Catching Up (Athens)

Athens

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well, now that i am back home i am feeling the guilt of sucking at posting during my trip. in attempts to alleviate this feeling, i'm going to post photos (and some stories) now. i uploaded some photos to facebook, but it's sort of hard to tell stories there so... i'm going to try here.

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our first class field trip to the athens archaeological museum.

[i suck at self-photos].

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this is the "mask of agamemnon," that we learned about during our first lecture. a german millionaire named heinrich schliemann was obsessed with the trojan war and spent tons of money trying to find proof that it occured. at the site of mycenae, in grave circle a, he claims to have found this, which he identifies as the "mask of agamemnon," but it's slightly unconvincing because 1- its condition was too preserved to be believable 2- the mask's mustache is almost identical to mr. schliemann's himself.

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boar's tusk helmet, such as the ones mentioned in the iliad and the odyssey :)

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artemisium zeus, made of bronze and completely free standing.

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i have to be honest and say that Athens was not my favorite city. i really loved the contrast of the ancient acropolis to the modern city, but after you get over the splendor of the parthenon, athens is just dirty. there was a small area, however, that was quaint though touristy- called the plaka. the photo above was an entry way from the hill of the muses down into the plaka.

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while walking down this entry way, i saw this written on the wall. even though i've taken 2 years of ancient greek, it is pretty much nothing like modern greek. luckily, i happened to know these two words on the spot to appreciate how wonderful this is. i think i'd enjoy graffiti much more if all of it said "i love you very much."

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when the girls and i finally made it to the center of the plaka we were starving and just looking for some place to eat. as we were passing this restaurant, this man (pictured above) says to us, "kumusta ka?" which is tagalog means "hello, how are you?" of the girls in our small group, justine, jamie and i are filipino and hearing this we were slightly shocked that a greek restaurant owner knew taglog.

after talking to him further, we found out that his grandfather was filipino so he was a quarter pinoy and he visited the philippines often growing up. along with tagalog, he also knew "English, Spanish, French, Italian, German, Dutch, Arabic, Portuguese... and a little Greek." he said he learned most of the languages going to a private school when he was younger and once you learn a few languages, all the others come easily. he also takes 4 months of vacation every year during low season and travels the world. amazing, right?

he also gave us free drinks because we were filipino :)

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who needs urban outfitters when you have the plaka to rip you off?

(all of these were 30-60 euro a pair)

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not much of a story here, just some really nice paintings up for sale along the street.

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stray cat.

one very large post to come dedicated to the strays of greece.

i know this athens post doesn't have the parthenon or any of the ancient acropolis here yet, but i'm trying to go in chronological order of my trip. so.. up next, nauplion!