Break time, and the snacks were beginning to fly off the shelves. The children were lining up to buy them. On came Dr Massey’s Lower 6th form group, to read the next section of Book 8.
Listen to him reading this passage here on the Podomatic website.
A day to ourselves in Athens. We had a late breakfast and set off at 9am to walk up to the Acropolis, which was, as always, breathtaking, and slightly windier than the rest of the trip had been.
Next, to the Areopagus, then the Agora, with its great Temple of Hephaestus, and lastly up to the National Archaeological Museum, to see plentiful pots, striking sculptures and the amazing Antikythera mechanism.
Time for the airport, and homewards.
We set off from Tolo before 9, and headed straight for Epidavros, arriving before the rush. We sat in the theatre, and admired the view, the weather and the cats (dogs and cats are becoming a bit of a theme amongst the kids, who jump at the opportunity of stroking any they find…)
Then the site of Epidavros, including a standard race in the stadium (I came second, which I was pleased with, although the student who won was definitely jogging by the end.)
On to Mycenae, and the famous lion gate. We wandered around imagining we were Agamemnon and Clytemnestra or preferably Odysseus and Penelope, and marvelled that the tombs were so elaborate and enormous.
Finally Nemea, and the stadium, the temple of Zeus and the athletes’ bath house, amongst other things to see. The weather had been warm all day, and it was time to sit in the bus for a bit, and take on water.
This was my first time in Delphi in 23 years, so I was looking forward to it, especially after our coach driver spoke about it in hushed tones, invoking its magical atmosphere and the spirits that still dwell there after all these years.
On our walk up the site, passing treasuries, a temple, theatre and finally the stadium, it became quite clear why. The smells, sights and inspiring feeling of the place live on.
So to some pictures. Firstly the tholos, in the sanctuary of Athena, where those hoping to ask a question of the oracle had to stay before venturing up the hill…
It is said requirement to stay here enabled the attendants to listen to people’s drunken conversations and work out what answer they wanted to hear…
Next, into the site itself, and first, the treasury of the Athenians.
Then on to the Temple of Apollo…
We kept on winding our way up, in the warm sunshine, and got to the impressive theatre, and finally to the stadium, restored and rebuilt by Herodes Atticus in the 2nd century AD.
Finally, the museum, which had amongst its highlights the charioteer.
An incredible morning, in one of the most amazing classical sites I’ve ever visited. Next, on to the Corinth Canal, and thence to Tolo.
Bristol Grammar School went to Greece for the second year in a row.
This is the plan:
Day One: travelling
- Plane to Athens
- Coach to Delphi (via Burger restaurant!)
Day Two: Delphi
- Sanctuary of Athena
- Sanctuary of Apollo
- Delphi museum
- Head to Tolo via the Corinth Canal
Day Three: Epidaurus, Mycenae, Nemea
- Epidaurus, sites and museum
- Mycenae, sites and museum
- Get to Athens
- Akropolis museum
- Dinner out in Plaka
Day Four: Athens
- Head back to Bristol
Almost break time now, and BGS Deputy Head Fran Ripley stepped up to read the next section, which must have the greatest number of hard-to-pronounce names in the entire epic.
Listen to her reading this passage here on the Podomatic website.