Thought I may grab your attention on that!
You thought it would be doom and gloom, didn’t you? Far from it!
It is no earth shattering revelation that we love Athens. I do hope it is also no earth shattering revelation that we are also realistic! We always work on the premise of “Would we put our school girls in that situation?” Answer? No problem.
Subtext? Is Kleon running the show? Would Aristophanes make a good Red Top Editor? We all know the answers…
Yes, Louganikos the riot dog has passed into the canine Elysian Fields. Yes, the once incredibly ‘posh’ Tourkoliminos now sells kebabs and chips. Yes, there is the occasional “Zed is not Dead” graffiti. Yes, there is undoubtedly personal privation.
Despite the fear of reprising Jimmy Callaghan’s “Crisis? What Crisis?!”- for Tourism however – it is a brilliant time: and I am not being flippant here. Hoteliers, Taverna and Coach Owners (and families) etc are going overboard to make ‘us’ feel even more welcome. Athens is positively heaving with Pacific Rim Tourists en route to Mykonos, Santorini etc…
The obvious archaeology is obvious! What about Drama? Off the beat archaeology? Technological archaeology?
ANCIENT PATHOS is a totally BRILLIANT Theatre Group who offer Ancient Drama Performances, Set Text Studio Sessions (six months notice, fair play!), Costume and Mask Workshops. These guys are passionate! Nice café too!
Karagiozis Shadow Theatre Puppet show at your Hotel? Just ask.
What the heck is Technological Archaeology? Have you not heard of Hellenic Cosmos? Mathematical Study Internet Café, 3D experience ‘flying’ to the top of Temples? Interactive Agora Tour? You will of course be sensible and book a session for your linguistic requirement.
Off the beat Archaeology? Where does one start? An obvious one is look below the walk way as one enters the New Akropolis Museum – many don’t! Metro Stations of Akropoli and Syntagma abound with remains in situ. Pnyx and Koile near ‘Socrates Prison’, Sanctuaries to Zeus, Pan and Kallirhoe Spring. Acharnean Gate and extensive remains of walls, graves and housing in Plataea Kotzia. If you walk down via the Temple to Olympian Zeus and keep your eyes peeled you may find the Pan Sanctuary by Aghios Foteine – in the open and thus rain worn; but if the sun’s at the right angle you might just catch the ithyphallic cult engravings. This is of course en route to Nos 1 Cemetery and Schliemann’s Tomb – a perfect intro to Kerameikos as was. The Père Lachaise Cemetery may weep in green faiery envy if it were not for their oft coveted Jim Morrison epigraph.
En route to/from the Airport don’t just think of Sounion and Thorikos with unique rectangular theatron and ergasterion…think also of the Temple of Apollo Zoster, in 5* Hotel Astir, Vouliagmeni. The priest house, temple reclamation and consolidation are a huge credit to those concerned; and thought provoking re Delos, Artemis and Herodotos VII. Hotel Clients may well pass the archaeology in contented oblivion en route to tennis courts and private beach but management were well chuffed we recognised their archaeological accomplishments. Neolithic housing, defensive walls and quarries are still to come…but, as always, be polite – entrance was (and always will be) a privilege!
The ‘Old Courtesan’ (as is Athens to me) is an Old Girl who keeps on giving; and she has a lot to give!!!
No problems with ATM’s either! All full…thank goodness we didn’t go to Germany!