Week 18: Mirror Image

When construction began on Athens’ new Acropolis Museum at the turn of this century, work ground to a halt when an ancient urban development began to emerge from the ground being dug for the foundations. The project had to be redesigned to incorporate this marvelous discovery without disturbing it. The ingenious result was to leave the discovery in situ, while at the same time having it open to view. The outcome is a glass plaza covering the ancient site over which visitors cross to enter the magnificent museum, which opened in 2009. The mirror image of an adjacent building to the museum is a reflection on glass, although one might think it could be a recent rain. The museum is at the foot of the Acropolis, and a must-see if you go to the capital of Greece.

Museum Reflection

Week 16: Rusty

This rusty railroad bridge spans the 70-foot-wide Corinth Canal connecting the Gulf of Corinth with the Saronic Gulf in the Aegean Sea. The 4-mile-long canal was dug between 1881 and 1893, but, due to its narrowness, navigational problems and periodic closures to repair landslides from its steep walls, it failed to attract the level of traffic anticipated and thus had little economic importance back in the day, and now. Today is is a tourist attraction, and a convenient hour’s drive (depending on traffic) from Athens.

Corinth Canal Rusty RR Bridge

Week 15: Powerful

I have always appreciated the aesthetic of electrical insulators seen on power lines. They remind me of sea glass. I found myself parallel to them as I rode a chair lift up and down Mount Solaro in Anacapri on the Island of Capri off Italy’s mainland.

So what are these glass thingies, anyway? I checked in to Google University and here is what I learned: “An electrical insulator is a material whose internal electric charges do not flow freely, and therefore make it nearly impossible to conduct an electric current under the influence of an electric field. This contrasts with other materials, semiconductors and conductors, which conduct electric current more easily. Some materials such as glass, paper and Teflon, are very good electrical insulators.

Insulators are used in electrical equipment to support and separate electrical conductors without allowing current through themselves. An insulating material used in bulk to wrap electrical cables or other equipment is called insulation. The term insulator is also used more specifically to refer to insulating supports used to attach electric power distribution or transmission lines to utility poles and transmission towers. They support the weight of the suspended wires without allowing the current to flow through the tower to ground.”

All of that aside, I find them very appealing. The natural materials used to make glass, including sand and glass cullet, tended to make light aqua to aqua colored insulators, so the lovely color is not by design, but by the nature of the process.

Insulators

Week 14: Letters

We stood in front of the Greek Parliament and watched the changing of the guard, which occurs 24/7/365. The letters etched on the wall behind the guards was all Greek to me. Evzones (the presidential soldiers) perform the Changing of the Guard Ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Syntagma Square in Athens. The guards must stand perfectly still for one hour three times in a 48-hour period. It takes an extraordinary amount of discipline. I have decided not to apply for the position.

Changing of the Guard