Tag Archives: Parthenon

Traveler Lord Byron Speaks Out about Parthenon Marbles

The Parthenon in Athens, Greece

The Parthenon in Athens, Greece

Destination: Greece

Read: Childe Harold, Canto II, XI-XIII and XV By Lord Byron

If you are lucky, you’ll tune in to the Acropolis web page in time to hear the ceremony of opening today. (They have a video embedded in the web site, but don’t say what time. Presumably quite early U.S. time) Continue reading

Greek Mythology: Good Reads for Greek Travelers

Destination: Athens, Greece

Book: Mythology by Edith Hamilton

All this week we are celebrating the opening of the New Acropolis Museum in Athens next Saturday. The heat is on Britain to return the Parthenon marbles so obviously missing in the new museums’ displays.

It helps, when you travel to Greece, to make the acquaintance of gods and goddesses and their cavorting ways if you hope to understand the classical Greek statuary that adorns the Parthenon (or did adorn it before time and thievery took its toll). A little catechism in the religion of the classical age helps. Edith Hamilton’s Mythology: Timeless Tales of Gods and Heroes, can help.


The basics–Athena was designated the protector of the city named after her, and the Parthenon housed a gigantic statue of Athena, which has long since disappeared.  If you want to get an idea of what that statue was like, travel to  Nashville Tennessee, where they built an exact full-sized replica of the Parthenon for a World’s Fair in 1897.  The building itself is so accurate that the restorers of Athen’s Parthenon flew over to Nashville to check out measurements.

Since Athena’s statue had disappeared so long ago from her Greek temple, the sculptor in Tennessee used written accounts, which might have been a tad bit exaggerated.  Scholar’s have established that the classical Greek statues, far from being the pristine white we are used to, were painted in bright colors and adorned with metal and jewels.  I’m having a hard time coming to terms with that picture, and my impression of Nashville’s Athena, was that she resembled the girl in Walmart that we dismiss as trailer trash. (See her picture on the continuation) Continue reading

Why, oh Why Can’t a Movie Set in Greece…

…be a decent movie?  I really wanted to like this movie. I really did. I love Greece. The release corresponds with next Saturday’s opening of the New Acropolis Museum. But, read on.

Destination: Greece

Movie: My Life in Ruins

You would think I would learn. Long ago, in 1982, we had, [amazonify]B0000714C5::text::::Summer Lovers[/amazonify] quite possibly the worst movie ever made in the most beautiful setting in the world, Santorini.  Then last year there was Mama Mia, set on the island of Skopelos. Well, granted a lot of people went to see that and think its just swell, but the reviewers held their noses. And I’m not even counting all the lame attempts at recreating gods and goddesses and heroes of the Odyssey or the Illiad.

Now the lovely and talented Nia Vardalos, of the hysterically funny My Big Fat Greek Wedding fame, gets stuck in an absolute stinker called My Life in Ruins.I am slapping my hand here to keep it from typing some silly take on the ‘Ruins’ word. Instead, I will give you this link to a conversation with Nia at Traveling Mamas site.

The movie’s dialogue is so incredibly lame, (thank you Mr. The Simpsons Writer) that the only person to rise above it is Richard Dreyfuss.

In fact, when the spotlight turns to Dreyfuss in the second act, the movie almost comes to life.  Thank goodness HE is not the one who has to give the name of the bus driver: Poupi Kaka. Funny? When I was in fifth grade.

Does this mean I do not think travelers should see this movie? Not at all.  I heartily recommend that you wait until it is available on DVD, rent it, and watch it with the sound off. The scenery–both the old broken marble stuff and the Greek guys–is magnificent. And, honestly, dear reader, on my first trip to Greece, the bus driver was just as good looking as the movie’s bus driver/soon to become lover, Alexis Georgoulis

If you want to see some great views of the Parthenon, Delphi, and Olympia, definitely see this movie’s scenery. And oh, yeah, an iconic shot of Santorini turns up, although how that got into the itinerary is a real geographical mystery. DOH!

Have you seen a really GOOD movie filmed with the glorious backdrop of Greece. PLEASE, tell me about it.  THANKS!

Meanwhile, this week will be greco-centric as I celebrate the opening of the New Acropolis Museum. (You can read more of  A Traveler’s Library articles about Greece.)