Thursday, October 23, 2008

Trip 3: Greatest Hits of Archaeology

Lot’s to post about but for now I’ll have to keep things short. We’ve been in Nea Anchialos for three nights with the Interwebs, but there’s also a beach out front with lots of walking paths. The potential strolls are inviting enough that I’ll have to apologize for not blogging much while on this trip. In fact, it’s always hard to write something worthwhile on the trips because each day is so exhausting, exhausting in all ways possible. The trips are intellectually grueling (you can only do so much learning), they are physically tiring (we climbed two acropoleis today), and socially strenuous (being crammed on a bus can do that to anyone).

Katie not blogging. Note how arduous thinking seems to be.

It’s become clear that my posts from the trips will have to be confined to a series of trip-greatest-hits. Today’s will be short.

Trip III covers central Greece. We’ve hit up a real variety of regions and sites; I’m thinking the northern parts of the School trips might be my favorite. Some cool things we’ve seen:

1) A really big cave, sacred to the Nymphs and Pan in antiquity. It was quite a climb to get there, but no Philippi.

2) A bat. It was living in a Hellenistic tomb that we climbed into. It almost hit Margie Miles in the head.

3) The Orphic Gold tablets! Yes! They are even smaller then I imagined, but totally cool nevertheless. They are basically road maps to the Underworld, assisting the dead as they attempt to traverse the dangers of the afterlife. I’ll be talking about them when I present on the Oracle of Trophonius.

4) One of my favorite places was a ruined town called Palaios Platanos. It was abandoned in the 1950s and has been left to decay alone in the hills. As Denver said, exploring the town was a way to illuminate the process of site formation. It was also a remarkable way to spend a quite hour in the morning. I’ll talk more about this site later.

5) The Volos Museum. One of my favorite museums so far, stocked full of painted stele from the Hellenistic period. Great displays, cool sanctuary finds, sweet-ass Neolithic figurines. Basically the total package.

6) Oh. And the dudes had to move a car again. Except that then the car’s owner came out and agreed to move it himself, but then drove it into the side of our bus.


Benjamin said...

The guy crashed into the bus seriously? Is this some crazy Greek thing?

Katie said...

It was hilarious. He was trying to back out of his spot but obviously was a terrible driver. He didn't do any major damage, but did put a small scratch into the side of the bus. It was a little sad because Spiros (the driver) had spent like 20 minutes trying to get the bus around the corner without doing damage to anything, and this other dude ruined all his efforts in like 20 seconds.

Maria P. said...

I'm not surprised you guys had to try and move another car to get through and I'm not surprised the driver hit the bus after all. Most of the streets in this country, especially in small towns and villages, were not designed with buses in mind. (If we can even claim they were designed at all)

Ben, haven't you heard enough Greek driving horror stories? You shouldn't be surprised.