Near Athens is the most important land to the Greeks - the location of the battle at Marathon and the tomb of 192 soldiers who perished there when the Athenians beat the Persians. Standing around the model if the grounds where the war was fought, we hear of the protective armor and warfare of the day, the ships that were use in the Greek navy, and the story of the battle strategy itself considering that specific geography. We consider that if this battle had gone the opposite way, the course of history would have been changed.
The drive to Marathon Lake is pretty. Olive trees' silver shimmers on the roadside hills, and the cypress dark green shoots up into today's cloudy sky. We fill the restaurant quickly because the day is chilly. Students order cappuccinos and catch up on journaling. Someone pulls out a deck of cards. Fun chatter and laughs fill the air. A handful even catch a quick shut-eye.
Silas plans relays for us at the Marathon Stadium. We complete like we mean business and then take a lap around the track.
There's a special restaurant outside of the city that's owned by a cousin of a friend of ours. This traditional Greek taverna has tables lined up, set beautifully with bread baskets waiting for us. The salad might be the best I've ever had with feta and dill added to the greens, tomatoes, olives, capers, and homemade croutons. The tzatziki is definitely the best I've eaten loaded with chunks of cucumber, making it taste fresher than ever. Sausage is also brought to us. The potatoes taste like Grandmother's, and the main course choices are pork, chicken, or beef. A band begins playing and the locals begin arriving around 10:00PM, and that's when the party gets cranking. One student remarks that this is in his top five meals of his life. We're getting a good, healthy dose of family here at HUG. Family is what HUG is all about.