Acropolis with Ianthe – Abraham Rebollo

Screen Shot 2019-07-23 at 6.25.01 PMAthena, goddess of philosophy, wisdom, and strategic warfare. From childhood I was drawn to her, admiring her role and position among the gods of Olympus.

Needless to say, I was more than excited to be visiting the Parthenon, the most iconic of temples dedicated to the goddess. The conversations on the walk up were occasionally interjected by me vocalizing my desire to see the statue of Athena—I would later find out the actual statue had been missing for over a millennia. The views, of course, were progressively more and more beautiful than any I’d seen in my life. From the top of the acropolis, the sprawling Athenian cityscape with its white stone homes and mountainous horizons was a sight to behold. I was definitely happy to see others taking photos, as I’m personally not much of a picture-taker and I knew my parents would want to see the views themselves.

The Parthenon was beautiful but I resented the Roman Empire’s role in the loss of the colossal depictions of Athena. It just cannot stand gloriously without her.

The walk around the museum was exciting and beautiful. John Demos joined us once again to give us talks on the history of the art and architecture of the city. At the top floor, he sat us down and showed us the huge stone relief slabs that had once decorated the Parthenon. Some of them were missing, or were plaster casts instead of the original stone. Many of these, Mr. Demos explained, were stolen by the British Museum, who continued to change the conditions on which they would finally return the pieces to the Athenians. My simple solution to such a problem? Steal them back!

We had some free time afterwards before we would need to board the bus and head to the hotel in Corinth. A large group of us decided to go to the marketplace and browse. On the walk, I stepped into what appeared to be a wooden toy shop. There was a big bump and suddenly toys crashed to the ground. I thought I had bumped into something and knocked things down. I turned around and saw people running out of buildings across the street. Was it a car crash? An explosion? I stepped outside to where the rest of the group was. Apparently we had just experienced an earthquake—my first one!—magnitude 5,3 as we would find out later. A crazy end to an interesting day!

-Abraham Rebollo, 7/19

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