Tuesday, September 16, 2014

4 km from the moon

My friends know how passionate I am about celestial 
matters and they aren't surprised when sometimes 
I steer the conversation in that direction. I'm not 
an expert but the unknown fascinates me

On Saturday 5 September, the National Οbservatory 
of Athens held an open night for the public to be able 
to enjoy the harvest moon. 

The Observatory is located on the slopes of 
the Hill of the Nymphs and was built in 1829. It was 
financed by Baron Simon Sinas and designed by Danish 
architect Theophil Hansen who created a neoclassical 
domed structure with a cross-shaped floorplan.

Using an old telescope “ Doridis” dating back to 1900, 
I was lucky to view the moon from a distance of 4 kms
and have a virtual stroll around the sea of tranquillity, 
observe the Saturn and detect constellations. 
My imagination took wings and flew off ... I think that
 we can't appreciate our planet unless we step out of it. 

Outside the observatory, the Hellenic Astronomical 
Association had provided many mobile, digital telescopes 
which also offered majestic views of la luna! 

Even for those who prefer to look downward, the sight 
of Athens crowned by the glorious Acropolis was 
breathtaking. Illuminated by the moon and the stars, 
the capital shimmered magically and my spirit 
returned to earth peacefully. 

In the same area, there is Pnyx, a small, rocky place, 
the ancient remain of the Assembly where the Athenians
used to gather to talk and take decisions. 
It was the meeting place of one of the world's earliest 
known democratic legislatures, the Athenian assembly. 

This neighborhood has its own distinctive flair and offers 
one of the best views over the ancient Agora and Parthenon.

The photos below were taken on the way to 
the Observatory. 

I'm glad you could join me on this virtual experience. 
Does anyone else share my passion?


  1. Wat heb je een mooie foto's gemaakt.
    Ik deel je passie niet, maar heb wel genoten om even met je mee te gaan!

    Liefs, Gerry

  2. Really enjoyed this post Olympia, I share your interest in the celestial too. It must have been wonderful to observe the Harvest Moon at close quarters. I have had a similar experience when we were staying in Italy but only once. We spent an evening in an observatory on a mountain top in a place called Gavinana, Tuscany.

  3. I don't share your interest, but your post was absolutely interesting. I can imagine it was a great experience to see the moon so close.

    Sending hugs and wishing you a wonderful week! xxx Ingrid

  4. Lovely pictures Olympia .....love from me.....x!

  5. Hi dear,
    Your post is so interesting,It must have been wonderful to observe the Moon ,beautiful pictures..great!

  6. J'adore observer les etoiles et la lune, mais je n'ai jamais eu l'occasion de visiter le Asteroskopeio d'Athenes!
    Cela a du etre tres interessant!!!! Tes photos sont superbes!!!Cela fait des annees que je ne suis pas passee dans le quartier de Agia Marina!
    Merci de ton message si aimable, chere Olympia (nous pouvons nous tutoyer entre bloggeuses!).
    Tu peux m'ecrire en francais ou en anglais, comme tu voudras.
    Bonne semaine!!

  7. Dearest Olympia,
    We once were with dear friends in San Diego and we watched: IMAX Film: "Hubble" (just click the link...)
    So yes, it did never leave my mind and it is something Pieter and I discuss so often. There remain so many mysteries about the endless universe and we probably only find out after we die what the real secret is.
    So glad you got to go and observe La Luna in such a very special way!

  8. Chère Olympia!
    Très beau billet!
    Mon voisin est comme toi et il a aussi un petit observatoire.
    Malheureusement tu es trop loin ....
    Passe une bonne semaine ma Belle!
    Je t' embrasse fort!

  9. WOW!
    The clouds are so pretty in your pictures and the light is gorgeous. It looks only like that just before sunset. Great!

    I also love the wooden ceiling in the building.
    Must have been quite an experience.
    Lucky you!

  10. Wow , una vista fantastica della luna e del paesaggio ! Non condivido questa passione con te , mi piace semplicemente guardare le stelle e la luna come tutti i romantici .Abbraccio e buona giornata.

  11. Such illumination! The ancient agora, the city of Athens, the ambiance of the harvest moon upon thousands of years of history, alight and amazing, in the glow of intrigue!


    1. How can you be so poetic dearest Poppy?!!! You could perfectly become a writer!

  12. And wouldn't you know it? Timing is everything and here I am trying to leave a comment after that poetic one left by Poppy. The harvest moon is one of intrigue and mystery isn't it? Lovely post - as always! Have a great week~ Jackie

  13. How exiting and such beautiful pictures.

    Hugs from here

  14. Some things like the moon never ending one to marvel at.
    Funny post and nice bider.
    Have a great day Sptember, Marit.

  15. Such a beautiful post, my Dear Olympia! Every photo breathtaking! You live at the seat of civilization, influenced by the stars - a fitting place to construct the most beautiful observatory. Yes, yes, I share your wonder at the heavens above us! Thank you for sharing this beautiful place on earth with us!
    Hugs xo Karen

  16. What a sight that must have been! These are such beautiful and interesting photos, Olympia. I am very much into the moon and stars too and would enjoy going to a place like this. The steps photo is so pretty, and the door one also. You know, there is a song called "Harvest Moon" and it is written by Neil Young. It is Nel and her husband's song. If you get a chance, you should listen to it, it's so lovely.

    Thanks for the tour, and the harvest moon is stunning.


  17. what a wonderful post Olympia and yes I too share your interest......last week when I was sat watching the sun going down with my Auntie who is 84...she said "do you know the light of the sun takes 8.3 minutes to reach the earth ? " ...its all so incredible !
    Gail x

  18. This was a great experience! Beautiful pictures!
    Have a nice weekend. Greating from Aleta

  19. Dear Olympia - You live in such a beautiful part of the world! Thanks for the tour of the very handsome observatory - what a magnificent chevron patterned ceiling! Enjoy this last weekend of summer. Cheers from DC - Loi

  20. Dear Olympia,

    Your pictures are always so beautiful! How you manage to gently take our hand and stroll with us through an idyllic and instructive landscape! I understand your fascination for the unknown. I recall as a teenager being struck by the sheer folly of an infinitive universe. I simply could not get my head around it.

    Ooh, and I spy Likavitos; I lived just underneath it in my first year in Athens!

    1. Whoops, I meant to write, obviously, an infinite universe!

  21. Dear Olympia,

    Lovely to come and visit you today and see all the wonderful photos and all you have shared.
    How stunning your new header is with the moon and exciting that you got to go to the observatory.
    I too have a fascination for the unknown.
    Wishing you a happy new week

  22. Preciosas fotos... !!!! quiero ir a Grecia!!!!

  23. What a wonderful experience is must have been viewing the moon at such a small distance using an old telescope, really awsome! Enjoyed all the images you've shared with us.
    Have a great day, my friend!


  24. What an amazing opportunity for you. Fantastic photos ... thanks for sharing. M x

  25. What a fantastic experience, and beautiful photos! I love reading and dreamin about places near and far as well. This post definitely tickles my fancy.

  26. Such a beautiful post Olympia and it must have been so exciting to visit the Observatory in Athens...your photographs are stunning!
    Susan x

  27. A wonderful post Olympia,
    What an exciting adventure to visit the Athens Observatory..
    I do believe that out there in the cosmos- somewhere there are answers to many things that we still do not know .
    Your photos are stunning..
    I really enjoyed reading this post.
    thank you..
    Happy week.
    val x

  28. Dear Olympia,

    What a lovely post and as always such beautiful, beautiful pictures. Breathtaking! And what a lovely exprience to be able to enjoy the harvest moon like that. And I'm sure we're many who share your interest.

    Thank you for bring us along and thank you sweet Olypia for your always kind and generous words on my blog. They warm my heart every time.

    Have a wonderful autumn my dear and take care! / Charlie xx

  29. Que de jolies photos! Cela a dû être une journée exceptionnelle - et quel bel observatoire. Je pense que lorsque l’on sort des limites de la terre on s’aperçoit que nous sommes minuscules et que l’espace céleste est immense.

    Quand nous sommes allés à New York en novembre dernier nous avons été au Hayden planétarium du musée d’histoire naturelle. La séance était expliquée par Neil de Grasse Tyson et c’était vraiment stimulant.

  30. sliczne zdjęcia , a ujecie z dzrwiami cudne , mam słabośc do zdjęć z drzwiami i namietnie je robie :)

  31. ~ How magical to view the harvest moon in that way....
    I waved at her from a distance , here at home...Boy she was big !
    Wishing you well Olympia...
    and thanking you for sweetest words always...
    Its lovely to be back in your little corner, once more, my friend..
    Hugs Maria x


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