Date: April 27, 2004
Cities: Rio, Patras, Olympia
After a leisurely start, we had breakfast at the hotel. They had
crêpes! There was also a wide variety of cake and pie options
along with omlets with meat in them. Allan talked with Bob from Oregon
for half an hour before Jane and Valary joined them. Allan greatly
enjoyed breakfast here both mornings.
started with a jaunt into Patras where we toured St. Andrew's
church. The church is still under construction, as it was only started
in the early 20th century. The church allowed photography inside, a
rarity for a Greek Orthodox church. Allan witnessed a priest blessing
two new taxi cabs outside the church. This may explain how the cabs
can get away with driving as fast as they do through narrow streets.
The drive to Olympia was short, and we stopped for lunch at the
Ambrosia Taverna. We got table service as one large group and by now
everyone was accomplished at ordering their favorite Greek dishes.
Melissa made a presentation on Olympia for her group,
and we all listened in before we went into the museum. She presented
well, and covered much of what Kaity, the guide, covered later. The
students all had to make presentations during the trip, since they
were in Greece as part of their summer semester coursework.
The museum was really nice. The exhibit hall was recently
renovated, and the museum as a whole was still being renovated on the
side away from the main exhibits, including the WC area. The
antiquities inside were in very good condition, including the two
pediments from the Temple of Zeus.
In the archaeological site of Olympia you can walk up
onto the floor of the Temple of Zeus and watch a restoration in
progress of one of the pillars. The pillars were made of soft stone,
so the conservators were cleaning and preserving as well as
structurally strengthening the pillar as they go. The weather stayed
nice all day, despite some threats of rain.
We saw both F4 and F16 fighter jets on patrol while we were on the
day trip. Kaity complained that they interrupted her guiding, but as
long as they were up there, she didn't fear the Turks. As Americans we
find it amusing that Nato allies still regard each other with such
When we got back to the hotel Eirini led a bunch of us in search of
dinner at a nearby taverna. Allan accompanied while Jane
napped. Eirini and the older folks went into a place where the menu
was only in Greek. Carrie, Rachel, Liz, Katie, and Allan checked out a
few other places which either didn't speak English or didn't have
vegetarian options. One of the students is a vegetarian, and another
ate fish but not other meats.
Allan and the students walked up a side street as far as the
railroad station, but the local grocery store was sold out of all but
a few loaves of bread and some boxed goods so we couldn't make up a
picnic. Neither the grocer nor the taverna folks speak English away
from the touristy waterfront. Many of the houses along the side street
were empty, apparantly vacation homes awaiting the summer.
We had dinner with Rachel in the hotel and talked about college
stuff. Elmira was almost too small for her with 1500 students, and
definitely would be for us. At the University of Florida where we
work, Allan's office sees at least 1800 new students every semester
for undergraduate writing classes.