Monday, June 13, 2016

Saying "Hello" to Athena

What was our adventure on the second full day in Greece? Athens!

The day started with a looooooooong walk. Even though the Acropolis is close to our hotel, we walked nearly nonstop for 5 hours. 

First stop, the birthplace of theatre. The Theatre of Dionysus. We were able to sit where the ancients sat and see the vistas they saw.

The next stop on our way to the top was the Odeion of Herodes Atticus. This is an active theater used to host musicians, operas, and musical productions. 

After this visit we turned the corner to witness the majesty of all that is found atop the Acropolis: The Temple of Nike, the Erectheion, the Parthenon, and other magnificent structures. Your mind wanders at the spectacle and beauty of it all. Pictures cannot do it justice, but here are a few to give you some highlights.

We headed down to Mars Hill, the site where Paul spoke of his strange new ideas about Jesus and the resurrection to the Areopagus - the Supreme Court of the day. Madison led us in an amazing discussion about Paul's words and the way in which he approached the religious of Athens. The students were incredibly insightful in all they shared. 

We then entered the agora, the ancient marketplace of Athens. This is where goods were bought and sold, ideas were traded, and legislation was shared. Socrates and many other philosophers taught here. And this is the location where he was sentenced to die by poison. We also walked up to the magnificent Temple of Hephaestus. It is the most complete temple of the classical era of Greece. 

Whew! Break time for lunch and getting refreshed (a well deserved shower). Then it was off to the New Acropolis Museum and small group dinners. This museum houses the original Caryatids (which held up the roof to the Erectheion) as well as many ancient treasure of the Acropolis. It also has a spectacular view of the holy hill. 

Here we are with our amazing guide, Smaro. 

What an amazing experience so far. It is unforgettable. We are prepared for our next steps along the way. 

Continue to pray that we be present. We are praying for you all as well as you grieve the tragedy in Orlando. May you find peace in the midst of sorrow. 

Thank you for your prayers. 

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