Saturday, September 1:   I descend from the Acropolis and make my way along the circular path called the Peripatos that goes around its slopes and intersects the Panathenaic Way at the western approach.  These slopes were home to many sanctuaries that played important roles in the religious lives of the ancient Athenians.   It’s likely that most of the north slope was part of the sacred area at the foot of the Acropolis known as the Palargikon.

At this point in the day, it’s starting to get hot, and my clothes are starting to get quite soggy and smelly.  I have checked my phone all through the morning for word from Egypt Air, but not a soul has called.  I feel a little bedraggled and even a little defeated.

the view of the Agora and Athens from the path on the northwest slope of the Acropolis

I head first to the north slope, which holds the more simple shrines, the ones that are sometimes called “rustic.”  These were places where divinities of nature, fertility and healing were worshiped on a more personal level.  Some shrines are nestled along the steep cliffs and pathways.   I come across a group of shallow caves at the northwest corner of the north slope where Apollo, Pan, and (probably) the Nymphs were worshiped.

One of the shallow caves where Pan and other deities were worshiped

another shallow cave where deities were worshiped

the view from the path along the east slope of the Acropolis

The cult places on the south slope received monumental, architectural embellishments, such as the Theatre of Dionysos.  The first theatre here was built during the 6th century BC and during the golden age in the 5th century, politicians sponsored dramas by writers such as Sophocles and Euripides, with some light relief provided by the comedies of Aristophanes.  The theatre was reconstructed in stone and marble by Lycurgus between 342 BC and 326 BC, with the capacity to seat 17,000 spread over 64 tiers.  Today only 20 tiers remain.   Sixty-seven thrones in the front row were reserved for festival officials and priests.  Reliefs at the back of the stage depict the exploits of Dionysos and date from the 2nd century BC.

Theatre of Dionysos

the front of the Theatre of Dionysos

After finishing my walk along the slopes of the Acropolis, I run into a Canadian couple from Alberta who I chat with for a while as I drink a fresh squeezed orange juice.  Then I head back to the Hop on Hop off bus, where I continue on the tour of the city…

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About catbird in japan

As of July 15, 2015, I'm now taking a break from living abroad. I'm living in Oakton, Virginia and looking for my next opportunity. Last year, I lived in China and taught English at Sino-Canadian International College. I also taught at a university in Nizwa, Oman for two years, and in Korea's public schools for one year. I love to travel and have been to 24 countries.

7 responses »

  1. Reblogged this on a nomad in the land of nizwa and commented:

    Strolling along the slopes of the Acropolis….

  2. adinparadise says:

    You’re really keeping me on tenterhooks about your bag. 😀 Love your photos. Aren’t those ancient theatres amazing, and the acoustics so wonderful? When we went to Greece, I wasn’t blogging, so I didn’t get such great pics, just the usual ‘I was there’ happy snaps. I’ve really enjoyed seeing it through your camera lens. (I would like to address you by name, but don’t know it. I’m Sylvia.) 🙂

    • Sylvia!!! SO happy to know your name! I feel like we’re friends but we’ve never been introduced properly to each other! So funny. I’m Cathy, of the catbird in oman, cat for Cathy, and bird for Birdsong (maiden name)…. I know what you mean about the snapshots while traveling. I’ve spent a lot of time in France (2 separate trips once south and once north) but it was the same. I wasn’t blogging and hardly took many pictures. Plus those were the days before digital photography. I wish I had pics and memories of those trips!! So nice to finally know you by name, Sylvia. I never asked b/c I figured you didn’t want people to know as you don’t say on your About page who you are!

  3. Carol says:

    I’m really enjoying your vacation – but I hope your baggage arrives soon so you can relax a bit more and change clothes now and then!

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