Home > Europe > Original Olympic Stadia and The Elgin Plasters

Original Olympic Stadia and The Elgin Plasters

September 25, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

If you ever wanted to know what it was like to have Bell ringers on Vodka and Red Bull, try Sunday morning in Athens. You know it’s is 14 minutes past the hour because they have a 1 minute break (presumably to top up their energy, mop their brow, burst any blisters and prepare for quarter past), call for prayer and the bottom of the bell tower must be a writhing orgy of rope tugging as they compete to out do each other and more importantly the church down the road.


yes, they did all have a picture at no.1

all white marble - good for running, bad for headaches.

With all the bells we got up relatively early and walked past all the riot police to the site of the original Olympic stadium. Whilst not entirely original (and therefore devoid of tourists) some parts are still 2500 years old and the “new” stadium itself was created for the 19th century rekindling of the Olympics. The scale was tremendous with row after row after row of never ending white marble. This is of course a kids dream and even though it was well over 30 deg and the sun was burning down, an opportunity to do several laps of the original Olympic stadium was irresistible. Kai decided to run around the top tier of seats, which we later worked out at nearly 2 miles. Needless to say, he spent the next hour in the “tunnel of sighs” cooling down and recovering. (the original tunnel leading the gladiators and competitors into the arena).


you can just make him out - top left

Whilst we were enjoying ourselves, we were oblivious to the riots going on 500 yards away in Syntagma Square. After the regulation siesta, we headed for the Acropolis Museum which is incredible, marvelled at the sheer beauty of the Greek art (it is SO much more intricate and perfect in the flesh) and then wondered at the total injustice of the Elgin Marbles being in the British Musuem. Inside the museum on the top floor is a reconstruction of the Parthenon, showing the marbles in their correct location, only then do you realise the impact of the marbles and how the building was ravaged when the decorations were removed. Now that the Greeks have caught up in their archeological appreciation and are no longer “barbarians” – surely they deserve their marbles back. (The British Museum have kindly given the Greeks a plaster cast of the marbles, that must have hurt!)

really not cool

Categories: Europe Tags: , , ,
  1. katko
    September 29, 2011 at 3:49 pm

    Why is the man with the funny panty hose and dressed like a girl walking around with hedgehogs on his feet? Have I just majorly dissed a cultural tradition?

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