Today was our last day in Athens, and our first day in Kalambaka. We left early in the morning at 7:45 to the national archeological museum to get there early, arriving at around 8, spending a couple of hours there. The museum contained a lot of vases and sculptures from Ancient Greece giving insight to the culture and mainly religion behind the Greeks. Before we had only really seen Athena (due to her importance in Athens) but we didn't really see the importance of the other gods to the Greeks, which was something explored in the museum. There were interesting stories on some of the vases and inscriptions. Some weapons and basic items also showed an interesting look at not only what some of the Greeks used, but what they would do differently to many other cultures.
There were many great items and sculptures from the museum. One was a picture of Pan coming close to Aphrodite, trying to touch her while she prepares to club him with her shoe an"d Eros tries to intervene the two. Another was a bronze statue of a boy riding a horse. There was a statue of Augustus which was very good because it gave an idea of not only his looks but his personality, as although he looks very geeky, he also seems quite powerful through his intelligence and political genius.
The funerary art was new to us, showing some very positive about the particular person, who was probably a politician, or very tragic. One of the pieces showed a woman crying over her baby, who was probably poisoned or had some sort of dangerous health issue, who was dead in front of her arms.
Most of the day from now was spent on the bus, but we did stop at Marathon to have an overview of the Battle of Marathon. On 490BC, Darius 1 had launched an attack on the Greeks. Miltiades had decided to fight at Marathon, with marshes and mountainous terrain, to give themselves a tactical advantage. The Persians were undoubtedly stronger than the Greeks, and the Spartans were not able to come to aid due to a ceremony, so the Greeks, being severely disadvantaged, had to give themselves a tactical edge. By getting rid of there normal phalanx formation and just charging towards the enemies, the confused Persians were encircled and many slaughtered, and after countless Persian deaths the battle had concluded with the Greeks victory. This had led to 10 years of Persians avoiding the Greeks, until Xerxes (Darius's son) devised another attack leading to Thermopylae.
We looked at another museum near Marathon, although there wasn't that much there. The most interesting thing was the Egyptian statues and sculptures taken by the Greeks. After a long bus trip, we arrived in the hotel at around 8:00, and had some free time around Kalambaka, getting some food and buying some souvenirs. Tomorrow we will visit Meteora and then travel to Delphi.
By Alex Peter