Saturday, June 30, 2007

It Was a HOT Day in Athens!

57_3 One week ago today I was hiking up the trail to the top of the Acropolis in Athens, Greece. To say I was grateful to be there is an understatement. However, it was 110 degrees, and, as you can imagine, it was all stone and no shade! What a fascinating experience, though, and I totally enjoyed learning more about the Acropolis from our knowledgeable guide, Dorothy, who explained that it is the most significant reference point of ancient Greek culture, as well as the symbol of the city of Athens itself because it represents the apogee (highest point) of artistic development in the 5th century BC. During Perikles' Golden Age, ancient Greek civilization was represented in an ideal way on the hill and some of the architectural masterpieces of the period were erected on its ground.

Templeofzeus01sm_3After the tour of the Acropolis, we proceeded to the Temple of the Olympian Zeus, and the Olympic Stadium. Later in the afternoon, still reeling from the incredible heat, we checked into our hotel, the Athens Hilton. The hotel is what I would call Swedish/Modern design and sort of out of place in Athens. However, it was air conditioned and the view of the Acropolis from our room was unforgettable! It was way past lunchtime by then and we were starving so we set out with friends to find a restaurant with Greek cuisine rather than Hilton cuisine. Fortunately, we stumbled upon the Agora Restaurant where I had the best sandwich: wonderful bread filled with fresh tomato, crisp cucumber, a thick slab of feta cheese, capers and Greek olives, drizzled with a bit of olive oil and a dash of vinegar. What’s not to like? Coupled with the restaurant’s wonderful house wine and our jovial friends, I can say the entire meal was very memorable. It is interesting, though, that of all the memories of the day, being so darned hot on that hike of the Acropolis is what I remember most!

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