The Mycenians

Trip Start Jan 07, 2007
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Trip End Apr 02, 2007


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Friday, February 16, 2007

Today we turned the clock back further and set out to get to know the Mycenians. They lived somewhere around 15th century BC and set up two major cities: Mycenae and Tyrins. We visited Tyrins first, which basically was the remains of a huge wall and smaller walls that rose up to our waist that used to define rooms. A few of us were able to find a corridor, which still had the roof intact. We then headed off to Mycenae and visited the Citadel and the Tholos Tomb. The Citadel was set in yet another gorgeous mountainside in an easily defendable position. The highlight is at the entrance, where the Lion's Gate still stands proud and well defined (I am very surprised that they haven't replaced it with a replica, but I am glad that they have not). Great stuff to look at, to walk around and experience.

The coolest part of the day was the Tholos Tomb. This tomb was dug into a hillside and hollowed out, then masonry was built up to create a beehive shape that still supported the hill, yet hollowed it out with stonework. The tomb was probably 50-60 feet high and in great condition, complete with haunting acoustics. I asked our tour guide if the Mycenians got any tips from the Egyptians and she said they were allies, which I had never heard before.

Seeing all the stuff from the Mycenians made me appreciate Egypt all the more. While the Tholos tomb and the Lion's Gate were impressive, they are not even in the same league as the pyramids, the royal tombs, or anything else Egypt was throwing out there. This probably had to do with the Mycenians having more enemies and having to worry about war, but to think of Egypt being able to develop a pyramid earlier than Mycenae is staggering.

We also went to a vineyard to take a tour because Grant thought it would be a nice change of pace. No Toto, I'm not in an Adventist school anymore.

Let me tell you, it is strange having classmates drink and then proceed to talk about it to the professor the next day. This is so... against everything I have been used to on these kinds of trips.

A funny story about today, we have hired a bus driver for four days to drive us around Pelopenesus (spelling is wrong, sorry). His name is Michael, and he isn't the sharpest crayon in the box. Well, bus drivers have a very limited set of responsibilities: know the way, get there on time safely, and don't run out of gas. Well, we were driving along and all of a sudden we start going slower, and slower, and slower until we come to a halt. Michael instantly tells us that something is wrong with the engine and opens up the hood. We heard no noise, just a little bit of shaking as we slowed down. Michael tells us, "A hose has been disconnected, I am sorry." Grant and Chad (a classmate) head out to see if they can help in the complicated procedure of reconnecting a hose. Michael gets this weird look in his eyes and tells them, "See, it is leaking back there!"
"Back where?" Chad asked.
"Back there, we need to call someone," Michael answered dismissively.
Chad and Grant couldn't see anything, but kept looking as Michael flagged down a drive who tried to tow us with a rope that seemed to have the tensile strength of dental floss. We got two feet before it snapped (we all saw it coming) then Michael bolted out of the bus and jumped in the van in front of us, then returns later, trying to sneak something behind his back. It's a freakin FIVE GALLON GAS CAN!!!! He had run out of gas and put up a front and blatantly lied to us all about the fact that he was just a doofus and forgot to fill up with gas. Grant and Wayne decided to help him pour it in, but it certainly was funny to watch him try and fill it up without us noticing. Ahhhhh, Greece!
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