Sunday, July 12, 2009
I don't like to cite other sources, but in this case I do. As I am not a historian of the old Latin and Greece histories, I prefer to put here a brief history description of the site we have visited during our Athens visit. It is easy to find more and detailed descriptions on sites like Wikipedia, which I used for this summary.
Acropolis (Gr. akros, akron, edge, extremity + polis, city, pl. acropoleis) literally means city on the edge (or extremity). In Greek, Acropolis means "Highest City". For purposes of defense, early settlers naturally chose elevated ground, frequently a hill with precipitous sides. In many parts of the world, these early citadels became the nuclei of large cities, which grew up on the surrounding lower ground, such as modern Rome.
The word Acropolis, although Greek in origin and associated primarily with the Greek cities Athens, Argos, Thebes, and Corinth (with its Acrocorinth), may be applied generically to all such citadels, including Rome, Jerusalem, Celtic Bratislava, many in Asia Minor, or even Castle Rock in Edinburgh.
The most famous example is the Acropolis of Athens, which, by reason of its historical associations and the several famous buildings erected upon it (most notably the Parthenon), is known without qualification as the Acropolis. Although originating in the mainland of Greece, use of the acropolis model quickly spread to Greek colonies such as the Dorian Lato on Crete during the Archaic Period.
The Acropolis is a flat-topped rock which rises 150 m (490 ft) above sea level in the city of Athens, with a surface area of about 3 hectares. It was also known as Cecropia, after the legendary serpent-man, Cecrops, the first Athenian king.
We did the tour like most visitors do, I assume. We took the tourist bus, you know the one that goes around, with a spoken tour story in your headphones, two levels, and the top level in open air no roof. No problem in Athens, it was sunny, hot and dry.
I am not sure whether it is the sound quality of the earphones or that my ears are getting aged, but most of the sentences I can hear but I don't understand the message. I am customed already to this problem. Fortunately my wife is not really interested in the details and history, so I have not to explain or repeat it to her.
When we arrived in Athens, after a boat and bus tour, both took abaout 2 hours, we searched for a hotel, near to the bus square/station where we were delivered and had to depart again the next day. We found one only 100 meters away, simple, I would say 3 stars, including breakfast.
After our tour around Athens, and especially the Acropolis, we went back to our hotel, took a shower and started to contact my wife's cousine. Finally contacts were established and she went in a taxi to our hotel. We could see her from our balcony, getting out the taxi with her daughter and we started to rush downstairs to meet her, for my wife it was the first time after 30 years or so to see her again. She was not really changed.
Her daughter was a bit afraid for these new people, she has never seen before, but that changed later that evening, when we had a dinner together. Later on she even was willing to sit on my lap and we took many fotos to show what we did.