Saturday, September 17, 2011

Athens Museums and Agora

After a delicious sleep-in (travelling is hard work!) we walked up to the National Archaeological Museum and spent a mind-blowing few hours ogling their treasures.  The displays ranged from the 7th millennium BC to the 5th century AD (Neolithic, through the Bronze Age, the Cretan culture, the Mycenaeans, the Archaic Era, the Golden Age, the Roman era) and even some 5,000 year old Egyptian artifacts.  Each epoch was represented by pottery of increasing complexity and size, as well as figurines or statues.  Dazzling stuff.

In a new display area, I mistook the No Pictures icon for a No Flash icon and injudiciously snapped an item.  A huge guard explained that the display had not been officially shown to the press yet, so they didn’t want pictures leaking out.  I could however write about it in my blog if I chose.  When I promised to do so, I was dragged back through the exhibit and treated to a fractured, heavily accented discourse on the significance of the items already seen for what seemed like 10 minutes before we could make good our escape.  No Pictures means No Pictures.

National Archaeological Museum, Athens

Bronze Zeus about to hurl a thunderbolt

500BC bronze horse and jockey.  Makes modern art look a bit talentless, doesn't it?

Gold Mycenaean death mask once thought to be that of King Midas

Marble Venus, Eros and Pan

Peripatetic Roman Emperor Hadrian's Library

The Acropolis from the Agora or ancient market

Stoa (sheltered walkway or porch) of the Agora museum

After a light lunch in the museum cafeteria and a stroll through their atrium, we visited the gift shop and returned to the 34C streets.   Reggie tracked down a Metro entrance and we dove down six sets of escalators to the train heading towards the ancient agora or marketplace near the Acropolis.

Surprisingly (to Paul) we got there without incident, meandered through the Agora and took in the Agora Museum located in a nearby stoa.  More pots, etc., but at least it was cool.  Now exhausted, we collapsed into chairs at a tiny, nearby sidewalk cafĂ© for a cold drink and a rest before braving the return Metro trip and arriving back at the hotel at 5:30.  An epic day.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Folks!

    Athens! Wow! Paul must be in 7th heaven! As would I be...!

    "Dragged back through the display..."? .... Uhhh.... I see a lawsuit in your future.... hellooo....!

    Anyway - I'm a big Midas nut! So, thanks for the blog...!

    Cheers and Love!