Friday, May 22, 2015
Temple of Aegina
The temple on the acropolis in Athens is the famous one, you know the one someone used as a gunpowder magazine and someone else used for target practice. Yes, that is why they have spent the last couple hundred years trying to piece it back together. And even if they do get it back together all of the sculptures from the frieze are in a museum in London. How did they end up in London, the Turks were occupying Athens, Lord Elgin asked the Turks if he could have them and they said, take what ever you want, and before the Greeks could take back the city, he crated them all up and shipped them off to London. The British Museum has taken the position that they were a gift from the government in Athens at the time they left the country, the Greeks - have never seen it quite that way. The Acropolis is worth the climb, but the Temple is fenced off, you haven't been able to get near it for a couple of decades - but then it could be just closed for cleaning for a decade or so.
If you want to get up close and personal with a relatively intact Greek Temple, take a ferry out to Aegina. You can take the island bus from the harbor, ask and they will tell you which one goes to the temple. The bus leaves when they have sold enough seats to cover costs, as I recall we waited about 20 minutes. It is a pretty ride across the island, through olive groves and past a monastery. You can get in and around the temple. Be careful about getting off into the weeds. A couple of days after I took this picture I had a terrible rash on my leg. I stopped in a pharmacy down the street from the hotel. The pharmacist looked at it and said, "you've been to Aegina - it is the only place that weed grows." She sold me a cream that stopped the itch and the rash cleared in a few days.