It’s been a while – it’s also like the fifth time I’ve said that this year. In my defense, it’s been a tough couple of months, and I am just now seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. Speaking of light, how glorious are these photos of the Acropolis in Athens?
I spent a delightful 10 days over Easter break with a gal pal from Texas soaking up all the archeological sights, orthodox churches, wacky GPS free driving, beaches, feta, and souvlaki as possible.
I might ruffle a few feathers here, but Greece, and Athens in particular, has the “devil may care” and general shabbiness I associate with much of South America. It’s a bit like the armpit of Europe, but as long as you are prepared for the stink, you can get along just fine.
The main thing to see in Athens is the Acropolis, which I found out is the large plateau that is the site for the Parthenon and additional ruins. This plateau has been home to temples for basically ever and dominates the hilly landscape of Athens.
On your way up to the main event, you pass by shrines and amphitheaters perfectly preserved. I also discovered that these lady columns are replicas – the original ones are in the Acropolis museum down below (and one is in the British Museum because of ancient site robbing and all that).
In between dodging all the selfie sticks I took a moment to recall my art history courses and debated the types of columns I was seeing. Doric, Ionic, and the other one I also, as usual, marveled at the engineering and sheer brute strength it would have taken to move and shape these massive stones.
The Parthenon is in a sad state of disrepair. Again, most of the beautiful carvings and friezes are housed in the museum and the temple had a solid stone roof at one time, now it seems that the scaffolding is a permanent addition to this iconic building.
After feasting our eyes on these lovey ruins, we ventured down to the museum after a wonderful lunch that featured what would become my favorite food of Greece – the feta in phyllo with honey and sesame seeds. Guess who was at the museum with us? Angela Merkel the German Chancellor! Say what! I got real close to her as we both appreciated the same piece of statuary.
The afternoon and evening were spent in search of a Byzantine style ring I was obsessed with and with checking out the goods for sale in the Plaka – the tourist-heavy but charming shopping area of town. I ended up with that ring, and as usual, far more than I originally set out for.