Welcome to Greece, and to Athens! It certainly was a change, coming to almost sultry Athens from cold London. The light, the people, the atmosphere, the history, the food, the traffic; yes, it was all different from the UK.
We’ll start off at the top – on top of the most famous landmark in the city, the Acropolis. As you can see from the view above, the Acropolis is a hill on which the ancient temples stood. The most (in)famous of them being the Parthenon.
Given that the building is some 2500 years old, it needed a bit of maintenance and restoration.
The temple is being pulled apart piece by piece, and then joined back together using laser technology – a costly business considering how many pieces there were left to be joined back together.
This is also the scene of some daylight robbery by the British. The Greeks, as you can see, want the stolen friezes back, but as I explained before, the British are having none of it.
Consequently, all the friezes still in Athens are now housed in a special museum just down the hill. The New Acropolis Museum has been built so that its dimensions and alignment match the original.
From the museum, you can clearly see the Parthenon above.
And inside are the tablets, all in its original configuration. There were even casts of the British Museum ones – better than nothing.
The details on the marble were fantastic, considering how old they were. The Roman Empire was some 300 years away, and Britain was just a collection of tribes. Since then it’s housed a mosque and a church, and was almost destroyed in the war between the Ottomans and the Venetians. It must cost billions to restore, but Greece ploughs on. Considering that Plato and Aristotle, foundations of Western Civilisation, walked there, it is not just Greek history they are preserving, but the world’s.