it's all Greek to me

I haven't finished actually packing yet (waiting on laundry to get around to that) but other than that minor detail I'm feeling surprisingly ready and not nearly as anxious as I usually get before a trip. I think the distance and duration and complicated nature of our London-Athens itinerary hasn't fully hit me yet, which is probably, in a weird way, a good thing. But I'm a pretty organized person in general and I've spent a lot of time this week reading through my guide books, looking up stuff online, and putting together a color-coded itinerary. I know that last part doesn't sound terribly laidback and spontaneous, but there is some flexibility in there (planned, of course - one pint of beer at a pub here, 15 minutes of relaxing on the beach there, etc.)...I just don't want to miss anything!

And earlier this week, Neal and I enjoyed a pre-trip Greek date, checking out Greek art at the MFA (as well as the Hopper exhibit) and following that with dinner at the nearby "Greek Isles" restaurant. I got the chicken kebab and I have to agree with the Phoenix review...it was a little bland. I should have had some sort of pita-wrapped sandwich (the picture in the review matches pretty closely to what a guy sitting near us ordered right before we left), and what I was really craving along those lines was souvlaki, but they didn't seem to have it on the menu. Good thing I'm going to Greece!

As for art, the MFA has what is probably a fairly standard couple of galleries of mostly classical Greek art, which is exactly what I was looking for, including a small-scale copy of the statue of Athena and a maquette of the Acropolis. I learned that most of what we see in museums as far as statues of antiquity go are marble copies made 5 or 6 centuries later, primarily in Italy during Roman times. Sometimes the marble (as in the case of the reduced copy of the statue of Athena) came from quarries near the original site of the sculpture. The sign near the replica claims it's "among the best of the few surviving Roman replicas."

And who doesn't love a good maquette? I'd love to do something like this - with an edgy contemporary twist, of course - for my thesis show.

I'll be trading in my laptop for a good old-fashioned journal and sketchbook while I'm away, but I'll be back in a couple of weeks with a full report on my pilgrimage.