Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Village life

Having sufficiently recovered from my bus lag, Maggie and I jumped on yet another bus Sunday morning for the short trip to her family's village. Had a very relaxed day playing with her adorable god daughter, wandering around the tiny village and wishing I spoke Greek so I could do more than just smile at her family who are all really lovely. The village has a few streets, a small school and church, an old playground, a beautiful little cemetery and a memorial for the Pontian genocide, not to mention some amazing views of the surrounding hills and countryside.

Monday we hitched a ride into the nearby town of Veria where we had planned to see the Arxheological museum, forgetting of course that most museums close on mondays. Still it was a nice little town to wander around and we did find the very pretty Apostle Paul's Alter before heading to the bus station. Took a bus to the tiny mountain town of Vergina where we scored free admission to the royal tombs as the curator was a friend of Maggies cousin, woohoo!

The tomb was a large mound inside of which were the entrances to 4 very, very old tombs and a fabulous museum of the artefacts found inside the most important of them, that of Philip II, the father of Alexander the Great! There were lots of silver plates and bowls, weapons and armour, intricately carved figurines, jewellery and all the other things you might need in the afterlife. The higlight was the gold boxes containing the remains of Phillip and one of his wives who was lucky enough to follow him onto the funeral pyre ans the beautiful wreaths of gold oak leaves he was buried with. Pretty amazing stuff.

Had a delicious birthday lunch at a restaurant owned by the same friend who let us into the tombs and then spent the afternoon wandering around the outskirts of the town looking for more ruins. The palace was closed but we did find an interesting Macedonian tomb and could see a bit of the Sanctuary of Eukleia and the Ancient theatre from the road and the countryside in itself was really beautiful so all up it was a fantastic way to spend a birthday.

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