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Our Wakes: 2018

Athens (21-27 October 2018) 
By the end of October, most airlines had discontinued their connections with the Greek islands so that the only way to return to Belgium was to go via Athens. For us it was an opportunity to visit this fabulous city that is considered the birthplace of our civilization 1.400 years ago. Athens started to be built around the sacred mountain of the Acropolis.  In 437 BC, the construction of the Parthenon was initiated. It is one of the most known monuments on earth like the Egyptian   pyramids. Over the ages the role of the Parthenon has changed many times. During the Turkish invasion the place was used as a place to sort ammunition. In 1687 a cannonball triggered a huge explosion that severely damaged the Parthenon. 20 Columns as well as the roof were destroyed. Subsequently, a lot of looting went on such as of many artifacts collected by the British ambassador to Greece. He took away a lot of statues for his private home in London. Today the items are on display or stored in the British museum but Greece is claiming that they should be returned to Greece. In the museum of the acropolis a video projection makes sure every visitor knows all about this. Today a massive restoration is underway to repair the Parthenon and what we witnessed is that this is extremely well done even if it will take years to finish. But the Parthenon is not the only remarkable building to visit. There is also the Erechthion with the famous caryatides beside it. The original caryatides were removed and are on display in a safe way in the   Acropolis museum. Next to the Acropolis there are also 2 theaters, the one of Herodotus Atticus and on the East side the one of Dionysus. Next to the Acropolis is the museum of the acropolis that contains a lot of objects found on the Acropolis. But one of the hopes of the Greeks is that the UK will return the looted objects now that there is a proper place to store them. So far, the British museum has been deaf to the message. They are willing to lend them the objects for an exhibition but are not willing to give up their ownership as Greece wants. Besides the Acropolis there are numerous sites that are worth visiting in Athens. We visited the Agora. This place has a well preserved temple (hepasteilon)  which was a meeting place for the people of Athens to meet and discuss issues. You can find numerous remains of various buildings. The National Archeological museum is a must visit. It contains more the 20,000 objects from Greek history. Many of the exposed objects are truly amazing. When you visit Athens, We recommend you stay a minimum of three day because there is so much to see.  
Hérodotus Atticus
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Musée Acropole
Acropolis museum
National Archeological museum