From Hydra we sailed to Athens completing our sea journey in the Aegean Archipelago. The next morning after breakfast we disembarked from our yacht and traveled by bus to the Benaki Museum of Greek Civilization. This museum was established and endowed by Antonis Benakis and is housed in the family mansion in downtown Athens. The museum provided the perfect ending to our sojourn in Greece, exhibiting many artifacts from the islands and archaeological sites we had visited. I was most impressed by the vast collection of icons.
We spent our last afternoon in Athens in the Plaka area, walking among the shops and taking time to sit one last time at a taverna for an afternoon libation to celebrate our sojourn in Greece. In the evening, we gathered at the rooftop restaurant in our hotel with a fine view of the Acropolis, to say farewell to our traveling companions (now friends) from Connecticut, New York, Colorado, Texas, California, Maine, New Jersey, New Hampshire and Maryland, and to our tour director, Zanna Mouzaki. The next morning, very early, we were off to the airport and arrived safely in the USA that same day (Greece is 7 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time).
“There is a kind of flame in Crete,” wrote Kazantzakis, (and I would add the whole of Greece) “—let us call it soul—something more powerful than either life or death. There is pride, obstinacy, valor, and together with these something else inexpressible and imponderable, something which makes you rejoice that you are a human being, and at the same time tremble.”
What is it that comes over me, and enters into me, in Greece (or any where else I may be in the world)? What is the “something else inexpressible and imponderable, something which makes you rejoice that you are a human being, and at the same time tremble?”
|Sunset over Athens|
|The Acropolis at dusk|