Modern markets and antiquities was the order of today. The connection being that the Ancient Agora used to be a market and those skills transcend the ages.

The ancient ruins are mind boggling in scale and complexity: quite challenging to grasp and we ended up soaking up the atmosphere Vs trying to make sense of it all. Numerous poster boards didn’t help, written in a techno speak that will appeal to the purest. Mind you, some new words were learnt. First example why say “buried” when you can use inhumation, which makes sense of course with exhumation taking place in most of the burial sites. The boards speak with a clear certainly of who built what when and why from 500bc to today. Which makes me wonder when we argue about what when and why for contemporary history. What is clear is the sense of time as a scale to measure progress and legacy. Time to give back what Lord Elgin acquired: though they may not last as long as the latest renovation.

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The markets are great. Fish, meat and vegetables, the former two suitably chilled to suit modern hygiene. The butcher’s trade proudly showed their cleaving skills on massive wooden blocks. Vegetables compete for colour of the day: the fish are the brightest though. None compare with the intensity of the red poppy that illustrates the ruins in spring splendour.

The people are a fine mix, all welcoming and helpful and (to our shame) speak English. Their city looked great today from many angles as I suspect it has done through the ages.

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