Friday, October 24, 2008

The Island of Aegina

So last Friday we took our last ferry boat adventure with Michael to the island of Aegina, about an hour east of the port in Athens. The first location we went to was the Archeological site of Kolonna, including building of the prehistoric settlement, from the Hellenistic period, and the late Roman to Byzantine times. The most prominent feature of Kolonna would be the single pillar that is still in tact in the center of what used to be a sanctuary. Since Kolonna is located right along the waterside, the pillar was used as a navigational point. At the same location we spent some time inside the on site museum as well.

The site of Kolonna

Michael dropping knowledge 

Pillar in the center of Kolonna, used for navigation for ships on the water

Zach, Kristina and I loving the pillar

Wall of Propylon. The structure of this wall clearly demonstrates that this was built by the Byzantine or Roman Empire, never the Greeks.

The artwork on the pottery shows that the culture was very water based, this is an example of fighting rowers

Jessi, Jenee and I at the site of Kolonna

From Kolonna we traveled to the Temple of Athen-Aphaia. Aphaia was a local water nymph from Crete. This temple is considered to be a “Perfect little Jewel” to archeologists because its one of the best works of the Greeks. It is part of a small sanctuary with the altar outside the temple.

In front of the Temple of Athena-Aphia

From the Temple we got back on the bus and ended up at the ceramic shop of Mr. Nektarios. The story behind this man is that him and his brother are the last two traditional ceramic artist of their generation of the island of Aegina. They have no family to pass down their skills to because it is a dying art that doesn’t make as much money as could be made taking on a different profession. His shop was incredible, full of hundreds and hundreds of pieces of pottery, of all different styles. He even sat down and made a beautiful vase right in front of him, only took about two minutes, it was so great!

Mr. Nektarios ceramic shop!

This took him about 2 minutes

The floors of the shop were jam packed with all of his artwork

After our visit to the ceramic shop we were set loose in the small town area along the harbor for lunch. Jenee, Jessi, Tori and I went to grab drinks by the water in celebration of Carly’s 22nd birthday. After that we walked around the shopping area and then I wandered the harbor taking as many pictures as I could. The island was so gorgeous and it felt good to get out of the congested city for a day. I found the most adorable church right by the ferry dock, it was gorgeous inside. After exploring for a while we hopped back on the ferry and headed back to Athens.

Girls at lunch in celebration of Carly's 22nd birthday! 

Boats in the Harbor

Church I found by the Ferry Dock

Chandelier inside the church 

Inside of a tiny church I found by the ferry. It was gorgeous inside and now I know what those all mean. The center is always Jesus, to the left one is Mary, and two to the left is always the saint that the church belongs to.

That night the entire AHA group, yep all 26 of us, dressed up and went out for Carly’s birthday. Before hand, a bunch of us girls spent time pre-partying in Jessi and Jenee’s room and getting ready. It was so fun to see our entire group do something together outside of the required field trips. We went to a club in Plaka called “Yellow” where we had reserved a section all to ourselves ahead of time, so we pretty much took over with traveling dance party. It was a lot of fun and chaos, and I think we helped secure the ideas that Greeks have about Americans being crazy!
Some of my fav girlies in Jessi and Jenee's room for the pre-party!

This is how AHA takes a group photo...

Jackie and I having a great time at Yellow

Two of the Sarah's dancing like crazy!

Zach and I loving the birthday girl! 

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