Owl Coin charm



Trip to Greece and Ephesus, March 2012      Site summaries: A | B | C | D | E | F       Begin slide show F

By Friday morning the Cristal had returned to Piraeus Harbour, at the south edge of Athens.

Our tour providers had a bus and our guide waiting for us as we disembarked.

We rode to the modern Olympics facilities for a comparison view to the older stadium we'd seen the Sunday before. These facilities had been used for the Greece-hosted games in 2008. An Olympic medallist spoke with us just before we were ushered into the open stadium to admire modern seating and sports architecture.

We also saw indoor basketball facilities and indoor and outdoor swimming pools. All was grand!

Next, we checked back in at Hotel Amelia and were free to spend the rest of our last day in Greece as we pleased. Several of us walked to the Plaka where we ate lunch outdoors.

I particularly enjoyed a horn band that played in the public square.

Next, I finally got to see a changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The Greek pageantry was very different from the American version of this honour guard I'd witnessed long ago at Arlington Cemetery near Washington D.C. I enjoyed the Greek version, with soldiers wearing traditional Greek skirts and stepping high.

Glenda and I walked next to the Benaki Museum, a museum of Greek History that had once been the private collection of Antonis Benakis (1873-1954). His home was converted into a public museum after his death.

Some of his collection reminded me of artifacts I'd seen at Rhodes and at Crete. However, this museum had some items unlike any other place I'd visited.

I found the textiles and Greek costumes shown at Benaki Museum of particular interest. There were also many Greek Orthodox religious symbols, musical instruments, fishing gear, a weaving loom, a wine press and distillation equipment. I enjoyed seeing the layout of the museum itself as an ex-home, including elaborate staircases, a deck and a lunchroom.

Several of our group enjoyed a final meal together at an indoor restaurant in the Plaka. I enjoyed lobster as my entrée.

We were bussed to the Athens Airport very early on Saturday morning, our 9th day of travel. The sun was rising as we boarded our airplane.

With a stop in Munich and a stop in Chicago, we followed the sun westward all day. It was a long day of travel, BUT we kept up with the arch of the sun, watching it set west of us as we landed, finally, in Kansas City.

I thoroughly enjoyed Greece and appreciated the work Washburn University faculty and staff made in planning and executing this travel opportunity.

Greece was #1 on my "bucket list." I have yet to dream up anything new to place at the top of my list.

Day 8 (Friday): Back in Athens

Off the boat at Piraeus Harbour Checking in at Piraeus HarbourMaggie and her lovely coral beadsFriday guideA look at Piraeus HarbourMediterranean SeaOverview of Piraeus HarbourSports complexMetro Athens, by bus on the highwaySuburban shopping area

Day 8 (Friday): Visiting modern Olympics facilities
Olympics were held here in 2004Olympic StadiumOlympic Stadium BOlympic Stadium COlympic Stadium DCheryl in her Greek hatGreek Olympic star talks with us of the 2004 OlympicsInside Olympic StadiumInside Olympic Stadium BInside Olympic Stadium COur group take their seatsOur group take their seats BOur group take their seats COverheadOlympic lecture is translated by our guideIndoor stadiumLeftovers from the last crowdIndoorsOur group, indoorsBest seats in the houseOne end's goalOutdoor poolIndoor poolSwimming lapsWeekday users are people with disabilities and special needsListeningStadium seatingA second outdoor poolOlympic complexA view of the suburbs from Olympic StadiumEntranceEntrance 2Complex gathering areaLooking into an outdoor poolChelsea enjoying our tour of the Olympics villiageWashburn students enjoy the weather and the viewMore modern OlympicsMore modern Olympics BMore modern Olympics C

Day 8 (Friday): Back to the Amelia Hotel, eating and shopping in the Plaka
Back at the Hotel AmeliaEntranceSome of our group enjoy an outdoor luncheonLive horn music in the PlakaPlaka activitySelling balloonsRevisiting Byzantine Chapel areaPlaka shoppingFresh fruit in the PlakaSecond Byzantine church in afternoon lightChurch entranceFeeding pigeons at Parliment buildingFormal changing of the guard, with dignatariesFormal changing of the guardFormal changing of the guard BFormal changing of the guard CFormal changing of the guard DFormal changing of the guard E < View street band playing in The Plaka

Day 8 (Friday): The Benaki Museum of Greek History
Human figure in clayClay horses and potsJug mouth and handlesGreek motif painting on clay vesselFace done in solid goldClay horse and rider. Is the rider a monkey?Metal tool is for scrapping the sweaty skin of an athleteVase depicts person holding a scraper like the one laying to the right frontFemale figures in clayElaborate gold jewelryElaborate gold jewelry BGolden snake brackletsMore golden snake brackletsMadonna as Greek mosaicElaborately woven Greek textileElaborately woven Greek textile, closeupAltarpiece2-d knight paintingDecorative motif in goldGreek costumesBoy's and man's costumesWoman's headpiece, earrings, necklace, vestGreek women's fashionsGreek fashions BElaborate jewelryLoom for weavingBeautifully woven textileDelicate metalworkMore Greek costumesMore textilesMore textiles BTextile B closeupGreek costumesArabs visit Athens, with the same Zeus Temple and Hadrian's Arch we visitedWedding outfitsGreek Orthodox church symbolismIs this St. George? He is slaying a dragon.Musical instrumentsMusical instruments BMusical instrument detailDrawing of a Greek musicianFishing stuffOuzo distillerFlat ornamentalized human figuresHandles and animal carvingsPressVeranda ornamentationPainting of collector Antonia Benakis (1873-1954)A second painting of collector Antonia Benakis Garden near Hotel AmeliaGlenda in Athens

Day 8 (Friday): Last meal out with traveling friends -- Plaka
Crab main dishServer attending to our groupOur group and our dinnerGreek mealWhat wasn't eaten

Day 9 (Saturday): Traveling home
Early morning departureCatiya led our group to the airportEating breakfast from sacksEleanor and the musical instrument she bought in Athens to bring homeEleanor and back side of instrumentSun was rising as we boarded the airplaneSun was rising as we boarded the airplane BSun was rising as we boarded the airplane CTaking off over hills of AthensShoreline on takeoffModern Olympic stadium we visited as seen from the airGreek island raise from the Mediterranean SeaGreek jewelry came home with our tour groupAnother view of AlpsAnother view of Alps BSettling in over Munich, our layoverGroup awaits our connecting flight over the Atlantic OceanJohn and others toss food from breakfast to stay entertainedChanging airplanes again in ChicagoSettling in over Kansas CityWe had followed the sun from Athens to Kansas CitySun setting, still Saturday after some 18 hours of travelSunset at home

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