy and apologized, saying that it was a marvelous area and that they would help them rebuild. Of course that was with the assumption that they now were in control. This is a picture of How there are still Greek parts of the area intact, they are just lower than the rest of the buildings. Apparently Rome didn’t want to work harder than they had to so they kept what was intact, but since they thought they were better they had to add their own touch to everything.

an important stone

This next rock is probably one of the most important rocks in the whole site. It is our proof that the people in the area were practicing Christians. At that time the Jews who had accepted Jesus were Jewish and Christianity, and they kind of claimed it as Jewish. The Gentiles who became Christians just kind of went along with Christianity with a lot of Jewish customs incorporated. If you think about it this only makes sense, even though it is not the case now. Anyway, so this Jewish symbol (while not particular to modern Christians) was very much so a part of the early Church. Therefor the Corinthian church that Paul writes to was here on this site.

statues

art particular to Corinth

A couple other fun facts. There were a lot of statues which decorated Corinth. When the Mors, or Muslims took control of Greece they decapitated all of the statues that had to do with Christianity. So now we have a ton of statues without heads. Also, Corinth was had a particular form of art. They incorporated designs and animals that were from many different parts of the world together into one picture. This was possible because Corinth was a port, and sailors from everywhere would stop there to sell and buy. Because of this there were many different culture all present at the same time. Their art work sort of symbolizes their incorporation of all these differences to make one very successful city. If you look closely you can see that there is a lion on this piece of pottery, which is a good example of what I was talking about since lions don’t live in Europe.

to be continued…

Hello everyone! The charger has officially arrived and I am no longer stressing out over any test, although there is another in the near future. 🙂 Here are a couple things that have been happening…

The Canal

On Wednesday of last week we went to Corinth and passed over this canal. It connects the Ageian and Adriatic seas. The Ageian was named after King Agios, if you read the Greek myth about the Minotaur and the guy who killed him, the name will be explained. It was very cool, there was a place where you could go bungee jumping, a couple of the guys went to go check it out, but it was closed still. I finally found some playing cards there (for those of you who don’t know, I collect playing cards from all over the place).

The entrance to the castle

next to the bigger hill

Then we headed to Agamemnon’s castle. He was the Greek general in the Trojan war. I never like him in the story because he is the guy who sacrificed his daughter to Poseidon so that they would have safe and quick travels over the see to Troy. For those of you who didn’t know about that part of the story, no worries, his wife found out and after the Greeks won the war and came back to Greece, she killed Agamemnon. Anyways, whether or not you like the story, this is where the dude lived. It was a very cool castle, although, not as large as you would have thought. Where is placed was very interesting, you would think that it would be placed on the highest hill in the area, but no. They used the larger hill to protect them from the elements, it also had a river coming down to the smaller hill, so the residents didn’t have to worry about water shortages. The entrance I believe is important for art students. It is suppose to be a picture of lions (they think) but the heads, which might have been made of special metals were either destroyed or stolen. The lions symbolized power.

the grave site

There also was a very important archeological discovery here. We learned a lot about them by seeing how they buried their dead. This is a huge grave that included something like 15 (ish) people. There was a lot of precious metals and jewels buried there too. The first person to find some of the graves in the area was a billionaire who was treasure hunting. He did not find this one though, since this one was not dug into a hill, but instead under the ground.

a courtyard (sorry for the slant)

Here is a little picture of what the place might have looked back when it was used. This is one of the courtyards, and probably the most intact part of the castle, excluding the walls. It was fun checking out all the rooms and figuring out how they found water and that sort of thing. We found this one doorway that was missing the rope to tell you not to go down into it. It was a staircase that went down. And it went down a really long way, it was pitch black and there were bugs flying around, so it was a little growty, but it was still really fun.

Hey everyone. I am waiting on a couple of friends to give me some pictures and then I will tell you about yesterday, otherwise don’t expect a whole lot until about Monday, I have my first test coming up and I don’t want this to distract me. Love for all!

P.S. You’ll have to wait one day longer, our test was moved because of the Independence Day!

Since there is a pool right next to the dinning area and the beach right across the parking lot, we spend a lot of time in the sun. I like to do my homework next to the pool and a couple of the guys go swimming in the ocean for exercise. They said that they would make sure to take me some time (I didn’t learn a couple things well enough in first year Greek, so I’m trying to catch up, which takes up a lot of my extra time). Here is something they found while snorkeling.

sea creature

Tomorrow we go to Corinth. I still am unable to use the camera I have, but I have been promised that the charger is coming. So I will have to rely on the pictures of others until then. Sorry everyone 😦

Athena will protect

Athena the Maiden

Athena Protected (with Greg)

the minnie temple for Poseidon

Today was a good day full on studying in the sun next to the pool. Here is some more about the Athens and Acropolis trip though. After we checked out Athens we walked up to the Acropolis, which wasn’t much of a hike (remember it had to be accessible to average joes of the time). When we got there our tour guide told us why Athena was so important to the Greeks of Athens. Mythology says that Athena is the only goddess who did not have a mother, she came from Zeus’ head, so she is the goddess of wisdom. She came by Athens and she touched the highest hill, and where she touched there sprouted an olive tree. This is important to the Greeks, because olives and olive oil were necessary for everyday life. She was also the only maiden (or virgin) goddess, so that was significant too. Also, Athena is suppose to be a protector goddess. The Greeks, after their economy got better and they started to have more of a middle class (this is before Christ), the first elected guy decided to build a temple for Athena (which is where Athens got it’s name from). This was really smart on his part because it gave the poor good work, and he paid them well, and this helped to establish the middle class. Anyway, they made multiple temples. The first you come to is the temple of Athena Protects which was there to remind the people that they had a protector. Right now it is under construction so that it will not fall apart during the next earthquake. Then when you pass through the gates you see two temples. The temple to the right was for Athena the Maiden. This was the most beautiful of the temples and had 47 columns (in comparison to the temple for Zeus with 104 columns). It had the most skilled craftsmen working on it and the decorations were of the best quality available. (These decorations were later stolen by some European art collector and then sold to the British museum after almost being destroyed by weather.) Then after the Greeks had been attacked by the Persians, twice, and survived both attacks (the second meant  to destroy the Greeks altogether), they built a temple because Athena Protected. Off to the side of this smaller temple was a little area for Poseidon, the god of the sea. He was important to the Greeks (yet not comparable to Athena) because after every hardship they had, their fishing industry brought them up and back into working order (like it is doing right now).

These are just a couple of the fun facts I learned while at the Acropolis. Everything I’ve said is from memory, so I may have some of it mixed up, but don’t worry, cause as soon as I get home I plan to research Greek history some more, so then I can answer any questions you ever have about Greek history.