A Step Back In Time….

Today was yet another adventure into the Athenian classical time period, visiting the Parthenon of Athens and the Temple of Poseidon in Cape Sounion. For the HG participants who visited the Acropolis on Wednesday, today was the day to make the trek to Cape Sounion, and for the participants who had already experienced the beauty of The Temple of Poseidon, Thursday was spent touring the ancient ruins of atop the hill of The Acropolis. After hearing of the adventures from the parallel group the day before, the participants were even more excited to embark on Thursday’s adventures! The Cape Sounion group was also able to experience swimming below the temple in a small cove, all the while being careful to avoid the prickly sea urchins. The morning trek at the Acropolis was guided by an official tour guide and met with the morning sunlight.

JUMP! Group #2 of HGers soaking in the experience of the ancient Acropolis!

Another morning and afternoon spent at the temples lead into an evening at two of the most important museums in Athens: The Museum of Cycladic Art and The Benaki Museum. The Museum of Cycladic Art was founded in 1986 to house the collection of Cycladic, Ancient Greek and contemporary art belonging to Nicholas and Dolly Goulandris. The Greek Cyclades Islands are a group of Islands southeast of Athens in the Aegean Sea and are home to some of Greece’s most beautiful beaches. The museum ran a experiential learning exhibition on Cycladic art, and gave the participants an opportunity to make their own clay artifacts. Upon reflection of the activity at the museum, participant, Moxey Polles commented: “The parallelism between the art of the museum and the art we were able to make, made me feel connected to my roots and get a glimpse into what life was like back then.”

HG participants and ACG peers got to practice their art skills while recreating ancient clay artifacts.

The next stop for the night was the Benaki museum, which houses an array of artifacts from classical times up to world war two propaganda posters. The founder of the museum, Antonis Benakis, was a successful collector and a member of the Greek diaspora like the participants. HIs story is particularly inspirational because Benakis was able to be a member of the Diaspora and still give back to his Mother country like we hope our participants to do in their respective lives and careers. The participants particularly enjoyed the byzantine iconography and the jewelry. Stephanie Blackwood “really loved the structure of the museum because it went from ancient times all the way to the 20th century.” Saying, “It really helped me imagine how my ancestors actually live and was a window into the past and the entire story of Greece.”

HG participants were mesmerized learning all about the amazing art pieces housed at the museum.

Both groups of participants came together for a delicious gryo dinner and shared stories of their morning adventures. Tomorrow we embark on our island excursion to Naxos to experience the beauty of the Aegean!

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