Friday April 24
Sites Visited: Gla (Mycenaean citadel), Orchomenos (Mycenaean tholos tomb and Classical polis), Chaeronea (Classical battlefield)
Where did we stay tonight?: Livadhia
Leaders: KT Holroyd and Jerry Guo
Today, the FSP group continued its tour of Greek sites with place names that are difficult or interesting to pronounce. We bid adieu to the chic Hotel Niobe and the bustling market town of Thebes early in the morning, with many group members dawdling at the breakfast buffet for just one more fried egg and filtered coffee. Some would say it is depressing that such simple things now excite us so much. We would respond through a mouthful of fried eggs.
Sites in Central Greece are mercifully close together, so we had only a short bus ride to the Mycenaean site of Gla. A massive fortified rock sitting in the middle of an agricultural plain, Gla sat in the center of the Kopais Basin, which was drained by the Mycenaeans in a massive engineering feat. The remains of Gla are overgrown now, and after a short lecture, Professor Faro sent the group off to explore the ruins (and write an assignment).
The group returned to the bus for a short hop to the next site, Orchomenos. After a visit to the Treasury of Minyas and the Hellenistic theater, we undertook a hike to the acropolis, ascending an ancient staircase to finally reach the top. Lunch was on top of the surviving fortification tower on the peak, and it ranged from salami and mustard sandwiches to canned dolmades (grape leaves stuffed with rice).
The final site of the day was Chaeronea, the site of the Battle of Chaeronea where Philip II and Alexander of Macedon eliminated the Athenian and Theban hoplites arrayed against them, thus ensuring Macedonian supremacy over Greece. A massive stone lion marks the burial site of the Sacred Band of Thebes, the crack troops of the Theban army who were all but annihilated at the battle.
With an early end to the day, the group took the opportunity to enjoy some much needed time off and watch 300. Tomorrow: Thermopylae. Prepare for glory!!!!
Glad to be at Gla:
Figuring out the remains at Gla:
Tholos tomb at Orchomenos:
Kings/Queens of the mountain at Orchomenos:
Alex A. gives a (melo)dramatic reading of Diodorus Siculus at Chaeronea:
Day 34 Photo Gallery: