Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Bringing It Home

Apologies for the delay, but here is a recap of the team's final day in Greece:

We had hoped to visit the National Archaeological Museum, home to one of the five most valuable collections on the face of the planet:
The Mask of Agamemnon (ca. 2100 BC), perhaps the most famous item in the collection
But, sadly, it turns out that the museum is closed on Mondays. As an alternative, we hit the beachside resort of Glyfada, which is sort of like Athens' version of Ocean City. There's a beach:

...although the part we used was not connected to a particular club or management group, so it was small and pretty basic. Those of us who didn't want sun and surf strolled the main street of stores:

An organic honey stall in Glyfada...Greece is known for its honey, and these shops are all over the place!
This is no Plaka. The stores are European and American clothing chains: Timberland, Nautica, and Guess, plus their Euro look-a-likes. Nobody bought anything, and after watching some soccer highlights at a coffee bar, we all convened for lunch. Perhaps the location for lunch was an indication that everyone was ready to head home:

After lunch, we returned to the hotel to pack. The team was given another 24-hour travel itinerary for its return to the states:
-leave hotel at 5:45 for closing ceremonies
-closing ceremonies from 8:30-11:00
-bus back to hotel from 11:30-12:30
-leave hotel for airport at 2:30
-flights home, arriving about 2:30pm Baltimore time

Since there were only two hours allotted for sleep, the team wanted to maximize that by packing before heading to the closing event. Then we were off to the last big party of the World Games, and what a party it was! Despite only receiving a banana for dinner, the guys enjoyed the clothes trading

the Greek pop music:

and the retelling of Greek history (so, we sort of got the museum lesson anyway!):
It's the Trojan Horse! (How will it do if we build a large wooden badger?)
and the spectacle of officially ending the games:
The parade of athletes leaving, amidst clothes-trading and smiles!
After the ceremony, the squad said goodbye to Coach Ken, who headed off on travel (he's writing this from an airport in Cyprus). Meanwhile, by now, the team is home, enjoying the comfort of their own beds, their own food, and, of course, the warm welcome from friends and family who must be thrilled to have the guys back...with gold medals around their necks!

Please check back tomorrow for extra pictures and final thoughts that will conclude the blog.

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