Our Athens Recce, School Travel Updates, ‘Guest Spots’ from Classicists in Athens and Abu Dhabi, Exhibitions, Fishbourne Palace ‘adopt a tessera’ scheme and more Resources.
After two years we eventually made it back to Athens! Humid with Thunderstorms; but what the heck, it was wonderful! (The following contains Twitter and Hyperlinks so please hover your mouse as you read)
Athens here we come! Can’t believe it’s been two years! Excited is an understatement! Gatwick not too bad, a tad chaotic but only because half of everything is closed and everyone is struggling with paperwork.
First rule at Gatwick….make sure you have paper copies of everything! No internet connection = huge, slow queues…..much closed but not too bad considering. Surprised at how few mask wearers – simply being told, buy one when you can!…:
We never tire of this view from Hotel Ilissos! Despite the rain we head up to Parthenon with hydromel from breakfast😇to propitiate Athena on behalf of all schools enquiring and (most importantly) BOOKING! The Concrete paths awaits!
The sun came out for Number One Cemetery, perfect introduction/comparison to Kerameikos as was….an oasis of beauty, sadness, calm & nature entered via modern Propylaea.
Lysikrates Choregic Monument remains a good coffee stop ….. with cats of course! Panathenaic Stadium (Kallimarmaro) in 35 degrees. Not used to this after previous deluge and thunderstorms. Omonia refurbishment in the sun.
Not the sophistication of 50’s & 60’s (the world has moved on) – but a definite improvement on recent years.
Hotels are very well prepared and super hygienic.
The contrast between leaving Athens Airport and arriving at Gatwick could not have been more stark. Which do you think is which?
However, to be fair, bar 45mins walk from ‘plane to Passport Control, not too bad. Queues yes, social distancing no…. but only 20 mins to clear this melee. Everyone was very patient.
For those Planning Trips in 2022 ………… You will be welcomed with (socially distanced) open arms!
Greece and Italy are far more stringent than UK in upholding C-19 Rules. They are also far more used to living within the new boundaries, so in all likelihood you will feel safer. Things certainly run more efficiently as they’ve had more practise!
There have been paperwork changes for Guiding Permit Applications in Greece and Proof of Being an Educational Establishment (to qualify for reduced Site and Museum Entry) in both Greece and Italy. Ensure you Have prepared well in advance.
Whispering Guide Headsets are mandatory at some venues – make sure you’ve alerted us to order yours!
Hotels, Restaurants, Coaches, Sites and Museums have strict hygiene protocols, please don’t make life difficult for Staff……..even if some instructions seem daunting! Even their cats are more prepared than our humans!
Rules and Regulations are mutating almost as swiftly as Covid Variants, so our strongest words of advice are CHECK, CHECK AND CHECK AGAIN!
Although the EU FINALLY Approves NHS Covid App For British Tourists remember, Apps don’t always work and often there is no internet SO PLEASE take hard copies of everything or save these documents on your smart phones!
Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) predictedglobal business travel spending to surge in 2022 with full recovery expected in 2024–ending the year on pace with the 2019 pre-pandemic spend of 1.4 trillion dollars, and a year sooner than forecast.
As a result, Hotel rooms and Flight availability are at a premium. Not only are we wanting to travel, Greeks and Italians are touring their own countries as never before!
Whilst we urge prudence and thorough planning, we also advise against complacency. Please don’t expect flights to be plentiful and cheap, nor the hotel and rooming of your choice.
Guest Slots – In an occasional feature, we have more vignettes from other Classicists which we hope will be of both interest and use! Click on the Links!
Dr Michael Loy, reveals what actually lies behind that door at the BSA! (Attachment 1)
Nothing brings you closer to the ancient world than holding it in your hands. Ancient pots weren’t made to sit behind glass cases in museums —they were made to be held, carried, poured, turned and felt. Come and hold history in your hands — and ask an expert what it’s like to dig some of this stuff up!
Jo Jakeaways reports “From Abu Dhabi to Epidavros August 2021” (Attachment 2)
To my delight, the Bacchae was being performed at the modern-day festival at Epidauros. I am especially grateful to Sarah for her firm nudges that without fail, I must go to this!!!
I spent the afternoon making this to market the trip internally and I thought you might like it if any of your clients ask. It’s just all screen grabs from the Internet. I also did this as a ‘takeaway’ handout to accompany that people may also find useful
Huge Thanks to other HoDs and experienced Trip Organisers who have offered help (either through us or Stephen at the Classics Library) to those in need of assistance and reassurance.
In other news from across the Mediterranean –
It’s always heart-warming when pupils from many decades past still remember…….I’m on Ios now. It’s like a pilgrimage after reading the Odyssey and Iliad for years
Rome, Tivoli & Ostia
i – Free Subscription to Romewise, Your Go-to Guide to Rome. If you’ve booked a trip to Rome or are planning one, staying up to date with all the latest travel news & city events is crucial to ensure you don’t miss out on any vital information!
ii – Free Subscription to Ancient Rome Live (from The American Institute from Roman Culture) to gain additional insight and invites to special online Lectures and Seminars.
iii – Stephen Kay on Twitter: “Fantastic to visit the beautifully curated newly reopened Museo Delle Navi at Portus. Great space & viewing platforms of the vessels. Huge compliments to @parcostiantica:
iv – Rome car park dig reveals artifacts to be displayed at Nymphaeum Museum. This space in Rome was meant to be a parking lot, but when engineers stumbled upon a treasure trove of artifacts from ancient Italy they decided to create a museum. It opened to the public on Nov. 6. Extensive gardens would have surrounded shaded pavilions known as nymphaeum, which gives the museum its name & 46 –Ancient Rome’s ‘pleasure palace’, where Caligula got his kicks, to open to the public
v – Rome reopens Arch of Janus after 28 years
vi – A boat ride to Ostia Antica thanks to the reopening of the Tiberino docking
vii – Rome reopens Barberini Mithraeum, an underground jewel
viii – Rome rebuilds Basilica Ulpia in Trajan’s Forum:
ix – Archaeologists Discover Concession Stand At Colosseum That Fleeced Ancient Romans 10 Denarii For Small Clay Cup Of Wine
x – Let’s explore the history of the Vatican
xi – Discovering Rome step by step: the new pedestrian tourist route from Termini to the Imperial Forums: https://www.turismoroma.it/en/news/discovering-rome-step-step-new-pedestrian-tourist-route-termini-imperial-forums
xii – AIRC Roman Culture on Twitter: “Let’s go on a walking tour of Rome’s obelisks! We’ll head north to south:
xiii – Darius Arya on Twitter: “Hadrian’s Villa / the recently restored small baths – more intimate and richly decorated than the large baths. You need to check it out on your next visit!
xiv – Villa Albani’s treasures of Roman and Greek art revealed in picture book Hidden by high walls away from Rome’s roaring traffic, Villa Albani carefully guards its collection of more than a thousand priceless ancient Roman and Greek statues, bas-reliefs, mosaics and paintings. Many modern-day Romans have no idea of the existence of the 18th-century villa, which grants only small groups of visitors a glimpse of its gushing fountains and tree-lined avenues, and remains one of Rome’s best-kept secrets
i – Pompeii Walks
a – 1st 30 minutes
b – the 2nd 30 minutes: On the way to The Lupanar (The Brothel)
ii – Pompeii unearths Room of the Slaves. The chamber survived intact as the portico held up against the volcanic ash and pumice that buried the area after the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD:
Athens and Attica
i – Micromeria Acropolitana: The Flower that Only Grows on Athens’ Acropolis
ii – Ancient Fortress at Aigosthena in West Attica Now Restored [+ Video]
iii – The Municipality of Lavreotiki (Lavrion) has initiated a nomination process for the inscription of its geopark, located on the southeastern tip of the Attica peninsula, on UNESCO’s Global Geoparks Network list
iv – ATHENS WESTERN HILLS is an archaeological and historical perambulation of the Hills through valuable testimonies depicted on early maps of Athens.
v – The Secrets of the Ancient Neighbourhood Beneath the Acropolis. “Walking in the ancient neighbourhood of the Acropolis Museum” is a tour provided by the Acropolis Museum to visitors
i – Culture Projects Get Ministry Go-ahead Including Roman Villa Loutraki, Tomb of Agamemnon Mycenae, Mycenaean road network in Argolid, vaulted tombs of Messenia, eristeria in Kyparissia, castles of Methoni and Koroni
ii – Tour Ancient Olympia Virtually from Home Via
a – New Digital Platform created by the Athens Macedonian News Agency, working with a team of Greek archeologists as part of Microsoft’s “AI for Good” Corporate Social Responsibility program
b – Ancient Olympia and its Games Come to Life via AI Program
iii – Ancient Corinth as you’ve never seen it before. Temples under the night sky time lapse.
iv – Virtual tour of the Achilleion Museum and the Diros Caves
v – A tour of Mycenaean Tiryns – It’s All Greek To Me
Saloniki & N & W Greece
i – The Greek Ministry of Culture and Sports is proceeding with the construction studies of the outer shell at the burial monument of ‘Kasta Tomb’ and the visit routes to the archeological site of Amphipolis
iii – New Archaeological Museum of Messolonghi Ready to Open
iv – Archaeological Site of Ambracia Western Necropolis Now Open for Visitors
i – Crete Getting Ready to Welcome New Archaeological Museum in Chania
i – Two very good episodes for a topographic taste –
ii – Some location suggestions from Goran “We haven’t yet used in our program, but which might be of interest to your Teachers for the future. You’ll have to use Google Translate”
iii – Work on the little theatre in Pula continues apace
ii – The Vindolanda Archaeological Leather Project update
iii – Monitoring Environmental Changes at Roman Magna
iv – New Roman Gym area opens at the Roman Baths
Step into the Roman Gym, walk amongst newly excavated remains, never-before seen by the public including a laconicum, the remains of an ancient sauna.
This new area is part of the Roman Baths visit and is included in museum entry.
vi – Roman altars reimagined in vivid colour at the Great North Museum: Hancock, Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums and Hadrian’s Wall Community Archaeology Project on Twitter: “Romans + Lasers! You can visit @GNM_Hancock for free to see our collaborative efforts to bring Roman altars to life!
i – Work at the Amphitheatre of Pergamon in the 2021 Campaign – Pergamon Micro-Region
i – 40 – 3D digital reconstruction of Żejtun Roman Villa Malta, launched
For Additional Resources – Attachment 5 – Asterion (Neurodiversity in Classics), Amarantus and his Neighbourhood, Venus Cloacina JSTOR, How to make a Clay Tablet, Vindolanda Trust, Roma Ieri Oggi Website, Building the Via Appia and Juan de Lara’s amazing ‘Temple Illumination using 3D physically-based rendering’ Lecture and “Shattering the Myth of Spartan Warrior Supremacy”
Check out a selection of Live Exhibitions in Attachment 6 – Greek Science in London, Mycenae in Cambridge, ancient childhood in Florence to Cambridge, Hippalektryon and Ultimate Beauty in Athens
As Term winds down ……
As you doubtless begin to contemplate yet another showing of Troy,Gladiator, Spartacus, Ben Hur or Herc to ever diminishing classes of exhausted pupils, you’ll be thrilled to know another can soon be added to your stockpile as Francis Coppola is preparing a Catiline Conspiracy Epic ‘Megalopolis’ Movie with all-star cast!
Meanwhile, why not add a little spice by adapting A Drinking Game for Classics-Themed Films?
Alternatively, consider supplementing Homer revision with Romantic Red Flags in “The Iliad”
Red Flag 1: He uses you as an excuse to declare war on Troy (2.586-590)
Red Flag 4: He sends you into battle wearing his armour (16.64-73)
Red Flag 7: He drags a dead body around the town as a coping mechanism
Also, as you compile your Xmas Gift List whilst singing along to an album of ‘Roman music’ don’t forget Dr Cora Beth’s The Classical Christmas Gift Guide 2021, idle musings Classicist’s Gift Guide 2021, Classical Compendium’s Roman Fascinus necklace and of course the COVID Curse Tablet Rolling Pin!
“To the God Aesculapius: we have lost our health and given half to Aesculapius. Among those who are silly do not guarantee health until their face is covered.”
The ultimate gift of course has to be the opportunity of adopting tessera from Fishbourne Roman Palace!
“WE DID IT!! We actually set up an adoption scheme for tesserae! So, give us a call, and adopt your own pet tessera. We’ll send you a massive thank you and a pic of your new pal (*complete with googly eyes*). This is the only Christmas present anybody ever needs! “
Finally, if your intention during the Holidays is to prepare Schemes of Work or plan for an Inspection, remember to stay positive with Socrates –
Have a super Christmas and New Year – here’s to 2022!
Sarah, John and all at
Hellene School Travel
Tel: 01342 324727