Olympia and the End of an Era
Trip Start Jan 16, 2010
21Trip End Aug 30, 2010
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Where I stayed
Back in my Apartment
My trip around the Peloponnese is all over.
And Attica welcomed me warmly. After being off the bus for 30 seconds, I got some pollution in my eye. Ah, Athens, I love you, too!
It's really nice to be back, but I'll definitely miss the beauty and serenity that the Peloponnese had to offer. I've come back from a land of beautiful green foliage and polychromic flowers to a land of cold hard steel and concrete... Both have their peculiar charms, and I'm beyond excited to get some Grill and Pita tonight, but... still... It's the Peloponnese. You've got to miss it.
I apologize for not truly updating the last two evenings
Today's journey led me to the Olympia museum and the site of ancient Olympia, perhaps the most utilized pan-hellenic sanctuary in all of Greece. Every Greek citizen, likely, would have gone to Olympia at least once in their life, so it was a big deal.
To start things off with a bang, my group enjoyed the statues and other artifacts found at the site of Olympia. The museum is renowned for holding the two best examples of ancient Greek sculpture, both of which were pediments for the Temple of Zeus. Many of the pictures I took of sculpture are found on these pediments. The museum also holds two other famous statues: the Nike that Athens erected after beating Sparta in the Peloponnesian War, and the statue of Hermes holding a baby Dionysus
After staring in wonder at the sculptures, we went out into the actual ancient site. It was as you'd expect any ancient Greek site to be. Since only the bases of the walls were made of stone, all you see today are the foundations of each building and the stone columns (if it had any) that surround it. Most buildings had walls made of wood or mud brick, though, so that doesn't survive; and most of the columns in ancient sites were made of wood. Needless to say, a lot of imagination is key to enjoying the sites. I definitely love them, but they're not for everyone... As evident in many of the complaints of the group members. Heh.
Seeing the ancient site was super awesome, though
But I won.
So it's okay.
After we ran the stade, we all headed to grab some lunch and took the bus ride home for about 5 hours. It was great.
And now I'm back, horribly exhausted but so darn happy. During this trip, on each and every bus ride and at each and every stop, I realized just how inextricably linked to Greece I want to be for the rest of my life... If I'm lucky enough to have my dream of owning an ancient theatre company actually come to fruition, I won't stop at anything until each and every Aegean theater is found, excavated, and restored
I love it here...
Look what studying abroad can do to you.
Don't do it. It messes you up.
In the best way possible.
Do it. Study abroad.
Signing off, once again in my familiar apartment in busy, bustling, befuddling Athens,
Shadow "THIS ISN'T SPARTA" Zimmerman