20 May 2009

Climbing the Acropolis or "Where's the Elevator?"

The Acropolis in Athens Greece is the best known acropolis in the world. It's on a flat-topped rock raising 490' feet above sea level. It's made up of many buildings including The Temple of Nike and the Parthenon.

In November 2008, I had an opportunity to visit the Acropolis while I was in Athens. As I stood at the bottom of the hill and looked up at this exquisite structure, I saw very little. After finding out the the only way to the top is on foot (what: no elevator/escalator? How barbaric!) I decided to pay EURO 12 (approx. $19.00 US) for the privilege of having the pain associated with getting to the top.

What an unbelievable experience! You can stop anywhere you want on the way up to rest or see that different structures and temples that make up the Acropolis. Everything is well marked. Even the things that no longer exist are marked to indicate where they were. One fabulous sight on the southern slope, which is dedicated to the domestic arts, is The Oreon of Herodes Atticus. It was at this site that Yanni, a self-taught keyboardist, composer and native Greek performed.

When I finally arrived at the top, after many starts and stops, it was like stepping back in time. The columns lay where they fell many centuries ago and I could see the area as it had originally been laid out. I could walk around and picture life at that time.

Signs along the way said "Please don't touch the marble". An understandable request, but was I going to honor it after dragging myself up this giant hill? Those who know me, know the answer to that question!!