The sound of the shut door and electronic lock brings a welcomed sanctuary from a day that began in Omonia, one of the rougher parts of Athens. An area recovered but still bearing the sorrowed scars from its drug and volatile underbelly past from the 1960’s. There’s a strong and deep Spartan-like chant in eerie unison bellowed by a proud crowd of frustrated Greeks. We’ve been warned by our guide and by the police of Athens to avoid what breathes before us and take a detour around the riot and protest in the street.
Our next stop finds us walking through a meat market avoiding chunks of bone and flesh flying off a pounding cleaver dropped by the heavy hand of a grizzled and weathered Athenian butcher. He stands before skinned and suspended animals and in fierce roars he yells out his wares all while continuing to break down a goat carcass until all that’s left is a pile of pink mush. Ashes fall to the fat, muscle, bone and blood covered ground off a nearly spent cigarette that hangs from his chapped lips and bearded face. It was an abrasive but exciting start to an amazing day in Athens. Without a doubt I would do it all over again.
So tonight, quite literally below millennia of history, a now gone day is given to long dead gods, titans, and the written word.
“Now come the days of begging, days of theft. Days of riding where there rode no sole save he. He’s left behind the pinewood country and the evening sun declines before him beyond an endless swale and dark falls here like a thunderclap and a cold wind sets the weeds to gnashing. The night sky lies so sprent with stars that there is scarcely space of black at all and they fall all night in bitter arcs and it is so that their numbers are no less.”