Olive Tree of Greece

The one tree that I found in every town or city of Greece that I visited was the Olive tree. Particularly in old sites, the trees looked so old, looking as if they existed for centuries. For Greeks Olive tree is a symbol of wisdom and peace. It is the sacred tree of their Goddess Athena. The story of how the tree came to existence is like this: Zeus decided the city (before it the name Athens) would be given to the one who would give the most useful gift to its people. Poseidon gave them the horse. Athena struck the bare soil with her spear and caused an olive tree to spring up. People were mighty pleased with the olive that Zeus gave the city to Athena. The city was then named after her.

Curious tourists like me halted to make a note of the tree and its interesting features. Most of the trees bore fruits, some in their raw state and ripe ones scattered on ground. I was like: OMG so much olive gone waste! My curiosity went a little further, I plucked one ripe one and bit into it, I expected it to be sour. This was at Acroplis site and Oh! God! It was bitter. I ran around searching for a dust bin to pop it out. I never tried one for the rest of the tour, the ones served at table tasted so good. In its natural state it is best to capture in photographs.

Some quotes:
Nobel prize winner Greek poet Odysseas Elytis wrote “Greece is a vine, an olive tree and a boat” 

Thomas Jefferson wrote: “The olive tree is surely the richest gift of Heaven” 

Aldous Huxley wrote: “…I like them all, but especially the olive. For what it symbolizes, first of all, peace with its leaves and joy with its golden oil.”

Federico Garcia Lorca wrote: “Angels with long braids and hearts of olive oil.”

Thursday Challenge: Trees

Parthenon, Athens
Visiting the Acropolis, Athens to see Parthenon

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