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Dear Diary: Athens, The Gods and security issues

Apologies for the lack of diary blog last week but we were in sunny Athens for a week.


Our youngest turned 18 and for his birthday we took him to Athens. He is currently studying Ancient History and Classical Civilisations (along with Modern History) at college, so he wanted to visit Athens for some reference.

(image - view from our hotel)


Despite my intense dislike of flying, we embarked on our journey from a cold, wet UK and headed out to a lovely warm and sunny Athens. We packed light so that we only had cabin luggage to make the airport experience easier (I didn't even pack any makeup!). The hotel we stayed in (Mage, Tiara) was wonderful, perfectly situated, comfortable and the staff were absolutely lovely. The hotel restaurant was fabulous too.


We undertook a LOT of walking but in fact most of the ancient sites were within 30 minutes walk from the hotel, some even closer.


Athens is a huge mixture of modern high rise apartment buildings and shop fronts thrown in with older, derelict houses, ancient sites, street tavernas, tourist shops and the usual Starbucks. Most of the areas we visited had some amazing shops (including a large number of delicious bakeries) and the Greek people are so friendly and helpful. As in most cities, there were a few areas that were very run down, and Athens has a large amount of graffiti on practically any blank wall space. Graffiti can be amazing artwork and images but most of this seemed to be just text with no real meaning.


We visited several museums, all of which were well laid out and seemed to be fairly new builds. Lots of statues of deities, pottery and interesting artefacts. Although they were all labelled there was a lack of more information for me, I wanted to know the whys, hows, and wherefores not just who or what it was.


The sites we visited varied, one of them seemed more like a reclamation site rather than an ancient historical place. However, the Athenian Agora was good and had a lot of places within it that were interesting, including quite a good little museum. Pete was told off inside the Acropolis Museum, firstly for taking photographs – we later learned they don’t want you taking photographs because they prefer you to purchase postcards in their shop. He was then reprimanded for standing too close to a piece of stone that was displayed open in the centre of the floor. Not really sure what he could have done and it was literally open for people to walk around? Anyway…that museum was nicely laid out and had a fabulous glass floor so that you could see the archaeological dig underneath. I did feel this museum also lacked information, I wanted to know a whole lot more about the acropolis and the items they found within it.

On a personal note, I went prepared to be wowed by the energy of the gods, particularly Athena. I was perhaps a little arrogant in thinking she would just appear to me and make a connection. She did not. In fact, I was disappointed at the lack of energy I felt on the whole visit. I really struggled to connect with the spirit of place in any area, and I found it quite frustrating. I think the issue is mine though, perhaps I went in believing I had a right to connect with the gods, even though I don’t necessarily work with the Greek pantheon, that is my bad. But I was surprised not to connect with the genius loci, I do it everywhere I go, and it was a bit disheartening to not feel it in Athens. Again though, perhaps it is my issue. I did feel an energy the whole time we were there, but it was quite heavy and oppressive, at the time I couldn’t quite work out what it was. Since my return and chatting with the lovely folk on my Wednesday morning talk, maybe it was Athena or even just the weight of energy that Athens is feeling at the moment.


Overall, we did enjoy the trip, we had some good expeditions, fabulous food and met some incredibly lovely Greek folk.


I didn’t meet the gods and I didn’t connect with the genius loci, but I did visit some very ancient and important spiritual sites. Our youngest was very pleased to have also picked up a plaque depicting Alexander the Great and a statue of Leonidas (two of his heroes).


On a side note our youngest managed to set off nearly every security barrier we encountered. First at Gatwick airport, then in two of the museums we visited!


Back to a searing reality this week, which has been chaotically busy.


And for those that were concerned about Eric; our daughter and son in law came to stay at our house, so he was totally pampered the entire time.

Stuff

Join me on my Wednesday morning chats if you are free, replays are on my author fb page and my YT channel.


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Join me for my online book launch - The Element of Water - Saturday 25th November - 7pm GMT


Video

To watch the replay of my chat about my Athens experience, click the link below


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