After a short breakfast together, we dove right into things and set out to see the Agora. The Agora, which means “open space,” was the meeting place for the democracy of ancient Athenian citizens. It is home to numerous ancient monuments, including the very well-preserved Temple of Hephaestus.
We briefly took some time off to indulge in authentic Greek gyros, before making our way to the New Acropolis Museum. Opened in 2009, this magnificent structure is an amazing testament to the importance Greeks place on their national heritage. It provides the perfect preparation for tomorrow’s excursion to the Acropolis site and is honestly one of the coolest museums I have ever had the pleasure of visiting. While there, we learned all there was to know about the Acropolis as the center for Ancient Greek devotion, as well as the long-brewing controversy over the famous Elgin Marbles, a controversy that continues to this day…
We finished the day with a photo scavenger hunt meant to test our students on their knowledge of Greek culture and customs. Luckily we have a very perceptive group, and I can say with pride that our students have already become very well acquainted with the city. We headed to bed exhausted and excited knowing that tomorrow we will take the hike to Athens’s most famous of sites: The Acropolis!