Parting thoughts: eternal Greece..
|Poseidon...or is it Zeus?|
|Bronze jockey on a bronze horse|
|Archaic bronze votive horses|
|Autumn (Saffron) crocus (C. hadriaticus) painted ca. 3700 years ago on Thera (Santorini)|
|"Hey! Long Live Anarchism" it says...|
Let's hope not. Schedule a trip to Greece soon: almost all the money you will spend at the incredibly inexpensive hotels and restaurants goes straight into private, small scale capitalist hands. Not so in Northern Europe or North America, where hotels and many restaurants are corporate communist in management. I mean corporate fascist...(much the same thing) But I digress...
|The Acropolis from our restaurant perch: best spot in town...|
|My cousin Manoli Kelaidis (right) and his Slovakian wife crowned by the Acropolis at dinner last night...|
|Marble Byzantine capitals with acanthus lobes|
|Two lions and the Tree of life|
|14th Century Constantinopolitan masterpiece|
|15th Century masterpieces by Zografos (left) and Damaskinos (right)|
|19th Century Judgment day (Karamanli artwork)|
The text on this amazing painting is in Turkish, written with Greek letters: the Karamanlis were Ottoman era Christians who lived in many parts of present day Turkey and who spoke only Turkish but were nevertheless still devout Orthodox. Despite the fact they spoke no Greek, they were made to move to Greece by the Lausanne Treaty in 1922. The tragedy of the exchange of populations (on both sides) still resonates.
|Subway stop for Omonia square ("Concord" square)|
I refuse to end with a Last Judgement. Instead, let's end with "Concord" I have been told the Moscow subway is lovely. And Istanbul is quite impresssive. But one of the many surprises of Athens is how beautiful the subway is--much of it gleaming Pentelic marble. Several of the stops include ruins beautifully incorporated within the modern spaces--left in situ (discovered while the subway was created). Clean and incredibly efficient and timely and inexpensive. The subway epitomizes Greece in a way: people accuse the Southern Europeans of inefficiency and sloth: meanwhile, they lead the most rewarding of lives, constantly celebrate and honor their past, and welcome the world with open arms and much too inexpensive of hospitality. The Greece I saw this week has progressed light years ahead of the Greece I once knew: I admire and respect Greece all the more: they are confronting their current challenges with enormous courage, thoughtfulness and "Ομόνοια": I'll place my bets on them any day.