Sunday, October 26, 2014

Athens, Greece

Disclaimer: My knowledge of Greek mythology is not perfect. I relied on what I heard and read there and didn't do much research apart from checking some of the spellings. Feel free to post corrections.

The Acropolis

Over the hills but not so far away as the crow
flies, yet quite far away as the man walks.

This is the first sight you have of the Parthenon up close.
A majority of the destruction happened around 1700 when the Venetians
bombed an ammunition store that the Ottoman empire maintained inside it.
She looks much better from behind.

The Leaning Parthenon.
If you look closely at the rightmost pillar, you can make out
how it was built by stacking one block on top of other.

This is a recreation of the sculptures inside the broken triangular bit.
They weren't that damaged after the bombing but some British lord
chappie broke stuff off and took it back. No surprises there.
More on this in the Greeks Invented Everything section.

This was on the other side and suffered a similar fate.
More on this in the Greeks Invented Everything section.

This man wants to know if the earlier bather is done and whether he
can have the jacuzzi now. He makes the mistake of asking the horses,
because the horses usually say, "nay". The more experienced
customers always ask Narcissus who usually says, "aye".

I always thought that given similar strength, a man was
more compact, flexible and mobile than a centaur and would win.
This carving made me realise that the disadvantage the man has is
that it would be very hard to land a good kick on a centaur's crotch.

A recreation of the Parthenon.
It is mighty impressive for something built around 400 BC

This is a smaller temple dedicated to Hephaestus, the blacksmith god.
What the Greek had in science, they lacked in imagination.

The Temple to Hephaestus is is a good mini-Parthenon depiction.

This is a good mini-Parthenon depiction in the night.

This is a good mini-Parthenon depiction at the time of the dinosaurs extinction.

The Amphitheater of Dionysus could seat 17000 people.
It had very good acoustics. I didn't test that though, it is probably discouraged.

Human placed on the left for size reference.

The much more restored, in use currently, 14000 seater, oft
confused with the Theatre of Dionysus, Odeon of Herodes Atticus

This is called the Porch of the Maidens and in any
modern city would probably be confused for a red light area.

The Stoa of Attalos (a stoa (covered walkway) built by Attalos (or Attalus)
(a king)) now houses the Museum of the Ancient Agora (marketplace).

They rebuilt this from over 200 broken fragments.

Fart in the pool place

The Temple of the Olympian Zeus was at one time the
largest temple in Greece. It was so big that once it fell to
ruin after invasions and whatnot, the people decided to skip
rebuilding it and just took out construction material for reuse elsewhere.

Emperor Hadrian built this gate between old and new Athens.
To make it very clear, there are inscriptions on each side -
one reads, 'This is Athens, the ancient city of Theseus', the
other reads, 'This is the city of Hadrian, and not of Theseus.'
PS: I had to click the picture very quickly otherwise
Kaamya would have made good her escape.

Another victim of the global rule that any unexplained,
historical hole in ground should be decreed a wishing well.

It is ridiculously crowded and
guess who enjoyed it the most
without even paying for tickets.

The Greeks Invented Everything

This is a depiction of the contest between Athena and Poseidon for Athens.

The legend is that King Cecrops wanted someone to monitor Athens.
It was going to be settled with good old fashioned war but Athena, being
the goddess of the intellect and all that, suggested they gift the city
something and whoever had the better gift would win.

Poseidon created a sea, but it was a sea and therefore it was salty water
which people didn't appreciate so much. Athena planted an olive
tree and because it gave food and oil, people liked it better.

Athens is actually credited with inventing democracy, but at a later point in time.

Zeus lusted for Metis and, long story short, pursued her till she gave in.
Someone prophesied that Metis' child would overthrow Zeus so when Zeus
saw Metis next he, contrary to popular practice, swallowed her. Some time later
Zeus developed such a severe headache that he told Hephaestus
to split open his skull. Out of the skull sprang Athena, fully grown and armed.

I would think is a precursor to surrogate mothers and caesarian births

They started the trend of powering vehicles from the remains of dead animals,

...they were the first to laugh at Mike Tyson,

...,Game of Thrones or Godfather,

...political exile ( Ostracism ),

...randomised jury duty,

They'd pop in names of people in the slits and load a
bunch of black and white balls which would pop out one
at a time on the left. Depending on the colour, each row of
citizens would be selected or rejected.

...real estate sales strategies,

...front loading washing machines,

...Alex the lion, from the Madagascar movies,

...Voldemort the dark lord, from the Harry Potter movies,

...the bull from Wall Street,

...Whitney Houston,

...Oscar Pistorius type prosthesis,

...acne outbreaks or extreme body piercing,

...those lions from most crests in and around England,

...the graduate ceremony hat,

Trivia: These are the original ladies of the porch. They
were so dirty that they had to be removed for cleaning. They
were cleaned with what was claimed to be the most modern,
least harmful strategy which is to dampen all the dirt and
then superheat it with lasers thereby boiling the water and
breaking the dirt off of the surface.

...emo chicks,

This is actually a perfume bottle and this
chap is some athlete in exultation mode

But they copied the Sphinx,

...and they copied the Swastika.

Everything Else to Athens

"Have you seen the Alps?"
"What sort of a question is that? Of course, I have. Who hasn't?"

The Time Machine Hole.

The rest of the city hugs the Acropolis and is like a regular city.

Athens is as graffiti-ed as a peer-pressured
teenager stepping out of a tattoo parlor.

Mighty warrior Spartan king has been reduced to the name of chocolate shop.
This is what the average marketplace street looks like during the day.

This is what the average marketplace street looks like during the night.

There are lots of tortoises around.
Here is on paying a social call and waiting for the door to be answered.

The problem with art is that it is beyond commoners like me.
For all you know, this might be a clever 'wrong hole' joke.

People squeezing themselves behind phones is too big a
group of idiots now and this rod offers finer resolution.

Don't say bye. Come back again.

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