Sunday 9th July: Athens

I was going to put the timetable we all have about the trip, and then put a title to each photography. But it wouldn't be personal. I want a blog with feelings and experiences, and that's why I'm not going to put it.
When I woke up, the first thing I did was run to the window and have a look of Athens. I arrived very late in the night, and I couldn't watch it properly. And the first photography is exactly the view from the window. At first sight it seems a chaos of different-shape houses and TV parabolics, but actually that was the attractive thing: Athens is a very big city, but it also has a village smell, with Philopappos and Lycabethus hills around it, like fingers trying to scape from the water.
Then I went down to have breakfast with my roommate Andrej. I was surprised with him, because was a bit strange (actually I'm strange, too), but very soon I realized he was a very nice person and possibly a very good friend. The first breakfast was like an exam: everybody was looking at the rest of the people from the trip. I felt a bit lost, because hardly all the tables were full, but luckily I sat down with Ivan and Andrej. They started to talk in a mixture of Serbian and Bulgarian, and I was looking at them with my eyes very, very opened, trying to understand something. But I couldn't, and that gave me time to look at the other people who were sat down. Then Andrej's professor, Alex, came to the same table, and we talked a bit in English, making me feel that I was in the same planet that all the people again.
After breakfast, we all went to the bus for the first visit of the day: The Benaki's Museum. Unfortunately, I couldn't take any photo because there was forbidden. But I could take some of the beautiful entrance. There I saw (I hope all did it) some really beautiful Cicladic Art pieces. Inside that building I realized how long was it (was tiring...).

We got the bus again, and we saw some of the most important public buildings of the city, like the University, or the Syntagma Square, where the Government building is. And when we were driving by a street full of nineteen century houses, we saw the Guard Change, like in Buckingham Palace. I like more this guard change, because is more colorful and traditional (they all were dressed with a kind of typical Greek dress).

And, at last, we went to the Akropolis Archaeological site, one of the things I wanted to do before dying (now I can die relaxed!). We started to walk up the mountain. I was looking curiously to every detail, and photographing all the things I considered were important. The first thing we saw was the Atticus Herodion Theatre, a well-conserved theatre with a spectacular view of the city and the Philoppapos hill. Lot of people were taking photos of it! This photo was cut, because appeared lot of people with photo and video cameras, and it lost part of its beauty.
We continued, guided in two groups, until we arrived the Propyleus, the monumental entrance to the Akropolis This part was full of people from all over the world, but a few steps later we were in the Akropolis, with the amazing Parthenon in front of us. At the left we had the Erecteion Temple, the multiple-gods temple made by Phidias and his pupils, with the famous column-women called Kariathides.

After a quickly look to the two temples, we got into the Akropolis Museum, a small and beautiful museum ful of treasures of this place. The photography under these lines is from a entrance of a temple built before the Parthenon and the Erecteion. The photo was made by Mislav, who allowed me to put some of them in the web (thanks!). My photos of this group of sculptures weren't good enough to be published. I wanted to publish this photography specifically because the three characters have very curious faces (They seem they are going to start laughing in a moment...).

Unfortunately, the majority of the photos I took inside the museum were a bit badly-made, so I had to erase them. You all know flashed-photos were forbidden, so the quality wasn't good enough to be published here. The only one I liked very much was from the Parthenon's wall-sculptures. It represents three gods, and it seems they are talking. That very natural way of representing amazed me, and that's the reason why I wanted to put it here. The next photo I took was the Lycabethus Hill, with a part of the city. It's a very courious mountain, with lots of plants in the beggining and nothing in the top.
The next photo I took was the Lycabethus Hill, with a part of the city. It's a very courious mountain, with lots of plants in the beggining and nothing in the top.
I walked a bit looking at the city from the Akropolis. It looked very beautiful, with some ruins between houses, ancient glory between modernity. I saw the Agora (also the prison cell where experts say that Socrates died), and the Temple of Zeus. Although it only has a few columns, it makes you feel small, ridiculous compared with this masterpiece from ancient times.

Before, I described the Atticus Herodion Theatre, one of the two theatres next to the Akropolis place. The other one is this, the Dyonisos theatre, not as well conserved as the other, but with a very colorful scenic-floor.

We were going to leave, but I had enough time to take last photos from Parthenon and Erecteion Temple. I made two hundred photos from all the visit, because I have a strange philosophy: Make lots of photos, and possibly one of them is going to be good. I walked quickly to the Erecteion to take photos of the Kariathides, those wonderful column-women made by Fidias and his pupils. I knew weren't original ones, but they seemed so real, so authentic, that it didn't matter to me. That day (as you can remember) was very sunny, and the sky was clouds-free and purely blue. With that weather conditions, the temples seemed even more powerful and beautiful that in others.
Last photo I took in that visit was the Parthenon, possibly the most famous monument in Greece, and the most beutiful ancient building I have never seen. First time I saw it I felt a kind of special feeling, similar to a wonderful fear. Although it's mostly destroyed, it keeps all its majesty, ever more that when it was complete.

I and my teacher Concha started to down the hill (we were almost the last from the group). We did it quickly, passing through the crowded path, thinking all people would have to wait for us. I don't know how, but after some minutes we were in a place I've never seen, a quite lonely path. We walk it, convinced we were in the right way, and we stopped in front of the Bizantine Art Museum. Obviously, we took the wrong way. So we had to return and take the right way, absolutely sure we were very late. Finally we saw the parking place, and our bus was in the same place it was. We became more relaxed, and at the end, we saw that people was walking to get into that bus, so... nobody was waiting! We felt good again, and when I was walking and relaxing, I heard a voice talking. I thought was somebody talking to another person, not to me, but after few seconds I heard, very near: "Hello to you!". I went out of my thoughts and I saw two very happy girls. They were Meggie and Geeske, and, when I heard their names, I said to me: "Try to remember them..... don't forget!". But after some minutes of talking, I forgot those names, and I needed some days to remember them.


Monday 10th July: Athens

I woke up very nervous. I don't like being in front of people (is something like scenic-fear). I wore the clothes I had chosen for the event, the Awards Giving Ceremony. After that Alex (Andrej's teacher) appeared, and gave me the good advice of not wearing so good before breakfast (what could have happened if I had thrown the orange juice in my trousers?). I had breakfast, and then I got dressed very quickly. We all went to the Zappion Palace, a very beautiful building trying to imitate ancient temples. Unfortunately, I was so nervous, and I couldn't take any photo of it, or of the giving ceremony. But Georgios Pavlakos, from the Ancient Greek Language Conservation Organism (ODEG), took a lot, so these photos are by him (Efjaristw polĂ­!).

This are the photos from the giving moment, when the Minister of Education and Religious Affairs gave me the diploma. The photo below is the "Spanish representation" of the contest!! In order, are: my teacher Concha, me, the Minister, Tania's teacher and Tania.
And these are the photos of each of us! I've got some photos of all of you (well, I supose not all, but most of you...). Here is Marina Pasin, from Cyprus, receiving the diploma.
And now Margarita Iliopoulou, from the beautiful city of Kalamata (I know it's beautiful because she sent me a postcard!).
And... it's turn of The Three B......!! They are a very good musical group, and now they're preparing a new CD. I'm their manager, so I have to make good press of them... The first is Despoina Sideri, from Thessaloniki.
The second one is Aspa (Aspasia Pitou in official forms), from Katerini. Is also known as the Mafiosa I (the second one is Marina the Italian).
And the photo with all of us!! I think is one of the best photos of the trip, because only in that moment (and also in Nafplion Pallamidi's Fortress) we are all together. The thing is that we were a lot, and the photo couldn't take all of us. I've got Mr. Pavlakos' photos where only appear the pupils, but I preferred to publish the photo where also teachers appear.

And that's all!! After that wonderful ceremony, we got the bus and went to have lunch at Skoufias (I think that in that ocassion food was excellent!!). After that we went to the National Archaeological Museum, placed in a big square with lots of trees. Unfortunately, I run out of battery soon, so the photos I have from it are Mislav's (thanks again!). However, I chose only a few photos from the museum, and this is one of them: a funeral stela, a very beautiful one, which represents a woman being attended by her servant. It transmitted real sadness, and also the way of representing clothes is very special and natural.

Of course, I couldn't forget the Agammemnon Mask, one of the most popular archaeological treasures of all History. Discovered by Schliemann, he thought it was Agammemnon one, but that isn't true, because he was a legendary king, not a real one. In the photo there are other things, like another mask, and more funeral articles, which were used to cover the Mycenaeans' kings.

Very near to Agammemnon Mask were the Mycenaean jewels, very, very artistic and well-made (lots of actual jewels aren't as good as those). I became stunned when I started to see the marvellous thing those people could do with gold (also with bronze). Time flew again, and we had to leave, so I had a last look to all those wonderful things and I promised myself I was going to return.

After the visit, we return to the hotel, and prepared for dinner. That night we were going to go to a theatre to watch a traditional Greek music concert. That was an amazing way to get to know Greek music, and I was very happy with that idea. We went to a theatre called "Theatre of Roks". It was in the middle of some mountains, and was a wooden building similar to ancient ones. All was crowded, and we had to walk a bit to get a proper place to sit down. The concert started, and the music was very good, very beautiful, but soon we (Aspa, Tania and me) realized that was going to last a lot. We became more and more bored, and after an hour and a half we were desperate, so we went (now also with Jessica) out of the theatre and we went to a bar to drink something. We started to feel human again, and after some time the concerted ended and we returned to the hotel, thinking we had to pack all the things, because the next day we had to move to Tolo.


Tuesday 11th: Athens - Tolo

We woke up a bit early in the morning. We had breakfast (then I was completely asleep), and then we went to wait the bus to the hotel's hall. In the bus, I sat down next to Aspa, and also near Tania, Meggie & Geeske, Despoina, Vayia, Jessica and also Stefan. Actually that was the moment when we all started to know each other, to share experiences or just talk. The trip took three hours aproximately, so we arrived Mycenae near midday. But first we stopped at the Corinth Canal, which was like a scar in the earth. It had a strange beauty, because the walls were very rude, but water was very, very blue (it could seem artificial). We spent some time there, because we bought some things, like the newspaper where some of us appeared. Finally we found the "Elefzeros Typos", the only one I could find with that article. We also went to the bridge on the Canal, and took some photos.

Fortunately, we saw a ship crossing it, and was a nice show, because it seemed to me that was just going to crash. Also was a beautiful contrast red with blue-green...

Meggie, Aspa, Andrej and some more were all in the bridge, making photos. And, of course, someone made a photo of us. As you can see, in this photo I haven't got those horrible things in my teeth. Was a photographic joke!! Teeth were digitally treated, and the iron things erased.