Last night Alison and Brent and I planned to meet in the hostel at 10am; since it was 945 and I’m too antsy I went up to their room to see if they were ready; not quite. We headed to grab breakfast to eat as we walked to the Acropolis Museum, The building is a stark contrast to the ancient relics that it houses; three floors of sparkling clean glass, aluminum, luminous openness with touches of cool grey concrete.
I bought a multi ticket, for 12 Euros, which I could use to get into several sites, the museum wasn’t included so I was upset about having to spend 6 Euros on a ticket. Brent had to pay full price, Alison got a 3 Euro ticket with her student id, so I felt better and then when I presented my Spanish resident card she said, “you don’t pay since you “study “in the E.U.” FREE ENTRY!!!
There were tons of eroded, cracked and mended statues and little votives of clay, stone and bronze. There was a cool little display of hammers and chisels that would have been used to work the stone. Down below they had a piece of marble that one of the museum workers has hammered and chiseled with each tool to show its effects. Museums are cool but I can only take so much; I am a hands person; an “experiential-kinesthetic learner”. Of course I am not going to touch those statues from 400 BC but this display seemed like it was meant to touch and of course a docent comes charging across the museum grunting that you can’t touch… too late isn’t it?
When we got to the second floor Brent had a great idea; instead of paying 4 Euro for a poster of the Floor plan of the Parthenon we would take the placemats from the museum’s restaurant. Their placemats were actually cooler than the poster since they had a yellow background, not white. We walked across the café towards a hostes’s table, where there was a stack of the placemats. I grabbed one and tried to head out the side door which leads to a terrace area. The door handle didn’t move, the door didn’t open outwards like one would intuit, there were three Asian girls being real loud behind me, drawing attention. Luckily no one cared or was paying attention; we all three have a cool yellow and white poster now.
Alison takes super long to go through museums, rightfully so. Brent and I are so much alike it was funny we were both more interested in the building and how it worked structurally than we were in the statues. I WAS DECIEVED YESTERDAY; there are these ladies that serve as columns on one of the temples at the Acropolis, called Caryatids. I had seen them in books then thought I saw them in real life but the real ones are actually in the museum being restored. They have them all on exhibit where you can see a guy cleaning them with some type of laser. While Alison finished inspecting the second floor we went up to the third floor and walked about 10 steps then both of us at about the same time were struck by what we saw. The architect was so cleaver in disguising what he had done; you can’t tell from the outside you can’t tell from the floors below, but on the third floor the architect recreates the Parthenon in modern terms on a 1:1 scale. The Freezes and many other elements from the Parthenon have all been put on display, taking their corresponding seat in their sleek new, “Parthenon”.
We had to go back to check out some ruins that we couldn’t get into last night; there was this 50-75’ tall column that had fallen over and remained where it fell in a domino like fashion… it was an incredible sight, imagine the sound and sight of it come down! Seeing it up close was worth trecking back to it plus we got some cool photos which I hope they post up so I can steal them, (I got a few of my own). After parting ways with what I thought was an even more beautiful site than the Parthenon we headed back to the hostel so I could grab my bags. I figured I needed to head out of Athens to the airport by about 1… no problem, my Ipod said 12:30, so I have time to go wander around and look for a few trinkets with them before I have to head out.
When I get back out of the hostel Alison asked me what time my Ipod says which I know isn’t a good thing. I forgot my Ipod is on Madrid time (one hour behind Athens), so I parted ways in a rush and hustled off to find the bus stop.
Airport Fiascos are starting to feel like a regular occurrence; Greek is the first language of communication around here, which I actually like, although I don’t understand. I told the lady English or Spanish and she asked if I have any liquids. I said shampoo and toothpaste which I shouldn’t have shown her because technically it isn’t a liquid… there goes about 4 euros worth of toothpaste. The issue of the shampoo still remained since I couldn’t find it in my bag so I had to pretty much unpack to find it then she says OK it’s good. Off with belt and that whole ordeal. I get patted down and go to recover bags. Can you open your bag please… He digs through stuff… can you open that part digs through more stuff pulls out small cans of tuna and shakes them to ear [I travel with food so I don’t have to spend money on airports overpriced food and if I need a snack while I am out and about]. Guy OKs my bag then asks me to open my laptop, flips it over looks at the battery… thought he was gonna ask me to take apart the battery but I think he thought it didn’t have a detachable battery.