Tuesday, September 21, 2010

It looks like...

"It looks like God's house from the sky" were the words out of my 4 year old nephews mouth upon seeing the mighty Acropolis of Athens.

Unlike the rest of stinky rubbish filled Athens (more to come on that), the Acropolis site, perched high on a hill overlooking the now ugly (but I'm presuming once spectacular) city was pretty incredible. It's absolutely massive and impossible to miss - it seems to cast shadows all day long over the old city.

Looking up at the Parthenon as seen here from our hotel roof at breakfast, it was hard to imagine how we would make the steep climb up the hill to the site - there's no cable car or donkey ride here. As we slowly made our way through the souvenir shop infested Plaka district and began our walk uphill in the 30+deg weather, we stared in awe/amazement/shock/horror/too many feelings of unbelief to describe (!) at the loads of tourists (presumably Greek tourists) tottering up the path in their giant wedgy heels - after seeing the first 20 or so women walking very uncomfortably in heels so high they would frighten a catwalk model, we realised this must be the fashionable dress code for walking around slippery marble ruins in Athens.

The Acropolis of Athens consists of a few different bits and pieces, most notably the famous Parthenon and in my opinion, by far the most spectacular. The front was covered in scaffolding (they did at least paint the crane on the left side of it the same colour so it wasn't such an eyesore) as it has been for the past 20 years or so; I found the back of it the most impressive.

The Temple of Athena and the Theatre of Dionysus Eleuthereus were also pretty spectacular, although not quite in the same league as the huge Parthenon.

Walking around the site with my sister giving us a commentary from the guidebook was pretty awe inspiring. I always find it strange in Europe to look at things that are older then Australia (white Australia as we know it, that is), but the Acropolis is BY FAR the oldest thing I have ever seen - and likely ever will. It really is a fascinating place to visit and well worth having to step into crazy Athens for... I'm almost feeling motivated to tackle Homer's Iliad and Odyssey... Might save that one for a rainy day!

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