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Our meeting at Pella.
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apelles



Joined: 12 Mar 2005
Posts: 1152

PostPosted: Fri Sep 01, 2006 12:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good question!Pictures,pictures,we demand pictures. Laughing
So the epic continues and very good it is too.I like travel books like this,full of information and funny things.Alejandro,why do you call the lion of Chaeronea the giant potato?Ever since you wrote us at the time,I,ve been bewildered,so come on,spill those beans!
Alejandro wrote
Quote:
Illegal activity you mentioned? What wasn't legal? I deny any kind of involvement in any sort of criminal activity? If any evil plan you mastered was conducted, I was a mere instrument, with no conscience of wrong and absolutely no understanding of its criminality. You and only you are responsible for the illegal acts I deny existed. That's the defence from the law student.

Laughing Laughing Don,t forget I have a written account of the aforementioned incident,and so does Pam.Remember we all confessed to similar crimes!
My only claim to fame is that I actually tripped over and fell into the Kastalian spring,so that probably makes me the purest member of the forum. Laughing
Can,t wait for part four.
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Cynisca



Joined: 01 Feb 2006
Posts: 605
Location: Living in Yorkshire UK - ê tan ê epi tas

PostPosted: Sat Sep 02, 2006 4:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

apelles wrote:
.Alejandro,why do you call the lion of Chaeronea the giant potato?Ever since you wrote us at the time,I,ve been bewildered,so come on,spill those beans!

Um, maybe it looks like one....... no....it doesn't....that is another lion... Confused
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joanna



Joined: 02 Feb 2005
Posts: 1270
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 02, 2006 9:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

apelles wrote:
Adriv,that,s a great idea.It made me think about something.I posted this onto the Oliver,s Interview thread but I,m putting it here also so Yanna sees it.
I think that Yanna,s wonderful account of the pilgrimage to Pella etc. ought to be sent to Oliver because firstly he refers directly to it in the interview and secondly I think he,d love to read it.It,s so full of enthusiasm and passion for Alexander that he,d immediately understand and appreciate seeing it all written down .After all,without the movie this forum wouldn,t exist,Alexandrians wouldn,t have met and the trip wouldn,t have happened.
So how about it you two,is Oliver going to get a signed copy of your expedition?



What, who, why? Can you explain more, Janie? Do you think Oliver would like to read my account of the trip to Pella ??? Surprised ( it's always going to be Pella, even if we visited hundreds of other places)
Am I happy about this? Let me think Rolling Eyes .....YES, I AM!
( But it's not going to happen )
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joanna



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PostPosted: Sat Sep 02, 2006 9:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Alexandros_19 wrote:


Joanna, I've been reading and your account of the trip is simply amazing. I love it, and it reminds of all our trip, I enjoyed it so much. Just a thing about that part... how could you forget about the picture with the helmet, the shield and the sword that the man in the shop made you take me? Laughing
Illegal activity you mentioned? What wasn't legal? I deny any kind of involvement in any sort of criminal activity? If any evil plan you mastered was conducted, I was a mere instrument, with no conscience of wrong and absolutely no understanding of its criminality. You and only you are responsible for the illegal acts I deny existed. Laughing That's the defence from the law student. Laughing
What did we write in the book at Aegae? Who knows these things? It was something about following Alexander on his quest and remembering he day in which he became king. I just remember that I put someting about Megas Alexandros o Makedon, Basileas and that I signed Alexandros Argedinos. Very Happy
By the way, wasn't Vergina called that because of the Vergina star (actually the Argead star, which I don't know if it relates to Aegae), or was that just another one of the things you made up at the moment to leave me quiet and appease my curiosity? Laughing




Alejandro, STOP with the questions! Take pity on me Sad .



Oh, yes, I forgot to write about the embarrassing moment (thank god there weren't a lot of people around Rolling Eyes ) when you tried on the helmet and the shield etc
I remembered it too late. How can I forget it!

Don' worry Adriv,I'll put the photos here so you can see the beautiful places we've been to and regret not coming with us. ( I'm bad today Twisted Evil ) And what you're going to regret more is... not meeting our gorgeous Alejandro ( I'm good again Cool; am I ?
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Alexandros_19



Joined: 15 Feb 2005
Posts: 1230
Location: Argentina

PostPosted: Sat Sep 02, 2006 11:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

apelles wrote:
Alejandro,why do you call the lion of Chaeronea the giant potato?Ever since you wrote us at the time,I,ve been bewildered,so come on,spill those beans!


A very good question. Actually, it is due to a confusion of mine at the moment. I thought that the lion there was at Chaeronea was the representation of Hephaestion there is in the East as a fertility god (remember all that?), the statue that became so eroded by time and weather conditions that came to look at present times as a giant potato. So, when we passed Chaeronea because of a spelling confusion (I had said it was Chaeronea and Joanna disagreed because she said the sign said a different name -true, but because it wasn't in Greek, it was in Latin, and I knew it, anyway Confused Laughing ), I said: "How could have we missed the giant potato?" and we started laughing after that and decided not to return as, after all, it was only the giant potato, from which nothing could be distinguished. Only then did I read at the information we carried and realised that the lion of Chaeronea had actually been put by Philip after the battle of the same name against Athens and Thebes. Oh, well, we missed it and, though incorrectly, this will always be remembered as the anecdote of the "giant potato." Laughing
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apelles



Joined: 12 Mar 2005
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 03, 2006 12:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

joanna wrote:
apelles wrote:
Adriv,that,s a great idea.It made me think about something.I posted this onto the Oliver,s Interview thread but I,m putting it here also so Yanna sees it.
I think that Yanna,s wonderful account of the pilgrimage to Pella etc. ought to be sent to Oliver because firstly he refers directly to it in the interview and secondly I think he,d love to read it.It,s so full of enthusiasm and passion for Alexander that he,d immediately understand and appreciate seeing it all written down .After all,without the movie this forum wouldn,t exist,Alexandrians wouldn,t have met and the trip wouldn,t have happened.
So how about it you two,is Oliver going to get a signed copy of your expedition?



What, who, why? Can you explain more, Janie? Do you think Oliver would like to read my account of the trip to Pella ??? Surprised ( it's always going to be Pella, even if we visited hundreds of other places)
Am I happy about this? Let me think Rolling Eyes .....YES, I AM!
( But it's not going to happen )

Yanna,have you looked at the topic,"Oliver mentions site in interview"?because,I swear,you are in it!He mentions a fan site where some people have seen the movie fifty times,travel to Macedonia and are overwhelmed by the romanticism of it all.Who does he mean?YOU!!! So,I think he,d love to know about it,because without him,it wouldn,t have happened would it?
Alejandro wrote about the giant potato.
Quote:
A very good question. Actually, it is due to a confusion of mine at the moment. I thought that the lion there was at Chaeronea was the representation of Hephaestion there is in the East as a fertility god (remember all that?), the statue that became so eroded by time and weather conditions that came to look at present times as a giant potato. So, when we passed Chaeronea because of a spelling confusion (I had said it was Chaeronea and Joanna disagreed because she said the sign said a different name -true, but because it wasn't in Greek, it was in Latin, and I knew it, anyway ), I said: "How could have we missed the giant potato?" and we started laughing after that and decided not to return as, after all, it was only the giant potato, from which nothing could be distinguished. Only then did I read at the information we carried and realised that the lion of Chaeronea had actually been put by Philip after the battle of the same name against Athens and Thebes. Oh, well, we missed it and, though incorrectly, this will always be remembered as the anecdote of the "giant potato."

Ahh,now I understand! Laughing Laughing The other one,s in Hamadan/Ecbatana,I think and that does look exactly like a giant potato!Anyway,here,s the actual lion of Chaeronea.Very beautiful,isn,t it?You can see it next time around. Very Happy Am I right in thinking it marks the burial place of the Theban Band or is that somewhere else?Can,t remember.Doh!
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Cynisca



Joined: 01 Feb 2006
Posts: 605
Location: Living in Yorkshire UK - ê tan ê epi tas

PostPosted: Mon Sep 04, 2006 12:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="Alexandros_19"]
apelles wrote:


A very good question. Actually, it is due to a confusion of mine at the moment. I thought that the lion there was at Chaeronea was the representation of Hephaestion there is in the East as a fertility god (remember all that?), the statue that became so eroded by time and weather conditions that came to look at present times as a giant potato. :


Yes, thats the one, the Lion of Hamedan in what was Ecbatana......!
http://www.mywikipedia.us/Image:Shir-sangi.jpg Wink [/img]
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Cynisca



Joined: 01 Feb 2006
Posts: 605
Location: Living in Yorkshire UK - ê tan ê epi tas

PostPosted: Mon Sep 04, 2006 12:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Chaeronea Lion was erected to mark the graves of the Theban Sacred Band...
It seems the lion was discovered in 1818 and re erected at the same site.
The grave was excavated in 1881 and was found to contain the
254 skeletons laid out in 7 rows. Crying or Very sad
regards
Cynisca
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joanna



Joined: 02 Feb 2005
Posts: 1270
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 04, 2006 12:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cynisca wrote:
The Chaeronea Lion was erected to mark the graves of the Theban Sacred Band...
It seems the lion was discovered in 1818 and re erected at the same site.
The grave was excavated in 1881 and was found to contain the
254 skeletons laid out in 7 rows. Crying or Very sad
regards
Cynisca




Thanks Cynisca.
You see what we missed, Alejandro? I could have driven back to see it but you were talking about the potato lion Confused We started laughing Laughing and we didn' go back. Shame on us!
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apelles



Joined: 12 Mar 2005
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 04, 2006 12:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cynisca,thanks for that info on the Theban burials and the link to the Iranian lion.I seem to remember that the cult of Hephaistion there changed over time into a fertility cult and women hoping for children would go and smear jam onto the nose of the lion.It,s interesting how the original significance of monuments and sites can be lost but people still recognise that they,re still ritually important in some way and adapt them for their own use.
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joanna



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PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2006 5:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

FOURTH PART


17th July 2006



After having breakfast at home on the balcony, we took the metro to go to the Archaeological museum of Athens. We didn’t know the opening time on Mondays, which was at 1 pm, but we were lucky to arrive there just a few minutes after that time. And how about the closing time? It was 7.30 pm and we stayed there all this time, until it closed! And the funny thing is we didn’t have time to see everything. At the end we were walking quickly around trying to see the exhibits in the last rooms. God, it’s not a small museum. Of course I have been there before but it’s like the first time, every time I go. Apart from the striking and famous exhibits there are so many others. Thousands.
I’m not going to write what we saw as it’s not possible to include everything. But I’d like to mention the bronze Statue of Poseidon ( c. 460 BC) and the boy- Jockey, riding his horse (c. 180 BC) They are really impressive and among my favourite pieces there. Jewellery, weapons ( the gilded daggers are beautiful ), masks, pottery, vases, tools, statues…etc
It’s an interesting museum really. So, if it happens to be in the neighbourhood , pay it a visit. It’s worth it.

We trudged back home, once again exhausted. First we had something to eat. We were starving. Then, it was time. To watch “ALEXANDER” together! Very Happy The first time that two Alexandrians would watch the movie TOGETHER.I can’t describe how I was feeling (and Alejandro, I guess). At last, we were there one next to the other watching the best movie that has ever been made. Oh, how I wished that all of you had been there with us that time. We, the Alexandrians, must have this magic moment every time we meet. To watch the movie, make comments on the spot, have a hell of a time. Now, if Oliver joined us, that would be great. Have you ever thought about that? Can you imagine us watching it with Oliver? God, I would die with emotion. That movie will always be in my heart, no matter what. I love it!
Well, back to Alejandro and me watching the movie. Such a pleasant experience! That’s why I left it at the end so the trip would finish in such a lovely way. Of course, when the scene with Cadmos arrived (“Yes, great Pharaoh”), we started laughing. Sorry, Cadmos, it’s not your fault, it’s Alejandro’s who started all this. God, how much we laughed there! Laughing



18th July 2006



The best time to visit the Acropolis, in the summer, is early in the morning. It’s common sense. The earlier, the better. That’s exactly what we did not do! We went there around 11’o clock. Alejandro sleeps a lot!
Going out of the metro we first saw the theater of Dionysus under the Acropolis. You can walk in the theater; in the orchestra and auditorium; it’s not forbidden.
It was there that the great Greek dramatists Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides as well as Aristophanes and later Menander and others gave performances of their works. It’s a pity to say that during imperial Roman times , the orchestara of the theater was altered to an arena for gladiatorial combat Shocked . Do you see the difference between the ancient Greeks and the Romans? We never did these things. We never had gladiators fighting till death and people being thrown to the lions. We were civilized. They were savages. No Greek mind could have conceived the idea of killing people for… entertainment. That’s a serious thing but I’m not going to discuss it now. I have lived for a long time in Italy; you can tell. Am I starting to behave like my Italian friends Rolling Eyes ? It’s an issue that they avoid to discuss.

The Odeion of Herodus Atticus, the ‘Herodeion’, as it’s popularly known, was next. It was build in 160 AD by this illustrious rhetorician and sophist in memory of his wife, Regilla, who died the same year. Built in her memory? We are not convinced of that Mr. Herodus Atticus. If you built it for your wife it should be named after your wife. Then we would call it the ‘Regilleion’. If you started something good, you have to finish it right.
Anyway, I get a little upset when feminist issues arise Rolling Eyes .
It was roofed that’s why it’s called Odeion and that’s its difference from the theater. Today it’s still used for performances of ancient drama, concerts and other cultural activities. It’s fantastic to be there at night watching an event under the magnificent lit Parthenon. Unforgettable!

A lot of things to see. I’m always saying that but I can’t help it. We are in Greece. We are in Athens. Sanctuary of Dionysus, Odeion of Pericles, temple of Athena Nike, Asklepieion, Stoa of Eumenes, Areopagos, hill of the Nymphs, Pnyx…etc

Ok, let’s go to the Propylaia , the monumental entrance to the Acropolis. Its construction started in 437 BC and when the Peloponnesian War broke out some years later the monument remained unfinished. Listen to that “ finely wrought coffers in the ceilings of the central hall of the Propylaia were once decorated with gold multi-rayed stars in their centre.”
Did you get it? Multi-rayed stars; how many? 16? Alexander must have appreciated that during his visit there. Don’t you think so? Or they were made later? Honestly I have no idea. I’ll find out about it. It’s very interesting. Ah, did I tell you that I bought a copy of a kylix which is decorated with the Vergina sun (exactly 16 rays). It dates from the 8th c BC during the Geometric period and was found in Athens. It’s beautiful. Do you think that later on a Macedonian king saw it, liked it and made it the emblem of his region? Razz Just thinking

The Parthenon

Athena, Athena, Athena….what a personality this goddess had! Nike (the victor), Ergane (she who taught men the crafts), Promachos (she who protected in battle), Polias (patron of the city), Parthenos ( the virgin),… Berdemenos (she who confuses us)
“ In antiquity, three temples devoted to the worship of Athena Parthenos succeeded each other on exactly the site where the third in the serious, the imposing and magnificent Parthenon has stood from the mid 5th c. BC up till today.”(don’t ask me why the Parthenos prosonym was chosen for the most famous temple in the whole Greece; any ideas?)

Not necessary to say anything more about the Parthenon. It would spoil its importance.
One last thing. I wish people could walk inside the Parthenon. We can’t. I’d love to.
What can we do? Visit its replica in Nashville would be an alternative. You can walk in the temple and even see the gold and ivory statue of Athena Parthenos. Yes, that would be a solution. Great! (don’t pay attention) Parthenon is only one. And it’s going to be AGAIN in the ‘New 7 Wonders in the World’ list. Wow!
One more last thing. Now the temple looks like a single unified space. But, it was not like that. It was divided into four parts: the pronaos, the cella, the adyton (the main part of the temple where the chryselephantine statue of Athena was situated), and the opisthodomos.
That last part of the temple, the opisthodomos, was the storehouse for valuable objects as well as for money; the funds of the Athenian alliance after 438BC , and those of the very city of Athens itself.
Ok, everything sounds normal, but listen to that. “According to an ancient source, this sacred and inviolate part of the Parthenon was used in 304 BC as lodgings by Demetrios Polioketes, the Macedonian king, who converted the chamber into a venue for orgies.” What? Shocked Very Happy Orgies? In the Parthenon? Shall we check that ancient source out? It sounds extremely interesting.

The Erechtheion

The next more beautiful and important monument on the sacred rock, the one with the Karyatids. Aha, you know that, don’t you? That is all what most people know about it But it’s not fair. And because I think it deserves more of our attention and imitating my friend Alejandro (‘One should imitate his good friends’, Y.G. Greek philosopher), I would like to ask you some questions about it concerning names. Ok, here I go.
-Why is it called Erechtheion?
-What does the name of Hephaestus has to do with this temple?
-And how about Poseidon?
-Why Karyatides and not Korai?
-Erichthonios or Erechtheus? Aha, I confused you here.
- Boutes? Who was he?
- And why I hate Elgin? (ok, that’s easy)
- Have you heard about ‘oikouros ophis’? (if you say yes, you’re pulling my leg)

Ok, enough. Tell me the answers. Don’t expect everything from me! I have spoiled you, you know.



The Acropolis Museum.

The most important museum in the world! The best! The most exciting! Fabulous! Magnificent! Remarkable!
There are nine rooms. All of them have valuable displays but the lobby, but the lobby has the most valuable of all. Priceless. Unique. One of a kind. If only Leochares could come back to life! I would kiss him and thank him endlessly for giving us this magnificent… ‘Head of Alexander’. Excellent work. I believe it’s the most beautiful piece of sculpture of our guy. Most probably the sculptor produced it immediately after the battle of Chaeronia in 338 BC. Or maybe it was given to Alexander in person during his visit in Athens. Oh, I like to think of that. Now I understand why Leochares together with Lysippus were Alexander’s favourite sculptors. If you produce a masterpiece like that what do you expect? To be rejected?
Oh, Alexander is so sweet here. He’s gorgeous. His lovely wavy hair around his face. His face! You can say that ‘the Graces are dancing on his cheeks’. Leochares must have stolen the roses from Aphrodites’s breasts and put them on his lips, because now they bloom there (wow! I’ve just had Hephaestion’s inspiration). And I swear to…to…the Eleusinian goddesses (impressed?) that one day I will steal it. It’s stunning!
Ok, too much stealing for a day. For the time being I have to console myself with an authentic (I like how that salesman put it) copy of it which very soon I will possess. But you can’t imagine the difficulties I went through in order to get it. I’ll explain.

When I was in Athens (before the arrival of Alejandro) I went to visit the Acropolis once again. Then in a shop under the Acropolis I saw a beautiful copy of that head of Alexander. It looked like the real one. I hadn’t seen it before. I had seen only copies of smaller sizes. I wanted to buy it but as I was not alone and I had to do other things I decided to come back another day to get it. Then (after Alejandro left) when I happened to be in Athens again I went straight to that shop to buy it. But…it was not there! The guy at the shop told me, smiling (I felt a sudden urge to punch him in the face, I swear, but my good manners stopped me) that it was sold.
“Don’t you have another one in stock?”, I mumbled.
“What?”, the man said. He couldn’t hear me, of course, as I was speaking so softly and about to faint. But I found some strength and I managed to repeat my question, and hearing it this time, he said:
“Wait a minute, I’m going to see”.
Then he disappeared behind a door for some seconds that for me, that moment, seemed an eternity. He came back. He said smiling (again? I hate him):
“Sorry, we don’t have it”
I almost cried, believe me. I must have turned white, because he said:
“Are you all right?”
No answer,I left.
“There are so many shops here", I thought, while drinking a strong coffee in a nearby cafè to clear my mind and think of solutions. “I’m sure I’ll find it somewhere else. If he had it, others have it, too”
Well, I walked up and down the street with the shops, twice, looking every corner of them but in vain. No the Alexander I wanted Crying or Very sad
Now this is funny. Every time I was asking for it, after looking around desperately without seeing it, the shopkeepers were saying to me:
“No, we don’t have that but look, we have these Alexanders. Don’t you like them?”I must have had a terrible look on my face because after saying this stupid sentence they were apologising to me in a tone like a child would do being caught after having done something bad.. One man (a complete idiot) even dared to say to me:
“Ah, you mean the one with the broken nose. But why you want that? Look, take this one”, he said showing me a cheap, badly made bust of Alexander, not an exact copy, of course. And the silly man continued saying: “ Alexander is more beautiful here. You see, no broken nose!”
“God, hold me back, or I’ll kill him”, I said to myself.
So that’s the comic-tragic adventure I had in order to purchase the copy of that head of Alexander. Now, as I said above, very soon I’m going to have it as I’ve ordered it. Special order for me. They called me today. “Your Alexander arrived”, they said. Oh, what a lovely voice that man had on the phone! My Alexander arrived He’s waiting for me…YES!

And now back to the museum. I did manage to take a photo of Alejandro (posing actually) next to Alexander. Yes, I did it! We were lucky enough to take it when the museum attendant went out for a minute. This is luck! Alejandro is as beautiful as Alexander in the photo. And they look alike! I have said that before but I repeat, there is an amazing resemblance between the two. And judging from the boy’s intelligence, boldness, charm and of course, beauty, it’s not strange to believe that Alexander… came back to life Exclamation Yes, my friends, I start to believe that.
After all these, don’t expect me to say anything else about the Acropolis museum. I can see you’re happy about this decision and since all the other exhibits are overshadowed by Alexander, I’ll stop here…I mean I’ll stop to talk about the museum. Because I still have more things to say.

The Agora

The sun has risen and the day is beginning. Two vendors are laying out their wares on their stalls. People are crowding in front of the ballot boxes to find out if they’ve been drawn as judges in the Lawcourt. Further off, a few men are commenting on the latest stormy assembly of the Ekklesia of the Deme. Others are arriving to make sacrifice at the altar of the Twelve Gods …an ordinary day in the Agora, the busiest place in ancient Athens.

Alejandro and I were there, too. But only some thousands of years after. We chose a tree situated in a pleasantly spot with a view of the agora, and found some shade under it. It was hot. As we were cooling off nicely, we were talking about our journey. Extraordinary moments. I had more happiness than I needed. That moment I realised how fortunate I had been to take the trip. It will stay with me for ever. And I know that it will grow more beautiful as it ages. A good compensation for my old age (old age? In a long, long time from now, of course. Hm, Am I going to remember it after all, now I wonder). Invaluable in many ways. From the very moment I met Alejandro, from the first place we visited, the time we spent together watching the movie, what I found out is this: emotions and passions; yes, they do exist.

The temple of Hephaestus (447 BC), I know it as ‘Theseum’. And not only me. That’s how we call it. Deep in thought (see above) I named it the temple of Poseidon which actually is in Sounio. I have good memories from a visit on Cape Sounio (wonderful sunset Smile ) and I see Poseidons all over. Then, it’s not my fault! We keep on using different names instead of the original ones for monuments, streets, squares, you name them. What a nuisance!
Ok, the ‘Theseum’ is situated inside the agora and it’s not well-known. I mean not as much as it should be. But that’s a pity. Because it has a valuable characteristic; it’s the best-preserved ancient Greek temple in the world. Not bad, eh? But the truth is that it’s overshadowed by its neighbour, the illustrious Parthenon. Visitors to the Acropolis, admiring the Parthenon, don’t give the right attention to this old temple. Hephaestus, the god of blacksmiths, metallurgy and fire. Prometheus stole the fire from Hephaestus’s forge. He gave it to the man. A true friend he was! He did it without thinking the consequences. He sacrificed for us. Hm, I think I’ll rename this ancient temple once again : the temple of Prometheus. Yes, that’s better. It should have been given this name in honour of our benefactor. Not Hephaestus. Hephaestus? Wait a minute. That name rings a bell, now. Ah, our Hephaestion was named after him. Stupid me Embarassed ! How could I overlook that. Ok, temple of Hephaestus, you can keep your glorious name. Alexander agrees. No doubt he admired Prometheus, but didn’t he have a little, just a little more preference for his Hephaestion?

The Stoa of Attalus houses the museum of the finds in the agora. The restored building that exists today is an exact replica of the ancient one. In antiquity it was a shopping center with numerous stores on its two floors (wow, look Americans, not only democracy was originated in Athens but also shopping malls) We walked inside just to have a look around as all the things there are extremely expensive, and unfortunately we can’t afford them. .Believe me, I saw them. I would like to get the Apollo Patroos, the beautiful statue by Euphranor. Not bad, good choice. And how about some ostraka? I’d love some. I would inscribe some names of people I consider a danger to my precious life. They could stay away from me for… ten years. Ten years? That’s all? No, how about ...till death separates us?

We left for the shops under the Acropolis. Real shopping tiiime. The place is called Monastiraki and you can find almost everything. But first we had to find something to eat. And what can be better than a traditional souvlaki? Oh, I found it more delicious than usually as I was starving. I gulped it. The price: stains on my silk blouse that can’t be removed.
Shopping. We started buying and buying like crazy (kidding). But we did buy some personal things, very , very personal that I can’t tell you. No, I’ll tell you. Alejandro bought a ring for his girlfriend back in Spain . He was asking girls around the shop if they could try the ring on for him to see if it was the right size. Ok, finally he found a ring that he thought it would be the right size. “Can’t you tell if it’s the right size ?”, I asked him. “I’m not sure”, he responded me. Right away I understood how important this girl was in his life Rolling Eyes .
Then we saw copies of ancient coins depicted with Alexander to being worn as pendants, like the ones we had seen at Aegae. Here the price was even less. Very, very cheap anyone could afford to buy a fistful of them. And that’s exactly what Alejandro did! He bought a lot, one for each of his ‘Companions’. Of course he has his own which is bigger. He promised to wear it all the time. Do you have it on, right now, Alejandro? Who knows? (do I have to trust this boy?)
Oh, listen to this. While we were in that shop I overheard the owner (probably), a woman, talking to another woman about… what? Here it’s the exact dialogue.
“Look at that young man.”
“Who?”
“That one, over there. Are you blind? Isn’t he gorgeous?”
“Oh, yes, very handsome. What a face, look at his eyes, his lips. He looks like a god”
“Yeah, and the woman with him is not bad, either” (ops, you got me; different colour)

As you understood, these two women were talking about…our friend Alejandro! I was speaking in English to him and they assumed I was not Greek. Anyway, they weren’t talking about a bad thing . On the contrary it was great. They were admiring Alejandro! At once I whispered to him to ask for a discount when he’d go to pay for the things. He did so. Not surprised. He got it. Alejandro, you don’t have some companions, you already have an army, ready to conquer the world Very Happy .
Then he bought some books. I liked the cookery book for his dad. I have one like that. Good recipes, special for people who are on diet…only when they sleep. Hm, his father cooks. I’m crazy about men who cook. Tell him, Alejandro. I haven’t met a man who cooks so far.

In Katerini I had an idea. To dye Alejandro’s hair blond so I could take some photos. I had this bright idea Idea and as his parents were not there with us, I dared tell him so. I’m sure that if Alejandro had blond hair and happened to bump into Oliver, Colin would have no chance to get the role. Oliver would have his Alexander! Perfect.
So, shopping around that day, when I saw a cosmetics shop in front of me that marvellous idea ( remember, his mum didn’t know, otherwise she would kill me) returned to my mind. “Now it’s the chance to get the dye”, I thought. Now or never! He agreed. We went in and after finding the department for hair, we started looking for a dye that would be removed when you wash your hair. I’m sure I had seen something like that before, but we couldn’t find any. We even asked an attendant who knew less things than us. She was not good at giving answers but she was excellent asking. She asked me if the hair dye was for me. I said no. I didn’t say it was for him, though. I took pity on her.
Anyway, there wasn’t anything like that. Finally we bought a kind of foam that turned out to be the wrong product. I told Alejandro that during our next trip I’ll be sure to get the right product, and he will dye his hair. He promised. So, all the Alexandrians, who will be there ( I hope more of you will come next time), will have their Alexander, in… Alexandria. Wow, doesn’t it sound exciting? Did I tell you that I have already started planning the next trip? It’s going to be fantastic.


We couldn’t visit other places. Like the temple of Olympian Zeus , the Olympieion, as we also call it, Hadrian’s Arch, sanctuaries on the banks of the Illisos river, Plaka, the kerameikos, the Zappeion, the National Gardens, the Panathenaic stadium, the National Gallery, Lykavitos, the famous Syntagma square and my favourite one Omonoia. And this square is my favourite not only because it has a lovely name (omonoia means ‘concord’) but also for a memento of the years of its heyday which still fortunately survives: “MEGAS ALEXANDROS” Hotel. With a name like that the busy and chaotic square looks so charming. Any doubts?

Before going back home we stopped for a while at the Academy. It’s one of the three most characteristic edifices in the city. The other two are the University and the National Library. The Lyceum, Aristotle’s renowned school was more or less at the same place. Plato’s philosophical school, his Academy, was situated at a nearby place, in a grove close to the river Kephisos.
After spending a long time on the bus because of a demonstration in the streets in front of the Parliament we finally arrived home. We should have taken the subway, I know. Silly of us. It’s good that we found seats and we didn’t have to stand up all the way back home. We were speaking Italian on the bus. Yes, Alejandro speaks also Italian! And German; and French; and Chinese? So young but so bright! I wanted to tell him: “ Son, find a bigger place to live. Argentina is small for you!!!
(Damn, I didn’t say anything as it doesn’t fit his case. Argentina? Small?)


“Dye time”, I shouted, as I understood that he was trying to avoid doing so.
“ Come on, Alejandro do it!”
I couldn’t wait to see the result. Oh, my god!!! What I actually saw was Alejandro with his… dark hair again! Complete failure. Next time. Oh, yes, next time it will be a success!


We turned on the TV and guess what was on; “Alexander the Great”, the old film with Burton. Eh, that’s it! It was our destiny:Alexander to be with us every single moment. We watched it but…(do I have to say that?) not all. Alejandro wanted to sleep. Yeah, he had a tiring day, I could tell. I forgive him.



19th July 2006

Morning, breakfast, and internet. No, it’s not a title for an 80’s movie; it’s what we did that morning. Do you know there is another internet cafè much nearer my house, Alejandro? I didn’t know.
We checked our e-mails and surprisingly found out that our ‘philalexandros’ is a girl. We thought it was a man. Nice surprise.
I didn’t dare to go to the forum. Neither did Alejandro, I think. I’m so afraid to see what I have missed all this time. I’ve even had some nightmares recently about it.

Almost four o’clock in the afternoon and I had to leave Crying or Very sad . Time flies, specially when you don’t want to. I had to meet another friend of mine at the airport. Then we would go to my country house. Exactly like I did with Alejandro. Daniela’s a good friend and I love her but… I wouldn’t do what I did with him. No.

This time I wouldn’t take a trip with her. I wouldn’t have the joy to travel through the ‘kingdom’ of Alexander. I wouldn’t journey from one spiritual victory to another. I wouldn’t see hardness and tenderness stand side by side, complementing each other. I wouldn’t see strength and grace combined. O these two ingredients of perfection joined together wherever you go in Greece. My country. And makes you feel a mystical sense of mission and responsibility. Alexander realized that and he took action. What can I do? How am I to become worthy of my ancestors?


I enjoyed this trip so much. But, I am Greek and I was in my country. Did Alejandro feel the same? I think so. I think he realized that ‘ancient Greek civilization was not a supernatural flower suspended in midair; it was a tree that rooted itself deeply in the soil, consumed mud, and turned this mud into real flowers’.

We viewed, smelled, and touched Greece. Pella, Thessaloniki, Aegae, Dion, Olympos, Thermopylai, Delphi, Thebes, Corinth, Athens. Each place so filled with human struggle; with human glory; with light. And Greek men back then being able to see clearly in this light succeeded in transforming chaos into order; confusion into harmony.

To travel through Greece is a true joy; a great enrichment.
To travel through Greece with Alejandro is a sheer bliss.
Thank you, Alejandro. I really enjoyed it.




THE END
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apelles



Joined: 12 Mar 2005
Posts: 1152

PostPosted: Sun Sep 10, 2006 2:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh no,is that the END?More,more!!! Laughing Very,very good Yanna.Lots of interesting details,information and probably an inspiration to anyone thinking of going.Love the amusing bits too!Hair dye?What?Did you leave us anything to buy?I wonder who bought your head of Alexander and caused all the trouble.Never mind,you probably have it by now.
Well done.It was a journey worthy of Alexandrians. Very Happy
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joanna



Joined: 02 Feb 2005
Posts: 1270
Location: Greece/USA/Italy/UK/

PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2006 11:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, Janie.

Forgive me for the millions of gramatical or whatever mistakes I saw when I read it again Embarassed I hope my students won't see it. But, it's ok, after all they are Italians Rolling Eyes Their reputation for learning foreign languages is...well-known. Ask the foreign languages teachers, here. They know.

Oh, god, I have such a stressful job!
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Alexandros_19



Joined: 15 Feb 2005
Posts: 1230
Location: Argentina

PostPosted: Fri Sep 15, 2006 3:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

joanna wrote:
FOURTH PART


18th July 2006



The best time to visit the Acropolis, in the summer, is early in the morning. It’s common sense. The earlier, the better. That’s exactly what we did not do! We went there around 11’o clock. Alejandro sleeps a lot!


Sex and sleep are the two things that remind me I'm mortal. Smile
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Alexandros_19



Joined: 15 Feb 2005
Posts: 1230
Location: Argentina

PostPosted: Fri Sep 15, 2006 4:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

joanna wrote:
FOURTH PART

Then we saw copies of ancient coins depicted with Alexander to being worn as pendants, like the ones we had seen at Aegae. Here the price was even less. Very, very cheap anyone could afford to buy a fistful of them. And that’s exactly what Alejandro did! He bought a lot, one for each of his ‘Companions’. Of course he has his own which is bigger. He promised to wear it all the time. Do you have it on, right now, Alejandro? Who knows? (do I have to trust this boy?)
Oh, listen to this. While we were in that shop I overheard the owner (probably), a woman, talking to another woman about… what? Here it’s the exact dialogue.
“Look at that young man.”
“Who?”
“That one, over there. Are you blind? Isn’t he gorgeous?”
“Oh, yes, very handsome. What a face, look at his eyes, his lips. He looks like a god”
“Yeah, and the woman with him is not bad, either” (ops, you got me; different colour)

As you understood, these two women were talking about…our friend Alejandro! I was speaking in English to him and they assumed I was not Greek. Anyway, they weren’t talking about a bad thing . On the contrary it was great. They were admiring Alejandro! At once I whispered to him to ask for a discount when he’d go to pay for the things. He did so. Not surprised. He got it. Alejandro, you don’t have some companions, you already have an army, ready to conquer the world Very Happy .


Only now I come to know exactly what they were saying. Smile With this kind of anecdotes and comments you'll only achieve to raise my ego (actually, could it go higher?) Laughing Yes, she gave me the discount (the things were cheap already, but even cheaper then) and the coins have been given already to most of my closest Companions, who wear them permanently (I have to say they impressed me a bit with that... or at least they wear them in my presence Laughing), as I do with mine (of course I have it one, Y.G. Greek philosopher, and I also have my ring).
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