1 July 2009
Last night, we enjoyed two encore productions of the “essential” Greek tragedies. Tuesday night, David C. directed and performed in Agamemnon—including masks for the chorus and principal actors. Last night, we had scenes from the Bacchae and Medea—both featuring women behaving badly. It was entertaining and offered a clear endorsement for moderation—always the Greek way. The Davids and I met Judy and Tele Marcopoulos and went out for dinner. Tele regaled us with the story of his arranged marriage and Judy refreshed my memory of her early experiences with the “evil eye.” Many of you will see those evil eyes in the necklaces of your friends, children, and spouses. I will leave it to them to explain.
Today we went to the Acrocrinth and ancient Corinth. The acrocorinth is the fortified bastion 500 meters above Corinth and overlooking their seaport. It was notable for its Temple of Aphrodite and the 1000 priestesses of Aphrodite. Google will provide the colorful story of the duties those priestesses performed in service to the goddess of love. Tammy presented an introduction to Aphrodite and Natalie introduced Psyche. Think about this: “Love” is married to the God of the foundry, Hephaestos, but loves Ares, the god of war. Psyche, “soul,” is matched with Eros, the immature boy god of love. Tonight in our philosophy discussion, maybe we can figure out what this tells us about human nature. Sigh. Next, we went down to the site of ancient Corinth and considered how those monolithic columns on theTemple of Apollo were set in place. We remembered poor, vain, silly Glauce who thought it was swell to try on a new dress and hat from the woman whose husband she had stolen (lesson: don’t). We walked through the site, noted the beme where St. Paul addressed the Corinthians, and explored the Roman forum built by Herod Atticus and rebuilt by Julius Caesar. After the museum—great frieze of the 12 labors of Herakles, Tammy introduced the hero Herakles. Finally, a late lunch in the town and a quiet bus back to Paralio Astros. The clouds did not keep us from the beach and I’m sure everyone is now preparing for the informal discussion of Greek philosophy—a Greek symposium that includes the womenfolk. Tonight we will all dine together and celebrate our last night in Paralio Astros. I promise to do my best to get everyone on the bus back to Athens in the morning. Almost everyone is asking if we really have to leave . . .
Below are the brightest and best thoughts of your beloved children, spouses, best pals, and coworkers about their time in Greece so far—and other random messages to you all back at home.
Our trip so far has been amazing – just when you think you’ve seen “the best thing” you see something else. For those of you who know me, I will tell you that I have had the pleasure of seeing them place a block in the Acropolis; carefully working to rebuild columns from a yard full of carefully sorted fallen column pieces; seen ancient arches dating back to the Bronze Age and fortifications built on top of fortifications. Fascinating stuff. I am also pushing John Tyler to do a course in Roman civil engineering feats to be topped off with a trip to Italy to check them out – I’ll be among the first to sign up and will be urging you all to come along. The scenery and beaches are fantastic. The drivers are hair raising and we are having a wonderful time. - Mickie Jones
It is hard to believe we are into the second (and, alas, last) week of this trip! I have continued to seek the perfect red rock from the beach at Paralio Astros, and those of you who have not yet come to Greece but hope to do so on a future JTCC venture will be glad to know that my quest is not fulfilled. If ever I find a perfect red rock, I will not have to return to Paralio Astros but, since there doesn’t seem to be one on the beach, I will have to keep coming back. Darn! —David Head
Moustache! Just kidding – I’m not kidnapped, but I’m definitely staying here. I ate octopus and have even taken to such vegetation as eggplant and zucchini. I never would have guessed that that would happen! I love touring the sites and even got complimented on my Greek in Napflio (I’m amazing, I know). I miss you and love you all, and I can’t wait to see you when you make it out here for my house warming party. Xoxo – Natalie McGregor
Love it. Tall mountains, pretty beaches and awesome food. Cool people too. Can’t ask for much more! – El
Hello all! Greece is amazing…I am thoroughly enjoying every moment (except the throbbing knee pain ones, please please please someone find me a doctor’s appointment for Tuesday!!). I have been working hard on my tan and Pam declared it “ridiculous” ealant salad and stuffed grape leaves. Lots of walking, eating (especially yummy sweet bread & ice cream!!) and getting to know new people. I have seen lots and lots of really important rocks. Learning and laughing all through Greece. ~Pam (otherwise known as “Pamcakes”)