The trip so far

Delphi Travel Blog

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Erechtheion, Acropolis, Athens

On Wednesday afternoon, I went out to meet Anne at the airport.  She was late getting in because her bag was lost, oops.  Then we had coffee at the cafe with the nice girl, and then back into the terminal.  We first met up with Alex, and hung out in the bookstore and CD store until Katrina and the group showed up.  We got onto the train into the city, walked to the hotel, and then we dragged the kids out to a souvlatzidiko in Pl. Monastirakiou.  It was drizzling a bit, and we sat outside in a covered courtyard and had gyros (I have a feeling I will never want to eat another gyro after this trip is over.  To be honest, the only other time I've ever eaten them in my life was on the Orion trip last year.)  After dinner, the kids went back to the hotel and I gave them the option of coming out on an evening trip with me around the city, or to go to sleep or do their own thing in the hotel room.

Odeion of Herodes Atticus, South slope of Acropolis, Athens
  About half the kids came with me.

We saw the Kapnikarea Church, Zaxaroupoli/Syntagma Square, the exhibitions in the Syntagma Metro station, the Vouli, the changing of the Presidential Guard, the Roman bath, Hadrian's Arch, and the Temple of Olympian Zeus before walking back through Plaka and Monastiraki to the hotel.  We were all exhausted (one of the kids almost fell asleep on the street). 

Next morning (Thursday), I took the kids to the Theater of Dionysus with Anne and Cristina.  I gave them the Academic Introduction and then off to the Odeion of Herodes Atticus and up onto the rock of the Acropolis for the regular tour, although we didn't spend much time in the Museum.

Plaka, Athens
  The weather was beautiful, clear, warm, and sunny.  We finished up right on time, came down past the Kanellopoulou Museum and met up again in the same square for lunch (this time at Savvas I think it's called, you know the one from 1925 that's pretty decent).  The kids were exhausted but I dragged them to the Ancient Agora.  We started out with a basic tour and then I sent them to wander on their own to the Hephaistion.  The guard came up at one point to shoo me off of the marble.  After the kids wandered off, he asked me if I was a tour guide.  Fearing the worst, I led with the special circumstances angle.  But rather than getting thrown off the site or fined, he was fascinated with what we were doing.  He wanted to read the book, and he started translating it.
Temple of Apollo, Delphi
  We were having a great conversation -- he wanted to know all about what the kids are going to do when they graduate, about where I work in the US, about the rest of our itinerary, etc.  It seemed like the conversation was going to last all day, and I wasn't going to get to give my next lecture, but luckily some tourist started climbing on one of the eponymous heroes and my new friend Grigoris had to go scare him off, and I could get on with it.

After the Hephaistion we went down through the back field down Peiraios to the Prison where Socrates was held.  Then we walked back through the site to the Stoa of Attalos, where three of the students gave their presentations.  Then they blew through the Museum (it's okay, that museum is fun but doesn't need to be done in too much detail at this point).

South slope of the Acropolis
  Then I released my hostages; we went back to the hotel and I collapsed on the bed.  I didn't think I could get up again.  Lecturing straight from 8:00am to 3:30pm, constantly answering questions out of left field ("Did the Ancient Greeks have nukes?") and keeping the peace between the kids (Kid A to Kid B:  "You are a chronic anthropomorphizer"). 

Nevertheless, the fun never ends.  We went out to dinner at 7:00 at a place called Vyzantio.  I had no idea what Alex, Steve, and Katrina were talking about when they mentioned this place, which they were really excited about and were sure I knew.  It turns out it was a weird touristy place with their sign in Greek and Japanese, in the square down Kidathinaion St, the name of which escapes me at the moment.

Odeion of Herodes Atticus
  The one where the gypsies drive you nuts.  The food was not bad -- we had skordalia, pastitsio (I know, but ... nevermind) and wine.  We wandered back to the hotel quite late, and while the rest went to the roof garden for drinks (adults) and ice cream (kids), I passed out on the bed -- again, dressed, contacts, lights... Cristina banged on the door and I wouldn't wake up, so she had to get another key from Reception.  That's not like me, but I was pretty wiped out at that point.

I slept the rest of the night until 5am, when I woke up wide awake.  If I hadn't been here so long already I would put it down to jet lag.  I think my sleep is just generally disordered because I switched from such a pathetically sedentary life to marching a bunch of kids up hills (I am at the front of the pack, always, and that wasn't my style at CYA or ASCSA -- but I like it) and lecturing to them for hours and hours on end.

Odeion of Herodes Atticus
 

This morning I packed up my stuff, took breakfast orders, wiped out the entire inventory of both Everest and Grigoris (they order all this food and never eat it, pretty disappointing but hope never dies).  Anne and Cristina pried the kids out of bed and I sent them downstairs.  Then Katrina and Steve showed up with the vans, we packed up, and off we drove out of Athens.  After a minor mix-up around Omonoia, we got on the Ethniki out of the city towards Lamia.  We got off the Ethniki too early and were tooling along on an A4 until we finally ended up outside Thiva.

Column base on Erechtheion's north porch
  It was along this road that the rain started.  The clouds had been gathering, and it was only a matter of time.

We made it up to Delphi by 11:30, which, considering the fact that Katrina and Steve had to pick up the vans from Syngrou, we had to load up a bunch of exhausted, crabby kids, and that we managed to get lost a little bit, and of course the driving conditions were a bit messy, was not so bad.  I took the kids up to the site with Anne and Cristina while Katrina and Steve scoped out lunch, checked us into the hotel, and unloaded our bags.  We had lectures for the site up to the orchestra level of the theater.  I didn't have the heart to make the kids go up higher, but I took those who wanted to up to the top.

Erechtheion's north porch
  Then we met up with Katrina and Steve and they drove us to lunch.  We had a very good lunch but I had a bad feeling about the timing and I was right -- the Delphi Archaeological Museum inexplicably closes at 3pm, and we simply could not make it there in time.  No one seemed to mind; the kids took the opportunity to wander the three streets of Delphi by themselves.  Katrina, Anne, Cristina, Steve, and I had a meeting and then we headed out to the internet cafe that we always go to in Delphi, which is where I am right now, where I am drinking the sweetest, most syrupy frappe ever. 

Tonight we're having a Group Meeting to go over some Rules that have Not Been Followed.  Tomorrow we are going to try to leave early.  I kept hinting to Katrina that I want us on the road at like 6am but that's not happening, so we're shooting for 7am.  If we can't do both Olympia site and museum, I'm taking them to the Museum.  I'm hoping the weather system dumps all the precipitation today and tomorrow so that we can drive through Arcadia in peace.

All my carefully laid plans vis-a-vis technology are not working out because I don't have my camera USB cord, and the computers here are not reading my jump drive with all my files.  Oh well.  Things are complicated enough, so I'm not worried about it.  However, I have been taking a lot of photos.  I have to admit that it is very hard to find angles at the Acropolis, Agora, and Delphi that I don't already have 15 photos of.  The students were asking me if I had any photos of Delphi in the rain, and I said no, so they said I should take a bunch so I could compare Delphi in the rain to Delphi in the sun.  All right then. 

Today at lunch, I drew a map of Greece on the tablecloth and discussed future itineraries for future trips with Katrina.  She wants Meteora; I want Mani; we didn't discuss it but I know we both want Crete.  Lots of good stuff ahead.  It's hard to remember to call Katrina "Ms Budde" but it's worth it because the kids call me "Ms Broome-Raines," which is definitely going to give me nightmares.

Today we were paying the Delphi hotel bill and I was asking the guy at the desk (in Greek) why he gave us a bunch of doubles and only one triple, when we reserved some of both; it messed us up, because we had to split up Steve and Katrina; K. and I are rooming together and Steve is with one of the students.  He gave an explanation, and asked if it was okay.  I said "well we have females and males and we don't want them mixing."  His response:  "Let them mix, sounds good to me."  I said "Yeah, and then we have to be responsible for the results."  Then he said:  "What could be more natural...?"  Blech.  Katrina is convinced he was flirting with me.  She later told me that during this exchange (she didn't understand the words, so she was watching the faces and expressions) he was flirting with me and I was blushing (neither of which I believe) and also that she was trying to see if he was wearing a ring.  We are only going to be here for one night, but she does know I'm exhausted, and I guess she is trying to set up some relaxation for me later on.  Either that, or she (rightly) wants her honeymoon suite back.  I guess I'll have to fill you in on that tomorrow or so (don't hope for much though, I wasn't taking part in the supposed flirtation).

Anyway, Grigoris at the Agora was much cuter (if you discount the fact that his hair was basically all white).

Ok, it's dinner time.  I'm still stuffed from lunch, and now we have to force-feed the little ones. 

Love, Heidi

sylviandavid says:
wow... what an adventure.... it's amazing you got those kids going at all....
Posted on: Feb 06, 2011
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Erechtheion, Acropolis, Athens
Erechtheion, Acropolis, Athens
Odeion of Herodes Atticus, South s…
Odeion of Herodes Atticus, South …
Plaka, Athens
Plaka, Athens
Temple of Apollo, Delphi
Temple of Apollo, Delphi
South slope of the Acropolis
South slope of the Acropolis
Odeion of Herodes Atticus
Odeion of Herodes Atticus
Odeion of Herodes Atticus
Odeion of Herodes Atticus
Column base on Erechtheions north…
Column base on Erechtheion's nort…
Erechtheions north porch
Erechtheion's north porch
Delphi
photo by: EmyG