My Big Fat Greek Adventure
It has always been my goal to make my way to Greece at some point in my life and last week I did just that. I’ve always loved Greek Mythology long before I read and fell in love with the Percy Jackson series, but being able to walk through the ancient city of Athens and Greek ruins was a dream come true. Here are some of my highlights:
The Acropolis Museum
At the base of the Acropolis of Athens is a building that can be described as a modern Parthenon, which was the goal of its architects. This is the Acropolis Museum which houses the ancient statues and carvings that survived the explosion that destroyed the Parthenon. It also holds many casts of original statues and empty spots that await the return of the original Greek artifacts.
The Acropolis of Athens
The Greek word Acropolis means "high city" and on this high city, you have an amazing view of the city of Athens all around you. Before entering the monumental gateway you can see the Theatre of Bacchus which still holds concerts. After entering the gateway there are two temples; the Parthenon dedicated to the goddess Athena, and a smaller temple for both Athena and Poseidon.
I learned during my tour that they hope to have the Parthenon 80% rebuilt by 2020, but it will never be 100% rebuilt since some statues were totally destroyed and they will not create new statues and carvings to replace them. The Parthenon was a sight to behold even in ruins and with scaffolding throughout, I can hardly imagine the awe you would feel when seeing it at 100 or even 80%.
About an hour’s drive from Athens is the city of Corinth, more importantly the Castle on the Acrocorinth. I didn’t get that much time to explore the ruins as I arrived only 30 minutes before the site was closed for the day, but even the small portion I got to see was incredible. Fair warning though it’s pretty much all uphill and there are no paved paths.
My first day in Santorini I visited the black sand beach of Kamari. It was incredible to be able to dive into the warm, clear water of the Aegean Sea and soak in the Santorini sun. A few hours later I found myself on a bus heading towards the village of Oia filled with the iconic white buildings, blue roofs, and the ocean sparkling next to it. As expected it is equally beautiful in person. The best part about going in the afternoon is being able to catch the stunning sunset while eating some delicious cuisine at a rooftop restaurant.
My second and last day in Santorini started with a quick trip to the volcanic ruins on the island, before going to the other main village on the island; Thira. The first thing I did upon entering the village was nabbed deliciously cheap gyros which was quickly followed by delicious baklava. All consumed with a view of the stunning caldera. While I didn’t have time to do so, you can take a cable car down to the old port and either ride the cable car back up or ride a donkey up the stairs.
In total, I spent five full days in Greece soaking up as much history and Greek culture as possible. I know that I barely scratched the surface, so I guess I have to choice but to go back someday.