Very interesting day today. The weather is gross again, but it’s supposed to be the last gross day we have (praying to Poseidon/Athena/Zeus/whoever). We got off the ferry bright and early at 7am, after I took some meds (thanks, Mom!) that put me right to sleep and made the ferry ride 1000x better than the last one. The waves were much worse, though. Lots of people are still trying to recover.
After getting off the ferry we all groggily headed to a café for some breakfast. We headed across the street to Eleusis, an ancient site famous for being the mythological place where Persephone emerged from the underworld. For those who don’t know, Hades kidnapped Persephone and took her to the underworld, and her mother Demeter (goddess of agriculture and fertility) despaired and sobbed next to a well (the one we visited in Eleusis). There’s a lot more to the story, Google it if you’re so inclined. I’M NOT HERE TO TEACH YA’LL MYTHOLOGY.
Eleusis is famous for its cult, whose processions and initiations were secret, and if revealed, the punishment was death. We stood in the same places as many members of the cult had stood, including but not limited to:
People joined this cult in a large part for a joyous afterlife, and not the dreary emptiness that was the underworld. This belief was an influence on the heaven and hell aspect of Christianity—the good get rewarded, the evil get punished.
After Eleusis came the Corinthian Canal. It was a canal cutting through the strip of land that connect the mainland to the Peloponnese. It was constructed in the 1800s because previously, ships had to sail all the way around Greece to get from the West to East. It didn’t really serve its purpose, though, because it’s really hard for ships to get through the canal. To give you a perspective of how far up we were, when you pour water off the bridge, it takes 17 seconds for it to hit the water.
The ancient city of Corinth was next. There, we met the director of the excavation there, a guy named Guy, who was a Mizzou alum and took us BEHIND THE ROPE TO SEE THE EXCAVATIONS. He told us about a bunch of unpublished findings of skeletons they found in a graveyard—a woman with a baby, a young man with a sliced Achilles tendon, etc. It was very gruesome and cool.
Then we walked around Corinth, visiting the Temple of Apollo, the area where St. Paul (as some believe, it may or may not be true) stood being interrogated.
After that, we walked around the agora of Corinth, seeing shops, temples, and even a racetrack from the 5th century BC! We ate some late, late [overpriced] lunch and drove to our hotel. I am currently on the bed, drying my underwear that I washed in the sink, and wishing the rain would QUIT FALLING.
Barnes, when you read this, what happened to, “You won’t need an umbrella in Greece! Don’t bring your rain stuff!” HMMM???
MANY INTERESTING, FUNFUNFUN FACTS 4 U TODAY <333
1. People still worship Hades and Persephone at Eleusis, placing flowers and pomegranate seeds (Persephone ate some and that’s what kept her in the underworld).
2. Hades was called Theo in a similar way that Voldemort was called the Dark Lord in Harry Potter.
3. Antinos was a young boy, a lover of Hadrian (we saw his statue at Corinth) who dove into the Nile (probably just drowned but that’s the myth) to help Hadrian and Hadrian basically made him into a god. His statues are EVERYWHERE.
4. By the Hellenistic period, women and slaves were initiated into the cult of Eleusis.
5. You can tell where someone was born by the content of the plaque on his or her teeth (Guy told us this).
6. A lot of Roman statues had sockets where necks would be, so heads could be added. There were stock bodies so only the heads had to be cast, and if someone fell from grace [note to self: use “fell from Greece” as a pun] or did something bad, they could just stick someone else’s head on the body.
7. Corinth was famous for its prostitutes, it was a place like Vegas! An unlikely legend says that at the Temple of Aphrodite there were 100 sacred prostitutes that may have been free with an offering to the goddess.
8. When Aristotle, our guide, started working as a guide, you could sit on the Roman toilets and pose with artifacts! Not anymore. *sad face* 😦
SECTION DOS: asdfjl;ALLTHEFEELS;lkjfdsa
Today was much better than yesterday, mood wise. The weather was still nasty, which always makes me sort of sad and tired…But I’m feeling better regarding homesickness, and an encouraging text from my mother reminded me of how lucky I am to be on this trip–I am now looking at it as I ONLY have such-and-such days here as opposed to I HAVE TO GET THROUGH such-and-such days. And 19 or however many days are left is not a lot. And what I’m going back to, other than the people, is still Fulton, and much less exciting than here. So my attitude has improved.
I’m excited for the so-called Best Gelato in Greece that I’ll eat later tonight–I’ll keep ya updated on how that goes. I have about 40 minutes until dinner.
Peace ‘n’ Blessin’s ❤