Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Whirlwind Athens....

We only had one day in Athens, just like Istanbul. Unfortunately, we were not as impressed with our tour guide in Greece as we had been in Turkey, but we still managed to see some amazing sights and have a great time.

Once again, we departed hella early from the cruise ship, and boarded a tour bus headed for the city. I haven't been on tour buses this much since marching band in high school. And...I'll just let that mental picture stew for a while. Maggie in a cute little marching band hat.

And, we're back! Our first stop was the Archaeological Museum which houses artifacts dating from prehistory to late antiquity.

The Museum

Here are some of my favorite exhibits:

Fragments of grave markers from the 13th century BC. The chariot scenes are thought to have been used to mark male graves, while the geometric patterns marked female graves.

These are gold funeral masks from the Myceanean period (1600 BC to 1100 BC). The masks were placed over the faces of the dead. The second mask is the famed Mask of Agamemnon.

A golden cup from Vafeio, also from the Myceanian period. There are two of these and they depict the capture of a bull (you can see the bull on the front of this cup).

The Sphinx. You know, "what walks on all fours at dawn, on two legs at noon, and on three legs at dusk?" A man. He crawls on all fours as child, walks upright in the middle of his life, and leans on a cane at the end of his time.

The Artemision Bronze (representing either Zeus or Poseidon)

The Jockey of Artemision

Me and Kent! Looking right into the sun, of course. Not my most flattering picture. :o)

This was just a quick snapshot of the museum, but honestly, they rushed us through so fast that flipping through the pictures does a pretty good job of relating how it felt to be in there. Also, it was the only place we went where I encountered a weird toilet. It was not a hole in the ground (thank god), but it was square and basically had no seat. So I kinda had to perch on the rim. But at least it flushed, right?

Coming up next: the Acropolis!

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