Sunday, May 31, 2009

Hymettus II: The hill of the archangels...

Hello little one... Saturday is Hymettus day!

On Saturday morning, Kelly came to visit and held you a little, but she did not come with us to the mountain.

Saturday is exploration day and exploration means we go out into the verdant rolling foothills of Hymettus with you in the sling. We took Ismini with us and drove up to the Monastery of Kaisariani. It's all a little tense as there are some people who want to make more roads and tunnels through the mountain and there are others who want to stop them, so there is no way of knowing whether all the nice woods we walked through will still be in the same condition when you are old enough to tell us the differences between the Black pines and the Halepensis pines which the Friends of the Hymettus woods had so thoughtfully labeled for us.

Here you are in your sling...

You are beginning to smile more and more often, although you are not doing it consciously as a response to a stimulus.

In the end we walked up to the Analipsis Church and then walked down the botanical footpath which led us to the Hill of the Archangels, which we had first visited with Mummy the day before you were born. Ismini took some nice photographs of all of us together in both places - our first ones where all three of us are visible since the maternity hospital!

With Mummy and Daddy at the Church of the Analipsis - can you see the icons in the gloomy inside of the church?

Mummy and Ismini in front of the ruins of St. Mark of the Frankish Monastery. Daddy can't wait to tell you about the Franks and the all the groovy medieval stuff that happened. Daddy grew up amongst the Franks (in the broadest meaning of the word) and thinks he is well placed to "understand" western christianity.

This is a spolion! Daddy goes crazy for this sort of thing. It's a piece of ancient building block that has been reused in later times. The buildings on the hill of the archangels are full of spolia.

Here we are all three of us in front of the church of the Archangels which is still in serviceable state. You can see the old sculpture in low relief showing a bull to Daddy's left...

We stayed up on the Hill of the Archangels for a while and looked out as the sun got low in the sky and reflected off a myriad of solar water heaters making the city look almost beautiful in its concrete architectural cereal box splendour. While we were there we saw some partridges walking around and feeding. Daddy got very excited and took you up close to look at them, but you did not wake up. In fact, you spent the whole trip quite comfortably sleeping. It's ok to get your rest - you have a whole life ahead of you to see partridges.

Here is one of the Partridges we saw - just in case they are all gone by the time you are big enough to tell them apart from other birds...

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