Thursday, June 12, 2014

A Full Day in Athens

Today was a busy day that started with an early morning. 

First we hiked up the acropolis. This is one of the most important sites in all of history. Along the way we experienced the Theater of Dionysius, the ancient hospital, and the Odeon of Herodes Atticus. As you turn the corner you are greeted by the Temple of Nike (wingless victory) and the grand entrance into the acropolis. Once inside there is no doubt that you are faced with one of the most magnificent structures to ever be built - the Parthenon (the Temple of Athena). It is a shock to stand at the foot of this giant structure and marvel at its architectural advances. Also located on the top of the acropolis is the Erechtheon - the temple dedicated to Poseidon. This structure has a porch supported by the famous Caryatids. The students had some time to hang out together at the top of the acropolis and take plenty of pictures. 

We headed down to the base of this marvelous mountain and climbed Mars' Hill, also known as the Areopagus. This is where Paul delivered his famous speech to the "men of Athens." He appealed to their religious sensibilities and to their own culture as he told them about God's immanence in the person of Jesus, the Christ. At the foot of Mars' Hill, Rev. Anna Fulmer read the passage from the Acts of the Apostles and led us in a great discussion. Then it was on to the agora. We visited the stoa which has been reconstructed and is now a wonderful museum. We walked the grounds where great philosophers, generals, and leaders of the the ancient world once walked. We saw the Temple of Hephaestus, the God of Fire (one of the best preserved temples in all of Greece). 

After a great lunch we had some time to explore the Plaka and get ready for our visit to the Acropolis Museum. This is a wonder to behold. It contains the story of Ancient Greece and the treasures of the acropolis. Many of the students remarked that they learned more from Eleni in the last two days than they had in their history classes.

This museum vist was followed by one of the best dining experiences of our lives. The scene was breathtaking, the company was perfect, and the food divine. 

Thank you for your prayers. We have a slow morning tomorrow as we prepare to head to the island of Samos. More later. 

Here are a few pictures from today. 

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