Day 5: Athens and the Acropolis

Today we spent time in and around Athens looking and the rich history that is present there.  In the morning we stopped by the Panathenaic Stadium, where the first modern Olympic game was held in 1896. It is the only stadium in the world that is built with completely with marble. In 2004, when the Olympic Games finally came back to Athens, the government rebuilt the stadium and used it as a field for archery and track and field.

Later on, we went to the Acropolis, which is one of the most well-known tourist attractions in Athens. It was originally built to defend enemy. We saw theaters and heritage of the temples to ancient Gods such as Athena, Zeus, and Posedian. Some of them were destroyed during a war with the Persians, but it does not impact the Acropolis to be the most spectacular site today.

– Tim K. ’19

Today we went to see the central part of Athens to see the Acropolis and learned about the time period these pieces of archeology were built in. On our way to the Acropolis, we saw older buildings that had been under construction or left unfinished. We later found out that these buildings and restoration efforts by the Ministry of Culture had been postponed due to the economic crisis that has hit Greece in the last ten years. This caused there to be a halt to the renovations because the country just doesn’t have any funding to support all of these projects. As of now, the country Is still struggling to pull itself together after the crisis. Once we arrived at the Acropolis we saw all the structures that were built in ancient Greece. The Parthenon was one of the most significant buildings we saw as it was rich in history from that time period. The word acropolis means the highest point in the city, Acro meaning high, and polis meaning city. From our point at the Acropolis we could see all seven hills that make up Athens, and our guide Elisabet explained the importance of each one for the ancient Greeks. So far, we have enjoyed our experience at Greece and look forward to seeing more of this country.

– Enrique P. ’19

After visiting the Acropolis and the Acropolis Museum, we walked through the old quarter of Athens to lunch. We ate lunch by Monastiraki Square one of the busiest commercial squares in the city. We then trekked back to our hotel where we met with Stavros Samouilidis, who works for the Skai Media Group in Greece. Stavros is a journalist who focuses on EU and Foreign Affairs. Stavris spoke with us about the refugee crisis and the Greek financial crisis – highlight important explanations of why these issues are important in present-day Greece. We also discussed the role of the European Union in Greece and why Stavros thinks that that body will be crucial for the continued growth of Greece. Stavros will be with us tomorrow as we travel to visit Skai’s Athens office, followed by a visit to a refugee camp.

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