Do you know the difference between the Acropolis and the Parthenon?

I didn’t, until today (May 15).  I’ll tell you what the difference is in just a moment, but first, all due respect to the Hotel Areos breakfast!  Many, many choices, all lovely.

Gee, I wonder if I can find something I'll like ...

Gee, I wonder if I can find something I’ll like …

And that was only about half of the spread.  Check it out: cucumbers, tomatoes, feta and olives for breakfast!  We must be in Greece.

But because we’re in Greece, I decided to try the Greek yogurt (known here as “yogurt”) with muesli and chopped fruit, along with some bread with cherry jam.  It was lovely.

Then we took off for an Athens must-see: The Acropolis.

All that stuff is really old.

All that stuff is really old.

So: the difference between the Acropolis and the Parthenon.  The Acropolis is the entire site, that you can see the majority of in the picture above.  The Parthenon is the large temple that draws millions of visitors a year, which you can see in the upper center of the pic.

The story is that, long ago, Poseidon and Athena had a competition to determine the patron deity of this city.  In order to impress the citizens, Poseidon, the god of the sea, thrust his trident into the ground.  There appeared a salt water spring.  Impressive.

Then Athena, the goddess of wisdom, quietly knelt to the ground.  Perhaps not as impressive.  But soon an olive tree grew where Athena had knelt.  This olive tree could be used for fruit, oil, wood, even shade.  The people agreed: Athena should be their patron.  The city became Athens, named in her honor.

The Parthenon was built to honor Athena, and was in use for over a thousand years.  It was humbling to be on the Acropolis site, with such a long and rich history all around me.

Some Acropolis pics for your edification:

People, people everywhere.

People, people everywhere.

Parthenon columns

Parthenon columns

The view.  See how big Athens is!

The view. See how big Athens is!

The Caryatids - beautiful.

The Caryatids – beautiful.

As you can see, I hated it.

As you can see, I hated it.

The day was packed; we then went to the Acropolis Museum and the Ancient Agora Museum, then lunch, shopping and dinner.  More on our first day in Athens in the next post!

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