Archive for the ‘Greece’ Category

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Metro Museum

January 8, 2012

Posted by Kanga.

showcase wall showing excavated levels and graves

Here is another metro train station museum. This is at Syntagma Station. A long section of wall recreates the layers of excavation showing several graves throughout the years.

showcase wall showing excavated levels and graves

glass cases containing artifacts and pottery

Several showcases display pottery, oil lamps, and  grave stones.

clay oil lamps in a showcase

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Saint Sunday Chapel

January 6, 2012

Posted by Kanga.

small stone chapel

This lovely little chapel is in the Central Market area. We visited it twice. Once on our own and again with our food tour guide.

inside of the chapel

It is quite lovely inside with paintings of the saints.

ceiling with golden halos of the saints

The soot from the candles burnt over the years has obscured the paintings on the ceiling so that only the golden halos show clearly now.

box of sand with small taper candles stuck in it

Nearby, was a shop with religious supplies that the average Eastern Orthodox Christian might need. (I did not take a picture, sorry about that.) The wares consisted mainly of candles of various sizes, including some that can be purchased by the foot, as well as pictures of the saints. What was really interesting was the bins of seeds and grains. It is traditional to cook up a special mix of seeds and grains to be eaten after a funeral. So, there were bins of these and cloth bags that one could put them in.

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Basement Taverna

January 3, 2012

Posted by Kanga.

bearded man sitting next to a large wine barrel

You may remember the basement taverna from our food tour post. Nothing would do, but DaddyBird had to go back and have another meal there before we left Athens. We got a cozy little table right next to the wine barrels. The owner makes his own wine in these barrels. DaddyBird says it is the best retsina wine.

plate of yellow mash with lemon, peppers, olives and onions

A reprise of the fava mash (actually made with yellow lentils, we suspect).

a bowl of vegetable stew and a bowl of chick peas

We didn’t really order anything. They recognized us from two days before and automatically brought the fava mash, chick peas and vegetable stew. He asked if we wanted fish, but we had more than enough, so declined it.

open basement door and the kitchen area

Here’s a glimpse of the doorway and the kitchen area. The menu is limited – just three hot items, fried fish, and bread. We saw a variety of clients, from old Greeks to blondes in leopard print coats.

This is a gem, well worth a second visit.

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More Athens Street Art

January 2, 2012

Posted by Kanga.

graffiti that states waltz gigi with a face with a mohawk hairdo

Waltz, Gigi?

graffiti of a graffiti artist wearing a gas mask while painting the word fear

Fear is a prominent theme.

graffiti green faced guy wearing a skull and cross bones hoody carrying an orange club

I’m fairly certain that the guy above is about to beat up the guys below.

graffiti - two big headed smiley guys with balloons

They are just too, too happy.

graffiti of a man in a suit with caption waiting to die is a bitch

This one is a serious downer, but the technique is interesting.

painting of a blue girl on the side of a building

A rather ambitious, large scale piece.

graffiti incorporating a photograph of a girl in a hat

A cheery smile in an alley.

stenciled graffiti of a priest holding a bag of money and giving the finger

An economic/religious statement.

graffiti of a green monster saying argh

ARGH!

school covered in decorative graffiti

It appears this school took the initiative to cut to the chase and invite artists to paint the building rather than waiting to see what might appear randomly.

graffiti stating merry crisis and a happy new fear

An economic holiday greeting.

graffiti that looks like a quick response computer code

This last one is especially for Rupert. Can you read it?

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Lucky Dogs

December 31, 2011

Posted by Kanga.

black lab dog sleeping against a street lamp

When in Instanbul, we saw many stray dogs, all of whom had tags in their ears. They were all large dogs and all well behaved and friendly.

grey dog sleeping under some graffiti

This is the case in Athens as well. Our food tour guide told us that the dogs are collected, neutered and vaccinated before being released. They all seemed to be healthy and well fed. Shop and property owners allow them to take shelter out of the rain.

white dog sleeping on marble steps

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Athens, Greece: Day Thirteen

December 29, 2011

Posted by Kanga.

golden lion head

We finally got to the National Archaeological Museum during open hours. It is always interesting to see ancient artworks and how finely detailed they sometimes are. This lion and bull are from royal graves in Mycenae ca. 16th century B.C. (approximately 3500 years ago)

a long horn bull's head, golden horns, golden nose and a golden flower on it's forehead

DaddyBird got to hang out with Poseidon.

large marble statue of the god of the sea

I found this fellow below compelling. This is part of a full size sculpture of a philosopher. He was found in a shipwreck. Only the bronze bits survived. Just imagine the artist spending numerous hours/days/weeks/months creating this, but before it can be installed in its intended display place, it goes down with the ship. If only the artist could know that over 2000 years later it would be one of the most photographed items in a museum. I sat and watched as others came through the doorway, saw him and immediately pulled out their cameras.

bronze sculpture of a bearded man's head

How many tries did it take to get a picture of this horse and rider without someone walking through the picture? At least four. It is a rather amazing piece.

They don’t seem to be able to make up their mind whether this is Zeus throwing a lightning bolt or Poseidon throwing his trident. Since the weapon is missing, there is no clue.

large bronze sculpture of Zeus posed as if he is throwing a lightning bolt

The woman standing to the left was interesting to watch. She was almost floating around the room with a beatific look on her face.

To see the rest of the pictures, click here.

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Athens, Greece: Day Twelve

December 28, 2011

Posted by Kanga.

Sun shining through clouds over a lake

Today we hit the road. We arranged a day trip to Delphi with George, the Famous Taxi Driver. It started with pick up at our apartment at 8 am (and ended back at the same spot around 5 pm). Costas was our driver for the day.

narrow street scene

We stopped briefly in Arachova, a mountain town that serves as the happening winter vacation spot for Greeks. Quite beautiful and amazing to see it clinging to the side of the mountain.

village on the side of a mountain

A short distance beyond Arachova, we reached the ancient site of Delphi, where the Oracle of Delphi presided at the Temple to Apollo.

stone stairs

Stairs. Why must there always be stairs?

Greek ruins with an imposing mountain behind

Seeing Mount Parnassus and the view of the valley from the temple site, I was beginning to see why someone might choose this location.

valley as seen from ancient Delphi

More stairs! There was plenty of stair climbing involved, but the views were worth it all.

more stone stairs

This is the central attraction, the Temple of Apollos.

ruins of the Temple of Apollo

Above the Temple is an amphitheater. DaddyBird gave an impromptu performance.

man standing on the theater's floor

There was even more up the hill, the stadium, but time was slipping through our fingers and we wanted to make it to the museum as well, so back down the hill it was.

sphinx statue inside a museum

My personal favorite was the bull. This was originally a three dimensional, life-size bull sculpture. The center was partially wooden and clay/wax. The metal was forged and then fitted onto the form. It must have been magnificent in its day.

metalwork bull

This model shows how the buildings would have looked in their prime.

model of the temple complex

Just down the road is the gymnasium and the bath house. This bath house was the first round colonnaded building. (Notice the olives in the tree?)

ruined round building

Then we were off to the current village of Delphi for a hearty lunch (earned by much climbing of stairs.)

current village of Delphi view

The water in the distance is the Corinthian Gulf. We had a marvelous day. The weather was perfect. Costas was a great driver and very informative about the history and the area. The food at lunch was terrific, as we have come to expect here.

For the rest of the pictures taken, click here.