Back to base

Back to our base, Athens, and the millions of little secrets it holds. The best secrets though are those sitting in plain sight. First, our guests had the opportunity to flex their Greek skills in Monastiraki’s flea-market are, which sits below the Acropolis, whose name means “little monastery”. Sophia Petros was very impressed: “[…] I wandered into an alley and found an area where people had piled up their old stuff and had it out for sale. It was the most eclectic mix of things, from drachmas minted in the 20s to old photos and letters. I don’t think I blended into the scene very well but it was so cool to see!!” This of course gave them the chance to get acquainted with the area and see our next destination. The ancient Agora.

The Agora, an important place in every ancient city, was where all the people of consequence met. To guide us through this wondrous place was none other than the Director of the excavation, Dr. John Camp, who has been working on the site since 1966! He talked to each group for 30 or so minutes, but for us it felt much, much shorter. He showed us around a particular site they are working on, and talked to us about the process and difficulties they face. Demos Efstathiou was bewildered: “It was pretty amazing having Professor Camp show us around the Ancient agora dig site. It’s mind boggling to stand where the great minds of ancient Athens, the architects of democracy, once stood. Beyond seeing the physical evidence of the Ancient Athenians, it was awesome to stand at the birthplace of their ideas.”

Head buzzing with new information and knowledge of the inner workings of an archaeological dig, we set out for lunch at the nearby Hard Rock Café, then ended off with another Greek culture seminar, this time in Plaka, the “neighborhood of the Gods”.

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The group assembling at Monastaraki square, where the Metro station (right) and old Mosque (left) are local landmarks. Of course, who could miss the Acropolis (center back)

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Dr. John Camp explaining to the group about the archaeological dig at the Agora!

Blog editor and photographer: James (Dimitris) Voutsas

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