Athens: Ancient Greek Myths and Modern Financial Crises

Greece.  It’s a country I’ve always wanted to visit.    My desire to explore Athens especially grew when I began homeschooling Mikayla and Ryan in first grade.  I have to admit it was also when I discovered how amazing history could be.  Until then, I’d thought the subject rather boring, as my history teachers seemed to fall into a catatonic state cracking open our old history books.

As I began to share fun Greek myths during story times, or teach them about the birth of democracy, and about philosophers like Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle, or share images of the Parthenon and the Acropolis, my curiosity and interest grew, as did theirs.  Seriously, who isn’t fascinated by tales of Odysseus and his daring adventures, and who doesn’t cringe when they envision Medusa with slithering snakes encircling her head.   And then there is the Biblical history related to Athens.  We knew Greece was a destination we could not skip.

Visiting Greece, however, was not just a study in ancient history.  We were plunged into the midst of a failing present day economy, a financial crisis that at the time of our arrival was still unresolved.  The crisis did not affect our journey in any way, but through discussions and interactions with the locals, we were made very aware of the desperate state of things.

Despite the struggles Greece is facing and will continue to face for the foreseeable future, we are very glad we made this journey.  Not only were the kids able to gaze at sites they had studied over the years, and see history come to life, but they were also able to witness new history being made.  They observed Greece struggle through their financial crisis while in negotiations with the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank.  They learned about financial responsibility, austerity measures, and the system of the European Union.  It was fascinating, really, and our hearts and prayers go out to the country.

Here are a few highlights from our visit to Athens.

In and around town:

Enjoying the sites:

View from Mars Hill:

Philosophers:

The view from our hotel at night:

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