Tuesday, July 7, 2009

It's Tuesday, our last full day of life on Paros. It's been an amazing adventure, and we're all pretty much satiated with many memorable experiences and ready to return home. Tomorrow morning we take the ferry back up to Athens--it's a 5 hour ride--and once we arrive, we have to hurry to our hotel (the same one we stayed at when first arrived), drop off our luggage, and high-tail it next door to the newly opened Acropolis Museum. While only costing 1 euro each to get in, because of all the interest in the museum, they are only offering 2 hour blocks of time. Cathie was able to get a 2:00-4:00 pm slot for tomorrow; we are scheduled to arrive at the Piraeus port around 1:40, so once we get off the ferry, it's going to be quite a challenge to get to the museum. We figure even if we can only be there for an hour, it will be worth it.

But back to Paros. This last week has been busy, as we finished up working on the paths, learned a few steps of Greek dancing, went snorkeling, and today visited the Church of 100 Doors here in Parikia. It's the oldest functioning Christian (Greek Orthodox) church in the world, dating back to about 360 A.D. We've got some incredible pictures, including our day spent snorkeling and visiting the ancient dig on Antiparos, the one that Bob Sutton has been involved with for a number of years. Our snorkeling guide Peter took a plethora of underwater pics which I currently can't access, but will be able to show some of you at another time. Cathie spotted an underwater sponge and went down to retrieve it, so she has a momento of her first time snorkeling. Oh, and the sponge was dead, so it's safe to bring back.

We will be back in Indianapolis; seems fitting that we leave one -polis to arrive at another :-) on Thursday evening around 10:30 or so.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Here are some pics of the paths and our work.
Happy 4th of July on the 5th! We've had an exhaustive, but wonderful week full of new experiences, including learning some steps for Greek dancing, back-breaking work clearing rocks and brush along the ancient Byzantine pathways, and snorkeling yesterday off the coast of Antiparos, the next island west of Paros.

First, we spent Monday, Wednesday, and Friday out on the Byzantine paths about a 20 minute bus ride to Lefkes, then dropped off to walk down a fairly step decline into the valley, where we were met with two guides who provided us with shovels, hand saws, rakes, clippers, hoes that were industrial-strength (they looked like pick axes without the pick), sandwiches, water, and a zeal for cleaning brush. Kozmas appeared to be the main person in charge as the other guy took a weed whacker and a group of students, and Cathie and I, along with some other students and Bele, went with Kozmas. As I've mentioned in previous posts, the landscape in the hills is quite rugged, with vegetation that is course, prickly, and not a whole lot of fun to walk through, around, and cut down. The ancient walls along the path were, for the most part, intact, although there were places where years of rain and weather caused some of the rocks to slide down into the path. One of our jobs was to put some of these rocks back on the wall. Also, the vegetation in a number of places had obscured the stone paths, or limited the way through because of the overgrowth, so we had to cut, saw, hack, rake, etc. to make the paths wider.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Oh, one other thing before we left Santorini on Saturday. We experienced not one, not two, not three, but FOUR earthquake tremors on Friday night! We were in bed, not yet asleep, and the hotel bldg started to shake. Each one lasted only about 10 seconds, but it seemed longer. After the second one, we were kind of worried that the BIG one was about to come. Some of the students were in our hallway, and they thought it was great. Ah to be young and clueless again :-).

Anyhow, between knee pain, tourist central, earthquakes, roosters early each morning, we were more than ready to leave for "home" back in Paros.