Sites Visited: Center of Athens (Philopappos Monument, Lysikrates Monument, Arch of Hadrian, Lykavittos)
Group Leaders: Grace and Tim
Our day began bright and early in the lobby of the Alexandros Hotel. We set out for the day at 7:30 and walked through Athens in the sunshine for the first time. The first stop on our itinerary was the Monument of Philopappos, a wealthy Roman who built the structure to commemorate his accomplishments. From there we could see the entire Acropolis, and Professor Christesen gave us a crash course on the geography and major sites of ancient Athens. The rest of the morning was spent ping–ponging from site to site in order to get a good sense of the layout of the ancient city. We stopped for lunch at the Monument of Lysikrates, who built it to commemorate his chorus’ victory in a dance competition held during a local Dionysia.
After we wrapped up with lunch, we headed east, stopping at the Arch of Hadrian and the massive diptoral Olympeion temple that he completed during the second century CE. Our last two major stops on our tour were at the Panathenaic Stadium and the Lyceum, where Aristotle set up his school as the first modern university. We took a brief mid–afternoon nap before making the arduous climb up Lykavittos, the tallest hill in Athens, where Professor Christesen ran us through the extensive history of Greece after the fall of the Western Roman Empire and treated us to an amazing nighttime view of the city. We all grabbed a typically late Greek dinner and returned to our rooms for bed.
Grace and Tim