As a young student the author, fell in love with the architecture of the ancient Greeks whilst studying for a career in architecture. There was something special about that crazy, dysfunctional family of Greek gods that inhabited the cloud shrouded top of Mount Olympus.
However, no matter how crazy their gods seem to us, the Greek people felt motivated to raise some of the most beautiful buildings that the ancient world would produce. Culminating in the Parthenon on the Athens Acropolis.
It’s when you put these monuments into the context of the times they were built, that you realise just how special they were. For the most part we see ruins, but the author, armed with his Banister Fletcher’s A History of Architecture, is able to help the reader imagine these monuments as they would have appeared in their time.
Almost fifty years ago the author’s wife offered him the chance to visit mainland Greece, so that they could explore the splendour of ancient Greece together. The fact that their visit coincided with the Junta of the five Greece Colonels (21st April 1967 – 24th July 1974), wasn’t expected but provided an interesting backdrop to the trip.
The author, a keen photographer, took many photographs of the various monuments that they visited in early February 1974. With the advent of digital photography it was necessary to convert the colour slides to digital format and whilst there is some loss of colour quality, it’s when you compare the access we enjoyed in 1974, that the slight loss of colour quality seems irrelevant. In a sense, it’s almost as if the pictures are looking back at us from 1974.
The author has described this trip as a pilgrimage, in a very real sense it was, his fellow pilgrim on the trip was his wife, Bobby, who sadly died in 2009. The production of this book stands as a loving account of a special time which, whilst many years ago, is as fresh as if it was just yesterday.