Day 10: Tuesday, September 14: Free Morning, Plaka, City Tour, Acropolis/Parthenon
Today was our last day here in Greece. We enjoyed a leisurely morning at the hotel. We once again enjoyed the view of the Acropolis from the top floor breakfast area.
Covid Rapid Tests
At around 9:15, we all had to get our Covid Rapid test. This is required for those entering Italy (for the 15 of us) and for those flying home tomorrow. It went a bit longer than expected, but we are all thankful for negative results.
At 11 a.m., we went to the Plaka, Athens marketplace. We were dropped off right at Hadrian’s Arch (a 2nd century AD Roman emperor). We all had time walking through the shops and grabbing a bit to eat for lunch.
At 1 p.m. Stathis our driver picked us up and took us to the base of the Acropolis. This is the highlight of Athens. We walked slowly up the steps of the Propylaea (gateway/entrance) to the top. Here we saw the Erechtheion. This was the most important shrine. Athena, Posedein and Erechtos honored here.
The Parthenon is the most identifiable structure on top. It was built with 17 pillars on the long side and 8 on the short side (9 x 4 was the classic ratio). The columns are of the Doric order. It was finished in 10 years (447-438 BC). Another 5-6 years was spent in decoration. In 432 BC it was finally completed. The architects were the best Greece could offer. Phidias was one of the supervisors. 4000 people worked on the Parthenon. It was not built by slaves but rather the best. The Athena statue stood inside the temple. It was 40 feet tall. 5000 pieces of marble taken in early 19th century by Englishmen. This collection is now displayed in the British museum.
“I always wanted to see the Acropolis of Athens and the Parthenon. Today I saw it. It was a great experience. And then to stand on Mars Hill and think that Paul was here topped it off.” –Tour Member-
Rock of Aeropagus/Mars Hill
We met at the bottom of the Acropolis and walked together up to the Rock of Aeropagus (Mars Hill). This is where Paul spoke of his faith to the philosophers of the day. With the Acropolis above us and the marketplace below us, we could almost hear Paul’s words as he spoke. We read his words shared precisely at this location from Acts 17. A few of those who listened to Paul came to faith.
Flight to Rome & Naples
For 15 in the group, we drove to the Athens Airport to board our flight to Rome. Eight in the group who were not doing the optional Italy extension stayed behind at the hotel. They fly home tomorrow. The rest of us made a connecting flight to Naples. We arrived at 10:40 (and to our hotel by 11:30). We hope to get some sleep before visiting Naples and Pompeii (close by) tomorrow.
Day 11: Wednesday, September 15: Naples, Pomeii, Rome
(Those not doing the extension board their morning flight home)