Mary's musings

Mary Hoffman, author of over 90 children's books, including the Stravaganza series and Amazing Grace, has begun a web journal which will be updated roughly once a week. You can read more on

Friday, October 02, 2009

Athenian matters

Well, it's been a week of sights (and sites) to refresh the eyes. As planned, we used our week in Athens mainly to visit museums - the Cycladic, New Acropolis, Archaeological, Benaki and Byzantine. Sadly, the museum shops did not deliver the goods as we had hoped, in terms of catalogues (and in my case gold replica jewellery - perhaps just as well!). And often there were no postcards of the exhibits we liked best.

But there was an exhibition called Worshiping [sic] Women at the Archaeological Museum and I was able to get an English catalogue for that. The Parthenon itself was covered in scaffolding but I expect I will forget that when I look back on it. We could see it - just - from our hotel's roof terrace. I was a bit apprehensive about the walk up but there is a very gentle slope, taking us past such interesting things like Dionysius' amphitheatre, where the great Greek tragedies were first performed.

The new museum was a treat and would surely persuade any doubter that the British Museum should give the marbles back on permanent loan.

We got season tickets on the Athens Metro - all three lines of it! - and became expert at getting around that way.

I read Ruth Rendell's Portobello, which was atmospheric but a bit pointless, and Aravind Adiga's Between the Assassinations, which ditto, but differently. Am now reading Umberto Eco's Island of the Day Before.

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