sun spots in ancient greece

I'm rereading The Iliad (for the bazillionth time) in one of my classes this quarter and every mention of Mycenae makes me think of the time I actually got to visit the site when I was in Greece two summers ago. It's weird to think that this place was a palace- Agamemnon's home while he ruled over the Achaeans and the home he left for 10 years during the battle of Troy* (so the stories say, anyway). I know the photos might not look like much, but being here after learning their ancient history was nothing short of amazing.

lion gate
another sweet, friendly stray
grave circle a
treasury of atreus

This last photo is of the stray dog we found in the Temple of Atreus. We affectionately named her Argos (after Odysseus' faithful dog in The Odyssey).

*No matter how many times I read The Iliad, I always picture Achilles as Brad Pitt.

if you never did, you should

{this post is dedicated to jodi's "if you never did" photo contest. she has a blog full of adventures and for this contest, you share a photo of your favorite adventure and a story/explanation of it.}

i posted this string of photos back in july, during my summer study abroad trip to greece. after being stuck in busy athens for several days, we took a hydrofoil to the island of aegina. we gazed at the temple of aphaia that was somehow still there, and then we had time to ourselves to explore the island.

that's when we found the perfect spot to jump in. the only thing was.. it was sort of a long way down. even though i'm a terrible swimmer, i've never been one to shy away from heights. after letting a few friends jump in before me, i was ready. so ready. it was only at the very moment that i lined my toes up with the edge of the cliff that the butterflies started.

but i jumped.

and it seemed like forever before i hit the water but when i did, it was

warm and glorious.

and this is how i'll always remember greece.

sure, it's an ancient land with arguably the oldest civilization: temples and philosophers and art.

but it's also just a sample of nature's finest. it's the clearest blue water you've ever seen. it's the refreshing ocean in the heat of warm sun. it's the saltiest water you've ever tasted- so much salt that you can just float and bask and think, "

am i really here?

" and just like the moment where my toes and that cliff aligned, it still gives me butterflies.

cliff jumping


"if you never did, you should. these things are fun and fun is good." -dr. seuss

{ps - i know that your contest only calls for one photo, so if you'd prefer just one, i'd like to submit the 4th photo. especially since the little green kayak and the little black dot next to it are friends i made while in greece: jamil and chris (: }

Catching Up (Delphi)



I have something to confess. I didn't take pictures of my feet in every city, like I thought I did. And I'm really regretting it now. But here's a substitute photo.

Delphi was my absolute favorite site. I also didn't take as many photos as I wished I had, so I also regret that. This little city is in the middle of mountains or giant hills or something, so it's all stairs. Each street is one level, and to get to the next street over you have to go up or down a flight. Needless to say, my knee hurt a lot. And, as I found myself saying frequently, "Who needs a Stairmaster when you have Delphi." Anyway, here is Delphi at night. These pretty little lights were everywhere.


Here is the beautiful site. Everything is up hill, but it was so worth it.


Justine, cute as always.


I think this is the Treasury of Apollo.

I missed it on our quiz.



(haha sorry for the caps, it was a big highlight being there).


On our way to the museum, Jamie found this little guy on her foot.


The famous kouros brothers (please don't ask me their names).

They were on their way to the festival of Dionysus but their cart broke down. Their mother really wanted to go but couldn't walk because she was sick. The brothers then carted their mother over to the festival. Later, the mother went to the temple to give thanks and asked how to make her sons die the happiest men alive. The next morning they were found, like this, dead but immortalized in stone. That day was their happiest because they served their mother and the gods. (I think that's how the story goes).


Me and the view from Delphi.


Greek risotto. Delicious.


Beautiful little church.


The day before, when we went to Delphi we couldn't go to the Temple of Athena because they were doing construction. I really wanted to see it, so the morning that our bus was leaving, I woke up really early and walked down to see it myself. It was a hike, but it was worth it.


I love you, Delphi.


Catching Up (Olympia)



Olympia was a very, very small town- but here is a photo of our hotel:


It had an amazingly large swimming pool and it was so nice! I think it may have been 11 or 12 feet deep so I did a lot of diving in which is always very refreshing in the hot sun.

The site we went to visit, was of course, the Olympic ruins. Here, the ancient Olympic games were held. Even though pretty much everything left was only a a fifth of what it used to be (or not there anymore..), you could tell that this was a gigantic place. I couldn't even imagine what it would have looked like to see it as it was meant to be seen.


Here I am with a Greek tablet. The room used to be (something else) but was turned into a church, so the tablet says things about Jesus and his divinity.


These were pedestals for statues.


An Ancient Wonder of the World:

The Temple of Zeus

That single column is actually a replica, to give an idea of

what the temple would have looked like (i.e. it was huge).


Entering the stadium...


where races were held


Professor Engen, showing us the proper way to start

(my feet photo at the top is the correct positioning for your feet)


Tholos tomb


And of course, after the site we always go to the museum.

Here is a pedament:


The helmet of Militiades, the general at the Battle of Marathon.


And, funny story.

When I first flew to Athens from Philadelphia, I sat next to this guy on the plane who was an incoming college freshmen at Yale. He said he was Greek and that he went to Greece every summer to stay with his grandmother in Thessaloniki. He also fluent in Greek, so he taught me some words (which were really, really helpful) and when the plane ride ended and we got past passport control, we said good luck to one another and were on our way.

The trip continues, I go to Athens, Nauplion, Sparta, and then here, to Olympia. At the hotel, I'm walking out to lecture and I pass some people entering the hotel- one of which is none other than Marios, my 9 hour plane trip buddy. WHAT?!?!

And after that, I run into him here, at the Olympia museum.


And then I see him again at the Delphi site, completely randomly.

After I get home and post my photos on facebook, he leaves me links to his photos,

which are of the exact same places as mine, showing that we were pretty much

at the same places, just at different times.