The World Harvest Leadership meetings start tonight, Monday, but the flight from Cairo arrived on Saturday, so we had about 48 hours on our own. Karen came through once again, having booked us into a backpacker hostel a short block from the Acropolis right in the center of Athens. It's no small feat to herd two families, 5 kids, 9 bags, through the metro changing lines and up into Athens. We ditched our bags and went straight to the excellent new Acropolis Museum, where again the artifacts of an ancient civilization are displayed, this time in an ultra-modern setting. The Greek treasures overlap but extend later than most of the Egyptian ones, marble, more delicately carved, folds and gowns, paint and pottery. We watched an excellent video about the Parthenon and saw the remaining friezes and pedicles which had not been pillaged by the British a couple of hundred years ago. Then Sunday we walked the site, sitting in the amphitheaters, climbing the hill, shuffling through the temples, gawking at the columns, admiring the view. Mars Hill, where Paul again defended a "King of gods" by suggesting the unknown deity whom the Greeks honored was the Creator.
Our other adventure excursion was to take a public bus south-east to Sounia, to see the temple of Poseidon, perched on a commanding hill top at the southern most point of the peninsula. This was a 1 1/2 hour drive along a coastal road that curved and dipped, with every view over the water more picturesque than the mile before. We clambered down to the sea side as soon as we arrived, to swim in the frigid waters, jumping off rocks and paddling around the inlet (after discreetly passing a cove where several older Europeans were sunbathing nude). At the temple we ran into Stu and Ruth Ann Batstone, WHM friends who were also spending a night in the Athens area prior to the retreat! The best part of the day came on the way back--we realized the buses ran every hour, and that we had passed a seaside town with several restaurants right on the water. So we jumped off the bus, crossed the street, and allowed ourselves to be beckoned in by a hospitable older Greek gentleman. We said: we have one hour until the next bus, can you cook us fresh fish for 9? He was delighted. A pitcher of chilled local white wine, crusty bread drenched in olive oil, bowls of tomato-cucumber-feta-olive salad, and then slabs of grilled sea bass. He insisted that Scott and Michael actually see the monster fish and meet the cook. The sun was setting over the water as we dined, and we finished just in time to hop back on the next bus and head back to our hostel in Athens.
And so we end our Myhre-Masso pyramids-to-parthenon odyssey. Clearly the Masso state of grace outweighed the Myhre travel disaster tendency. Our kids encourage one another on, and we had such delightful moments of wine and food and fellowship, little tastes of eternity.