I had the wonderful opportunity of visiting the Acropolis a few days ago. It’s truly amazing to stand in the presence of such ancient architecture. I couldn’t help but let my mind wander onto questions such as how the hell they got hundreds of tons of marble from nine miles away to the top of the hill where it still rests today. Let alone, what inspired them to believe they had the means to do so. No matter the motivation and means behind the quest, they sure conquered the conflict and built an amazing structure. I know that historians and archaeologists have discovered probable answers to these questions, but it’s definitely mind-boggling to stand in the shadows of these giant temples, recognizing that they were built before proper levels, tape measures, cranes, and back braces, at least by our modern standards.
The Parthenon has been undergoing refurbishment for a while now to fill in bits of columns that failed to stand the test of time. Unfortunately that means it was covered in scaffolding, but nonetheless grand and impressive.
The hill housing the Acropolis stands quite tall above the rest of Athens. Originally the hilltop was a town and this allowed for residents to see any approaching enemies from afar. Now what one can see from the top of that hill is a shocking number of apartments, houses, and buildings. I couldn’t get my head around how many people those dwellings would accommodate for. The population of Athens is in the millions and this was clear from up there, in every direction. Perhaps that’s why the air pollution is so bad and they are working hard to preserve these monuments from it.
A word to future travelers to the Acropolis – be aware that reaching the Acropolis requires climbing several sets of stairs so make sure you have the energy and sturdy shoes, especially since the surface at the top is uneven throughout. Also, even if it’s sunny, bring a jacket. The wind blew very strongly while I shivered up there without one.