School History Trips to Unlock the History of Athens

School history trips bring students into contact with the past, showing them what their texts refer to. In Athens, where ancient monuments still stand, the distant past can be better appreciated: students can know how it felt to stand on the Akropolis beside the imposing Parthenon, or leave the city to visit the nearby Oracle at Delphi. Any school student taking History or Classics classes will benefit from visits to the great city of Athens.

The Akropolis of Athens

The most famous site in Athens is undoubtedly its Akropolis, a citadel on a rocky outcrop rising approximately 150 metres above the centre of the city. It was in use by human habitants of the region for thousands of years before the city of Athens developed and thrived in the Archaic and Classical periods. What stands on the Akropolis today dates to those periods: the Parthenon, the Propylaia, the Erechtheion, the Theatre of Dionysos Eleuthereus, and more.

Visiting the Akropolis of Athens on school history trips, students will first be awed by the marble steps and monumental gateway — the Propylaia — that take them onto the top of the hill. The massive structure of the Parthenon, the temple to the city’s patron goddess Athena, dominates the hilltop and draws all visitors to it. It is a staggering work of ancient architecture and the centre of Athenian celebrations in Athena’s name. Other surviving structures, such as the Erechtheion on the top of the Akropolis — with its porch held up by Caryatids — and the Theatre of Dionysos on the hill’s side, where many of the famous tragedies and comedies of ancient Athens were performed, complete this sensory introduction into the scale and shape of Athenian public life.

The nearby Akropolis Museum is an excellent next stop for students on school history trips, as it provides a wealth of material culture associated with and found on the Akropolis – from spindle whorls to statues. Elsewhere in Athens, sites such as the Temple of Olympian Zeus and Andrian’s Arch are beautiful, well-preserved monuments.

The Oracle at Delphi

Young visitors can trace the steps of many famed people in the ancient world by leaving Athens to visit the Oracle at Delphi. The Athenian tragedian Aeschylus wrote that the significance of Delphi began in prehistory with worship of Gaea, and certainly the site has long been in use, with a wealth of Mycenaean remains found there. Most of the ruins visible on the mountainside today date to the 6th century CE, including the reconstructed Temple of Athens (dedicated at Delphi in honour of the Athenians’ victory at the battle of Marathon) and the remains of the Temple of Apollo, a theatre and a stadium for the Pythian games held at the site. The rock on which the Oracle sat and prophesied is still in situ. Young learners on school history trips can stand beside it and contemplate the role of prophecy in the ancient world.

Wing Lee Street – An Image of the Past

The attractive Wing Lee Street provides a glimpse into Hongkong as it existed many years ago. This fascinating enclave contains many tenement buildings which once housed a harmonious and closely knit community.

The cosmopolitan city of Hongkong offers many interesting experiences for the visitor. In addition to modern malls and varied shopping opportunities the city also offers interesting places to visit, such as historically and culturally significant districts.

One of these captivating areas is the well-known Wing Lee Street. This lane is not an imposing site and it is not a modern showpiece. In contrast it presents an intriguing glimpse of the city as it existed many decades ago before the advent of modernity. The tenement style buildings known as tong Laus which are found here are unlike others found anywhere in the city as they are constructed in sets of clusters on a common terrace. This style of construction is not to be seen in other parts of Hongkong.

In recent years Wing Lee Street has come into the international limelight as it was featured in the well-known motion picture ‘Echoes of the Rainbow’. This memorable film which starred Simon Yam gave Hongkong its first prestigious Crystal Bear prize at Berlin’s well recognized international movie festival. In fact the creators of this film have called for the preservation of this unique urban environment.

Additionally this fascinating film has made many of its viewers actually visit the street, captivated by its historical and cultural legacy. The quaint residential buildings evoke images of an era when its residents were a closely knit interlinked community which lived in harmony and shared each others’ joys and sorrows.

Interestingly many of the local businesses were printing shops as many printers moved their businesses to this part of the city. Even today you will find a few such businesses still in operation. Some of the local buildings have been renovated but have not been transformed into shops or restaurants. You will also find an interesting information centre which displays photographs of the original buildings as they once existed. With so much to see and admire a visit to Wing Lee Street will always be enthralling.

If you are visiting the city and are interested in a 4 star hotel Hongkong an outstanding choice would be the Cosmo Hotel. This Hongkong boutique hotel offers attractive interiors and gracious hospitality.

4 big benefits of stretching

Obviously, stretching increases flexibility, but so what?

First, flexibility can increase “stability, balance, and ease of movement,” as Michelle Matte at Livestrong.com describes, which reduces risk of injury, not just in athletic activities, but in everyday life.

Stretching also encourages the production of lubricants in our joints, as AZ Central’s Andrea Cespedes tells us. This, combined with the relief of tension around your joints earned by stretching, can ease arthritis and other joint pain.

After sitting at a desk or behind a steering wheel for hours and hours on end, your posture can start to go. Stretching out your back, neck and chest will not only help improve posture, but work towards alleviating the lower back pain and neck tension caused by long-term slouching.

Speaking of long days working and commuting, stretching is a great stress reliever. When combined with deep breathing (as used in yoga) stretching can help you calm down and ease your mind, while loosening all the areas where you hold tension. Cespedes also explains that various stretches can even aid in hormonal balance, digestion, and blood pressure, which can all be associated with stress.

In short, if stretching is not a part of your routine, it should be.