Book research has its advantages when you're the author of The Athenian Mysteries. I and my family have been in Greece, and it's been a fun and very hectic time. Here's the view from our hotel room. That's the Acropolis. It was dusk when we arrived and the first thing we did was take a picture.
So now in the posts to come I will deliver some photos, descriptions, and random thoughts. Let me begin with Tripod Road.
When I told my literary agent that we were in Athens she replied, "Walking in the steps of Nico and Diotima!"
I replied, "It's funny you should say that, because the hotel we're staying at is on Tripod Road."
In the books, my hero Nicolaos and the lovely Diotima have to walk up and down Tripod Road almost every day. It's the main road from their house to the agora.
Tripod Road was lined with victory tripods, put up by the winners of the choral contests at the arts festival called the Great Dionysia. Pericles himself had a victory tripod on Tripod Road, because he funded a winning play.
These days Tripod Road is called Nikodimou Street, but we know it was the original Tripod Road, because there's a single surviving tripod. It's called the Lysikrates Monument, erected by a very happy fellow named Lysikrates to celebrate a victory at the Great Dionysia some time around 334BC, and it's known to have been built on the west side of Tripod Road. Here it is, and it's about 100 meters down the road from where we're staying.
Yes, I know it doesn't look remarkably like a tripod. The victory monuments became very ornate over time.
So this means every time we walk down the road for the inevitable evening dessert of waffle and chocolate sauce, we are in fact walking in the footsteps of Nico and Diotima.