Tuesday, August 24, 2004

National Gardens ....

The other day I took a stroll throught the National Gardens here in Athens. It reminded me of a cross between Point Pleasant Park and the Public Gardens.

Instead of old batteries and fortifications, there are ionic columns and roman Mosaics. What amases me is that they are just there. Like a rock or a tree. You can stand, sit, lean on these historical pieces. They are part of everyday life here. The mosaics were amazing. They covered this huge area and every few feet the designs would change. Some of the desings were very similar to those I saw at Hadrian's Library. At the Library there were these huge clay pots, which i am assuming were used to store the papyrus. It's wonderful to think that much of this has survived time.

In Syndagma Metro Station, there is a wall that shows the various stratas and archaeological remains found in each. The amazing part of this is that it is the actual earth and the rocks and clay of the ground. They found so much when they dug that they preserved it for all to see. at one point there is a crypt with the actual bones of the person who was buried for all to see. I wonder what that person would have thought if he/she would have known that thousands of years down the road your remains would be displayed for all to see on their way underground to take a subway to the other end of town. Travelling farther than maybe that person had ever been in their life. How would I feel about it? You?
There are also remains to an ancient road and a river bed. In amongst all the various strata are jumbled sand rocks and shells. Down at the river bed there are even shards of pottery. Towards the very bottom of the display are Terra cotta pipes which are still intact! I imagine they would even work if you put them to use. I found this site below if you want to see a little of what I'm trying to describe.
garbidakis.com/Greece2000/ August2000-Syntagma
I still have yet to go to the acropolis, I want to have a full day there, so I'm waiting until all of the games are done. That and the National museum. I seem to have read something about the first sunday of the month being free... maybe that was Paris.
Back to the National Gardens. In the middle of the Gardens there is a zoo. It has the weirdest looking mountain goats. They have yellow eyes with a slit of black down the middle. Really eerie. The old male had huge horns, No wonder he was laying down. Lots of ducks all over, just like the Gardens back home. Peacocks, chickens \emus...It was a really nice place to retreat to in the middle of the heat of the day.
Many people had the same idea. some were sleeping on the grass, others on benchs. I had to wonder if any of them were the homeless youth of the Olympiad. Older men were in the shade, I'm sure talking about the tourists.