08 – Week Eight (10-16 May)


Week 6

Week 8

Saturday May 16th

Sites Visited: Abdera (Clazomenaian colony site and museum), Phillipi (Roman and Early Christian settlement)

Where did we stay tonight?: Thessaloniki

Leaders: Charles Clark and Jerry Guo

This morning we made our tearful farewells to the Pegasus Hotel in Thasos town, home of no breakfast, a large pool, and a jumping kitten. The morning ferry ride back to the mainland was mercifully uneventful, with some members of the group choosing to sit outside on the top deck and get eaten by mosquitoes. After a short bus ride east, we made our way to the Greek colonial site of Abdera. The museum included a lovely display of massive clay sarcophagi that were apparently meant to be stood upright to be displayed for sale. One can only imagine the used sarcophagi dealers of the ancient world taking buyers around a lot full of these things. After a look at the museum and the remains of the site, we undertook a major expedition to reach the summit of the acropolis at Abdera. The 30m hill was too much for many group members.

Our next stop was the site of Philippi, the site of a major Roman town and the famous battle where Mark Antony and Octavian defeated the rebels Brutus and Cassius in sacred combat. After our excruciating march up the acropolis at Abdera, we decided to not summit the acropolis at Philippi, and there was much rejoicing. After lunch, we worked on an assignment on the differences between Greek and Roman civic/commercial spaces and headed on the bus for Thessaloniki and our northern Greece home away from home, the Hotel Vergina, conveniently located in the least convenient part of Thessaloniki: the red light district. After one more night in this desolate wasteland, we head back to Athens, where we will prepare for our next big journey: Turkey.

Day 56 Photo Gallery:
Residua of an addiction.

Residua of an addiction.

Kathryn, Jason, and Jerry on the early morning boat back from Thasos to the mainland.

Kathryn, Jason, and Alex A. on the early morning boat back from Thasos to the mainland.

Ally and Dallis read intently on the boat from Thasos to Keramoti.

Ally and Dallis read intently on the boat from Thasos to Keramoti.

Ben and Jerry practice for their careers as Amita salespeople.

Ben and Jerry practice for their careers as Amita salespeople.

Spot the Greek hit-man.

Spot the Greek hit-man.

Ally digs into the Iliad.

Ally digs into the Iliad.

Alex M. expresses her delight at the opportunity to see the museum at Abdera.

Alex M. expresses her delight at the opportunity to see the museum at Abdera.

Ancient Abdera!

Ancient Abdera!

Dallis, KT, Alex M. and Chris take notes at Abdera.

Dallis, KT, Alex M. and Chris take notes at Abdera.

Prof. Christesen lectures about the settlement at Abdera.

Prof. Christesen lectures about the settlement at Abdera.

Boldly going where few tourists or archaeologists dare to tread: Ancient Abdera.

Boldly going where few tourists or archaeologists dare to tread: Ancient Abdera.

Kait basks in the splendour.

Kait basks in the splendour.

Perambulation of Adbera.

Perambulation of Adbera.

Charlie and Alex A. agog at the monuments of ancient Abdera.

Charlie and Alex A. agog at the monuments of ancient Abdera.

Summit of the 30 m. Abderan acropolis.

Summit of the 30 m. Abderan acropolis.

Ally attempts to extract a sea urchin spine from Jason's ankle.

Ally attempts to extract a sea urchin spine from Jason's ankle.

The patient exudes existential calm: reading a Scooby Doo comic while he goes under the knife..

The patient exudes existential calm: reading a Scooby Doo comic while he goes under the knife..

Jerry, Alex, and Kathryn enjoy a picnic lunch on the verdant lawn at Phillipi.

Jerry, Alex A., and Kathryn enjoy a picnic lunch on the verdant lawn at Philippi.

Dallis and Charlie listen to a lecture on Phillipi.

Dallis and Charlie listen to a lecture on Philippi.

Jerry leans back in contemplation...

Jerry leans back in contemplation...

...and the chair can not contain him!  Boom goes the dynamite.

...and the chair can not contain him! Boom goes the dynamite.

Alex A. &c. file through the ruins at Philippi.

Alex A. &c. file through the ruins at Philippi.

The theater at Philippi

The theater at Philippi

St. Paul's prison.

St. Paul's prison.

Locked out of St. Paul's prison.

Locked out of St. Paul's prison.

Ben, Alex A., and Joe take notes at Philippi.

Ben, Alex A., and Joe take notes at Philippi.

Jerry sherding in Basilica A at Philippi.

Jerry sherding in Basilica A at Philippi.

The group trails Kathryn down to the forum at Philippi.

The group trails Kathryn down to the forum at Philippi.

Chris, Jason, Ally, and Kathryn take notes in Basilica B at Philippi.

Chris, Jason, Ally, and Kathryn take notes in Basilica B at Philippi.

The Roman latrine.

The Roman latrine.

Making use of the facilities, a perennial Philippi favorite.

Making use of the facilities, a perennial Philippi favorite.

Kait prefers to spectate.

Kait prefers to spectate.

The forum at Philippi.

The forum at Philippi.

Chris and the roof over the Octagon at Philippi.

Chris and the roof over the Octagon at Philippi.

The Sneak!

The Sneak!

Sneaking!

Sneaking!

Sneak assailant.

Sneak assailant.

The guards stand vigil over our small study group, lest the serpent rear his beady-eyed head once more!

The guards stand vigil over our small study group, lest the serpent rear his beady-eyed head once more!

Despite having avoided death by snake bite, the group falls prey to a more deadly predator: the Christesen assignment!

Despite having avoided death by snake bite, the group falls prey to a more deadly predator: the Christesen assignment!

The humanity!

The humanity!

Jason seems to have cracked under the pressure.

Jason seems to have cracked under the pressure.

Week 6

Week 8

Friday May 15th

Sites Visited: Thasos town (Classical polis), Aliki (Classical through Byzantine marble quarry)

Where did we stay tonight?: Thasos

Leaders: Kathryn Mammel and Kate Ginsberg

It was a long, beautiful day on the marble-rich island of Thasos. We got a late start this morning (7:15!) and walked much of the ancient city of Thasos. We visited the old harbor where modern boat men prepared their nets, watched a fisherman fishing in the sunrise on Evraiokastro, hiked two (!) acropoleis, descended a secret staircase of death, hunted for tadpoles at a sanctuary of Heracles, visited the Thasos Archaeological Museum, discovered (but did not buy) cannabis ice tea at a periptero, and—finding ourselves ahead of schedule—returned to the hotel for a mid-day nap. At 12:30, we awoke from our naps and donned beach apparel for an afternoon swim at an ancient marble quarry…life is hard in Greece.

After a 45 minute drive to the ancient marble quarry of Aliki and a brief lecture on marble working techniques, we prowled the site for rejected, roughly finished architectural blocks. Charlie and Kathryn won the competition with their discovery of a 10 meter monolithic column. We then dispersed for an afternoon at the beach and quarry. Some hit the seaside cafes for endless plates of fresh octopus, others soaked up the sun on the shore and tried to avoid the Speedo-clad and/or topless Eastern European tourists, and the more adventurous went for a swim in the sea urchin infested waters off of the quarry.  We left the quarry around 5:30, and returned to the hotel for a poolside Iliad discussion which lasted late into the night. We then descended on the local eateries for late-night take-away dinners and congregated in the lobby for our daily internet fix and Iliad reading.

Thasos Acropolis:

All yon Sheperdes Beware the Wrath of Pan!:

Day 55 Photo Gallery:

Early morning lecture in the old harbor at Thasos town.

Early morning lecture in the old harbor at Thasos town.

Dewey foliage by the sea.

Dewey foliage by the sea.

Intimidating hood ornament.

Intimidating hood ornament.

A piece of innocent bread goes to sleep with the fishes.

A piece of innocent bread goes to sleep with the fishes.

Kate at Evraiokastro.

Kate at Evraiokastro.

Evraiokastro.

Evraiokastro.

Fishing for breakfast at Evraiokastro.

Fishing for breakfast at Evraiokastro.

Alex, Chris, and Kathryn enjoy the decent view.

Alex, Chris, and Kathryn enjoy the decent view.

Kait peeps around the corner as Dallis descends the slope.

Kait peeps around the corner as Dallis descends the slope.

Vista appreciated, the group ascends once again.

Vista appreciated, the group ascends once again.

KT in front of the small church at Evraiokastro.

KT in front of the small church at Evraiokastro.

Kait and Joe navigate the busy throughways of the Thasian acropolis.

Kait and Joe navigate the busy throughways of the Thasian acropolis.

Rambling about the acropolis.

Rambling about the acropolis.

Jason surveys the port from the temple of Apollo.

Jason surveys the port from the temple of Apollo.

Chris grants the rare Johnson seal of approval.

Chris grants the rare Johnson seal of approval.

Dallis and Ben.

Dallis and Ben.

A quiet moment on the Thasian acropolis.

A quiet moment on the Thasian acropolis.

Ben, Joe and Jerry see what they can see.

Ben, Joe and Jerry see what they can see.

Ben tests his aerodynamics.

Ben tests his aerodynamics.

Ever higher.

Ever higher.

Group at the temple of Apollo.

Group at the temple of Apollo.

Ben Pahn

Ben Pahn

Kate and Alex M. head down the ancient stairway from the acropolis.

Kate and Alex M. head down the ancient stairway from the acropolis.

Descent.

Descent.

Chris and Dallis, calm masters of staircase navigation.

Chris and Dallis, calm masters of staircase navigation.

Goatlets.

Goatlets.

Congregating 'round the gate of Zeus and Hera.

Congregating 'round the gate of Zeus and Hera.

A colorful gecko.

A colorful gecko.

The boys pose by the Gate of Zeus and Hera

The boys pose by the Gate of Zeus and Hera

Peripteros sell everything!

Peripteros sell everything!

Kathryn leads the way into the agora.

Kathryn leads the way into the agora.

Lecture on what the brush and swamp was hiding in the agora.

Lecture on what the brush and swamp was hiding in the agora.

Enchanting spitaki on the beach at Aliki.

Enchanting spitaki on the beach at Aliki.

A beachside taverna offers up good cheer and octopus.

A beachside taverna offers up good cheer and octopus.

Tentacles and Laundry hang out to dry at Aliki.

Tentacles and Laundry hang out to dry at Aliki.

A pleasure boat of German tourists in the harbor at Aliki.

A pleasure boat of German tourists in the harbor at Aliki.

At the marble quarry.

At the marble quarry.

Joe examines a roughed out column drum in the shallows.

Joe examines a roughed out column drum in the shallows.

Prof. Christesen lectures on marble at Aliki.

Prof. Christesen lectures on marble at Aliki.

On the prowl in the quarry.

On the prowl in the quarry.

Jerry searches for an architectural element while Joe and Chris frolic amongst the gleaming marble.

Jerry searches for an architectural element while Joe and Chris frolic amongst the gleaming marble.

Kait and Prof. Christesen at Aliki.

Kait and Prof. Christesen at Aliki.

Meta-photography at Aliki.

Meta-photography at Aliki.

Jerry peers about the landscape.

Jerry peers about the landscape.

Jason ablutes himself with marble slurry.

Jason ablutes himself with marble slurry.

Ally, Dallis, KT, and Alex M. explore the quarries.

Ally, Dallis, KT, and Alex M. explore the quarries.

Charlie wins.

Charlie wins.

Aliki vista.

Aliki vista.

Bright sea and brighter marble.

Bright sea and brighter marble.

Jason goes a-clambering.

Jason goes a-clambering.

Partial group on a marble outcropping.

Partial group on a marble outcropping.

The ladies strike a pose at Aliki.

The ladies strike a pose at Aliki.

Kathryn and Prof. Christesen read the Iliad while Ally relaxes post-swim.

Kathryn and Prof. Christesen read the Iliad while Ally relaxes post-swim.

Evening poolside Iliad discussion

Evening poolside Iliad discussion

Week 6

Week 8

Thursday May 14th

Sites Visited: Serres (Thraco-Greek museum and town), Amphipolis (off-again on-again Athenian colony)

Where did we stay tonight?: Thasos

Leaders: Ally Begly and Chris Johnson

Today we awoke (very early) and bid goodbye to the Hotel Vergina. After filling up on the rare real scrambled eggs, we boarded the bus and drove to Serres, a small town at the foot of a mountain. While in Serres, we visited the archaeological museum which was housed in an old covered Turkish marketplace, one of only two in all of Greece. Afterwards, Chris and Ally eschewed the use of maps and lead the group up the hill to the acropolis, which features some substantial Byzantine fortifications. After a serious attack by some nettles (a plant which stings really, really bad) we reached the top of the acropolis and also saw an old church. We walked back down into town, and sat in the square, listening to a band play while eating a delicious local specialty candy. Back on the bus, we headed to Amphipolis, where we ate lunch and Sarah treated us with a big watermelon. Everyone loved it except for Ben, who described it as “tasting like water, with fruity flavor.” We took a walk around the old city, and saw some impressive fortifications. The best part of the trip was when we saw an old bridge from antiquity, with wood that has been preserved for thousands of years through mineralization. After some creative thinking about how to actually get into the site, we were able to check out the bridge. Afterwards we walked up to the museum, where we checked out the artifacts. Then we got back on the bus and took the ferry over to Thasos, a small island off the mainland. We arrived at Hotel Pegasus and after some swimming in the pool (!) went to dinner. Tomorrow we explore the mines and head to the marble quarry for a swim!  

Day 54 Photo Album:

View of Serres from the kastro.

View of Serres from the kastro.

Alex A. inspects the local flora.

Alex A. inspects the local flora.

Ablutements at Serres.

Ablutements at Serres.

Kathryn, Alex M. et al relaxing after the climb at Serres.

Kathryn, Alex M. et al relaxing after the climb at Serres.

Ben shows off his hard-won nettle stings.

Ben shows off his hard-won nettle stings.

Sarah brings forth the sweetmeats.

Sarah brings forth the sweetmeats.

Going for the ant farm food.

Going for the ant farm food.

Jason shows exemplary gusto.

Jason shows exemplary gusto.

Jerry and the church of Ayios Nikolaos at Serres.

Jerry and the church of Ayios Nikolaos at Serres.

MACEDONIA...

MACEDONIA...

...IS...

...IS...

...GREEK!!!

...GREEK!!!

Musicians jam in the plataea at Serres.

Musicians jam in the plataea at Serres.

The group takes a leisurely break to scope the scene.

The group takes a leisurely break to scope the scene.

And summer is officially here!

And summer is officially here!

Ben is perplexed by the strangely watery fruit.

Ben is perplexed by the strangely watery fruit.

Charlie has no such reservations.

Charlie has no such reservations.

Amphipolitan amphifauna.

Amphipolitan amphifauna.

Grim Romanian cookies.

Grim Romanian cookies.

Walls at Amphipolis

Walls at Amphipolis

Jason leads the mini-siege.

Jason leads the mini-siege.

Jerry inside the walls at Amphipolis.

Jerry inside the walls at Amphipolis.

The 5th century BCE wooden (!) bridge over the Strymon river at Amphipolis.

The 5th century BCE wooden (!) bridge over the Strymon river at Amphipolis.

Alex A. waits for a train at an abandoned train station in Amphipolis while using his Livestrong bracelet as a watch.

Alex A. waits for a train at an abandoned train station in Amphipolis while using his Livestrong bracelet as a watch.

Group at the Amphipolis lion.

Group at the Amphipolis lion.

Dallis, Alex A., KT, and Charlie on the ferry to Thasos.

Dallis, Alex A., KT, and Charlie on the ferry to Thasos.

Kate on the boat to Thasos.

Kate on the boat to Thasos.

Chris and Jason.

Chris and Jason.

Sarah chucks some cheetos at the gulls.

Sarah chucks some cheetos at the gulls.

Crunching and munching.

Crunching and munching.

Flocks of birds go fluttering under the suns rays - not all are fraught with meaning.

Flocks of birds go fluttering under the suns rays - not all are fraught with meaning.

Jason and Kait take some laps in the pool at the hotel on Thasos.

Jason and Kait take some laps in the pool at the hotel on Thasos.

Week 6

Week 8

Wednesday May 13th

Sites Visited: Thessaloniki (city and archaeological museum), American Farm School

Where did we stay tonight?: Thessaloniki

Leaders: Ben Kahn and Alex Maceda

Today we woke up bright an early and left the lovely Hotel Vergina in the not so lovely Red Light District (Hi Mom!) to walk to the Agora bus stop.  Our little stint on Thessaloniki public transportation took us up to the city’s acropolis, where we received a morning lecture from PCC about the city’s history as we looked out upon it. Our fearless leader Ben then led us down the sleepy streets to Galerius’s Rotunda, a building whose purpose was originally unknown but later turned into a Christian basilica.  After picking up two more (canine) companions, we ventured past a Roman arch and to the famous Venetian white tower. We were able to walk up and stop at all of the high tech museum exhibits, unfortunately all in Greek. Nevertheless, we rallied onwards and upwards to the top of the tower for a wonderful seaside view.

Our next stop was the city’s Archaeological Museum where we given an assignment to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of making vessels in metal vs. terracotta, paying particular attention to the famous Derveni krater. While some groups opted for the local café/frappe scene, others opted for a more foreign option: Pizza Hut.  More ambitious groups ventured all the way across the city to the Museum of the Jewish Presence, as Thessaloniki was once home to the largest Jewish population in Greece.

After all was squared away with Derveni Tomb B, we made use of some of our Dartmouth connections and went to visit the American Farm School about 30 minutes outside the city.  There, we met up with Andrew Klein ’08 and Amanda Webb ’08, two current graduates working as interns at the school.  We got a look at the facilities- dorms, sport complexes, cow sheds? – in the back of a tractor-turned tour bus from the college’s assistant dean, and finally ended with a presentation of their summer program in the college’s library. Note to Dartmouth: computers built into the desks of lecture halls would look wonderful in Reed.

After saying goodbye to our compatriots we headed back to the Vergina, where Alex threw her weight around to get a wonderful conference room for our discussion group. The next hour saw a scintillating discussion of Iliad Books 6-8, and the many philosophical problems that came along with it… fate, chance, destiny… you know, the usual.  Alex then provided the group with her “discourse,” a reflection on her life, formative experiences, things she values… you know, the other usuals… to which PCC asked, “what’s the point?”

Existentialist questions aside, it was a great day with great leadership. 

Day 53 Photo Gallery:

Waiting for the bus to the citadel in Thessaloniki.

Waiting for the bus to the citadel in Thessaloniki.

Chris joins a couple of early morning lovebirds in appreciating the vista of the city.

Chris joins a couple of early morning lovebirds in appreciating the vista of the city.

Lecture outside of the old city walls of Thessaloniki.

Lecture outside of the old city walls of Thessaloniki.

Benellations

Benellations

Fanciful graffito

Fanciful graffito

Walking through the old Turkish quarter.

Walking through the old Turkish quarter.

Someone threw the baby out with the...something.

Someone threw the baby out with the...something.

In the heavenly glow inside the Rotonda of Galerius.

In the heavenly glow inside the Rotonda of Galerius.

Jerry and pal.

Jerry and pal.

The arch of Galerius.

The arch of Galerius.

Creepy mannequins of Thessaloniki.

Creepy mannequins of Thessaloniki.

Walking up the stairway of the White Tower, a former prison on the quay.

Walking up the stairway of the White Tower, a former prison on the quay.

Learning the history of Thessaloniki in the White Tower museum.

Learning the history of Thessaloniki in the White Tower museum.

The group drinks deep from the pool of knowledge.

The group drinks deep from the pool of knowledge.

Joe in front of a great fire of 1917 themed display.

Joe in front of a great fire of 1917 themed display.

An exhibit in the White Tower museum excites dramatic gesturing.

An exhibit in the White Tower museum excites dramatic gesturing.

Ben considers the life of a White Tower prisoner.

Ben considers the life of a White Tower prisoner.

Alex A. and Dallis interact with Byzantine pottery.

Alex A. and Dallis interact with Byzantine pottery.

More interactiveness: an animated cafe table which plays videos of the preparation of traditional Thessalonikian delicacies.

More interactiveness: an animated cafe table which plays videos of the preparation of traditional Thessalonikian delicacies.

Ben and Alex M. summit the tower.

Ben and Alex M. summit the tower.

A fine view north from the tower.

A fine view north from the tower.

Lecture on Roman portraits at the Thessaloniki archaeological museum.

Lecture on Roman portraits at the Thessaloniki archaeological museum.

Joe, Chris, Ally, and Jason circle the Derveni Krater, subject of today's assignment.

Joe, Chris, Ally, and Jason circle the Derveni Krater, subject of today's assignment.

The Derveni Krater.

The Derveni Krater.

Kathryn and Ben looking excited to tackle their assignment!

Kathryn and Ben looking excited to tackle their assignment!

Alexander the Great, favorite son and waterside hood ornament of Macedonia.

Alexander the Great, favorite son and waterside hood ornament of Macedonia.

Last stop of the day: the American Farm School in Thessaloniki.

Last stop of the day: the American Farm School in Thessaloniki.

The group subs out its normal bus for a tractor pull

The group subs out its normal bus for a tractor pull

Our noble steed.

Our noble steed.

Scenery around the farm.

Scenery around the farm.

Heading into the school's library for a brief lecture on the ways and means of the institution.

Heading into the school's library for a brief lecture on the ways and means of the institution.

Portrait of the founding father.

Portrait of the founding father.

Group shot with our hosts on the library stair.

Group shot with our hosts on the library stair.

Week 6

Week 8

Tuesday May 12th

Sites Visited: Pella (Classical/Hellenistic Macedonian city), Lefkadia (Macedonian tombs), Mieza (Aristotle’s School), Vergina (Macedonian royal tombs)

Where did we stay tonight?: Thessaloniki

Leaders: Dallis Fox and Jason Spellmire

Breakfast today was fabulous. There was bacon (albeit of the inferior European sort), REAL eggs, both scrambled and over easy, various breads, olives, tomatoes, cucumbers, bougatsa (a sort of custard-like pastry), fruit, Tang, coffee, and small cookies that appeared to go with the coffee in some manner. On our official FSP Hotel Breakfast Scale (FSPHBS), it is an 8.5, slightly below the Astor only because it has a view of a lot of concrete and construction as opposed to the Acropolis.
We were joined by two lovely guests today, the parents of the illustrious Chris Johnson. Although they humbly declined to appear in blog photos their presence was a welcome addition.

First we went to Pella, the site of one of the Macedonian capital cities. It has some very nice pebble mosaics depicting myths and hunt scenes. Sarah illustrated the difference between Type I and Type II Ionic column capitals. I remember that one of them (Type 2?) looks more like a pillow. Perhaps this association reflects the hour at which we were made to get up, or the hour at which we are currently writing this. Either way, we really enjoyed the rose gardens, a seemingly ubiquitous flower up here. Driving through small towns, every building—houses, dentists’ offices, cafes, auto repair shops—has a rose garden out front. Do we have any pictures of these, Dallis? Yes, Jason, in fact we do. We even have a picture of Katie stopping to smell the roses. Literally. AND metaphorically. But we digress (I suppose that makes it sound like some part of our entry is relevant and not a digression. Hmm….)
Next was Lefkadia and Mieza. LOTS of people buried here. Rich Macedonians were buried in elaborate chamber tombs covered with tumuli (dirt piles). Some of the painting was very well-preserved. We could not take pictures of this, unfortunately. Not real ones, anyway. Mental ones, though. Lots of those. CLICK! Aristotle’s school was also here, at Mieza. It is near a nice brook, and some caves. We took (real!) pictures of these.
Finally, the maple syrup to our pancakes, the gravy to our biscuits, the blueberries to our waffles (NOOOO STOP TORTURING YOURSELF JASON…really…stop crying…Jason…American breakfast will still be there when you get back) was the site of Vergina (Phew…thanks Dallis. I think I’m okay now). Although briefly lost in Vergina, the site was worth every degree of the hot Greek sun. The grave goods from Philip II’s tomb were spectacular and included a 19 pound gold box and solid gold wreaths. Unfortunately, photography was again prohibited…BUT lucky for you Agents Fox and Spellmire laughed in the face of danger and took one for the team: we made a daring covert video that was thwarted after 38 seconds of suspense by the ever-vigilant museum guard (if you listen closely, you can hear her approaching footsteps and menacing chain), who threatened us with things too unspeakable for this blog. After this, we will be writing our Oscar acceptance speech.

ILLICIT VIDEO (of the inside of the museum):

Day 52 Photo Gallery:

Prof. Christesen lectures on Macedonian history in the early morning sunshine at Pella.

Prof. Christesen lectures on Macedonian history in the early morning sunshine at Pella.

Sarah discusses the rare "type II" Macedonian Capital.

Sarah discusses the rare "type II" Macedonian Capital.

A Griffin pecks a deer in one of the mosaics from Pella.

A Griffin pecks a deer in one of the mosaics from Pella.

KT stops to smell some roses on the road to the Lefkadia tombs.

KT stops to smell some roses on the road to the Lefkadia tombs.

Alex and Charlie make their way towards the Great Tomb's special bunker.

Alex and Charlie make their way towards the Great Tomb's special bunker.

The group heads down towards the Tomb of the Palmettes.

The group heads down towards the Tomb of the Palmettes.

Eagerly approaching the doors.

Eagerly approaching the doors.

Face to face with the dank depths of the underworld.

Face to face with the dank depths of the underworld.

Spiros, our bus driver, enjoys a contemplative moment at Lefkadia.

Spiros, our bus driver, enjoys a contemplative moment at Lefkadia.

A picnic lunch at the brand new "climate-friendly" study center at Mieza.

A picnic lunch at the brand new "climate-friendly" study center at Mieza.

The scholar himself, immortalized in cold marble.

The scholar himself, immortalized in cold marble.

Alex basks in the gentle glow of philosophical ergonomics.

Alex basks in the gentle glow of philosophical ergonomics.

But what does climatographic mean?

But what does ecoclimatical mean?

Jason admires the handicap accessible facilities at Mieza.

Jason admires the handicap accessible facilities at Mieza.

Congregating around the nymphaium at the school of Aristotle.

Congregating around the nymphaeum at the school of Aristotle.

KT, Alex M. and Chirs explore the shady caverns.

KT, Alex M. and Chris explore the shady caverns.

Jerry cuts a striking profile in the entrance to the nymphaeum at Mieza.

Jerry cuts a striking profile in the entrance to the nymphaeum at Mieza.

Lecture at Mieza.

Lecture at Mieza.

Post lecture milling about at Mieza.

Post lecture milling about at Mieza.

Kait at Mieza.

Kait at Mieza.

Crew inside the nymphaeum.

Crew inside the nymphaeum.

Ben gets in touch with his inner "Megas Alexandros".

Ben gets in touch with his inner "Megas Alexandros".

Reenactment of a mosaic version of a bronze statue group featuring Kraterus saving Alexander from a lion.

Reenactment of a mosaic version of a bronze statue group featuring Kraterus saving Alexander from a lion.

Compare to: the original.

Compare to: the original.

Typical Greek road safety on the road from Mieza to Vergina.

Typical Greek highway safety practices on the road from Mieza to Vergina.

Confusion amuk whilst the group looks for the acropolis at Vergina.

Confusion amuk whilst the group looks for the acropolis at Vergina.

Waiting to go see the GOLD OF MACEDON.

Waiting to go see the GOLD OF MACEDON.

An illicit photo of the tomb of Phillip II.

An illicit photo of the tomb of Phillip II.

An attempt to take an illicit photo of Jerry in the museum ends in an "art" shot.

An attempt to take an illicit photo of Jerry in the museum ends in a blurry "art" shot.

THE GOLD OF MACEDON!  (19 lb. solid gold larnax.)

THE GOLD OF MACEDON! (19 lb. solid gold larnax.)

Leaving the great tumulus.

Leaving the great tumulus.

Week 6

Week 8

Monday May 11th

Sites Visited: None

Where did we stay tonight?: Thessaloniki

Leaders: Alex Assaf and Ben Kahn

Free Day!! Welcome to the 2nd largest city in Greece, Thessaloniki! Today your high hovers around 80 degrees. It seems as if summer has finally set in. Today, was a relatively easy going day marked by the return of two of our beloved group members, Joe Indvik, and Sarah Murray. The arrived in Thessaloniki from Athens at 3:20pm. Professor Christesen, Ben, and I took a cab to the airport and surprised the two upon their arrival, holding up signs with their last names. After an exchange of smiles and good words, the five headed back to the Hotel Vergina. Upon arrival, I was able to interview everyone about their day. Alex Maceda, Katie, and Dallis all went shopping and bought identical dresses. Maceda ensured me that she was the first to buy. I think that makes her the trend-setter. Jerry and Charlie enjoyed the innards of their room, thoroughly enjoying their day off.

Chris’ parents happened to be staying in Thessaloniki. They took a majority of the group to dinner. As I didn’t attend, I cannot elaborate on what appears to have been a wonderful time. Overall, it has been a great and restful day. We sleep tonight and prepare for a site-packed day tomorrow. Oh FSP! Take us around Greece!

On the way to the Airport:

Airport Intro:

A Murray emerges from the wild!:

The Indvik in its natural habitat:

Week 6

Week 8

Sunday May 10th

Sites Visited: Meteora (Natural grandeur, Monasteries)

Where did we stay tonight?: Thessaloniki

Leaders: Charles Clark and Chris Johnson

Today, we were treated to a truly fantastic landscape. The monasteries at Meteora were built beginning in the 14th century upon giant pillars of rock that rise out of the Thessalian plain. In the morning, we were driven to the highest and largest of the monasteries and allowed to roam at our leisure, meandering along the cliffs to visit the other sites as we descended. The monasteries’ interiors were lavished with Byzantine wall paintings and displays of manuscripts and relics, which we perused throughout the morning. In the afternoon, we set off by bus for Thessaloniki, where our next few adventures in northern Greece are headquartered.

We on the FSP wish a very happy Mother’s Day to all of our respective mother figures.

Happy Mother’s Day:

The monasteries:

Impressions of Meteora:

Close encounters of the herd kind:

Day 50 Photo Gallery:

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy!

Happy!

Mom's!

Mom's!

Day!

Day!

Meteora.

Meteora.

Meteora.

Meteora.

Meteora!

Meteora!

Natural grandeur and monasteries at Meteora.

Natural grandeur and monasteries at Meteora.

Meteora.

Meteora.

Meteora.

Meteora.