The Last Chapter

By Elizabeth McCulley and Elizabeth Lauderdale

Today was our last full day in Greece, but our schedule was still as jam-packed as ever! We left our hotel early in the morning to visit a place close to Professor Salowey’s Heart, The American School of Classical Studies at Athens.

We received the warmest welcome from Dr. Dylan Rogers, the Assistant Director of the ASCSA. He took us over to Loring Hall and explained the programs and some of the history of the American School, including their five current excavations. We hope some of our Hollins students will join them someday!

Dr. Vogeikoff-Brogan telling us more about the history of the library

Next, we visited the Gennadius Library. The Archivist, Dr. Natalia Vogeikoff-Brogan, guided us through some of the records, including the travel journals of Heinrich Schliemann, Edward Lear’s watercolor studies, and the work of Ava Palmer, all of which we were able to relate to as travelers of Greece ourselves.

Schliemann’s journals and supplementary material
National Geographic images from the Delphic Festival set up by Ava Palmer Sikelianos and her husband, a famous Greek poet
A group shot of us outside the Gennadius Library

Then we were given a tour of the Wiener Laboratory and their facilities, which were updated in 2016, by Dr. Dimitris Michailidis. There we saw how science and classical studies collaborate to create a fuller picture of life in the ancient world, including examining skeletons (both human and animal) and dirt samples to determine diet, living conditions, and circumstances around death.

In the Weiner Lab

From there, we enjoyed a wonderful lunch and great conversation with residents, professors, and staff of the American School in Loring Hall.

After lunch, most of us chose to hike to the top of Lykavittos Hill, which is the highest point in Athens at 227 meters above the city and has the best view yet. We were able to see past sites that we visited earlier, including the Panathenaic Stadium, The Acropolis, the Olympieion, and Philopappos Hill, which we visited on our very first day in Athens, all the way to Aegina.

We made it!

A few of us met up with a representative from Nine Lives Greece, an organization that feeds and waters stray cats around Athens regularly as well as spaying and neutering and providing veterinary care and love. This organization has vastly improved the health and quality of life for a great number of Athenian stray cats by reducing the overall population and providing care. We walked to four different sites around the Acropolis, where we fed upwards of thirty cats!

This is Handsome and we love her!
Cats following the food-bearer

Nine Lives would appreciate any help that you can provide, including adopting cats, giving donations, or sponsoring the spaying or neutering of a cat of your choosing on February 1st. Here are links to their website and Facebook page:

We appreciate everyone who has enriched our education by making this journey possible for us and for helping us along the way. Thank you especially to Professors Salowey and Richter for taking us and for making this experience such an enjoyable one! We hope for safe travels tomorrow for everyone as we journey back to our destinations and a good spring semester for everyone! We know that this we be a trip we all remember for the rest of our lives.

Thank you also to everyone who has followed our journey on this blog! We hope it’s been as exciting for you to read as it was for us to experience!