Even though it felt like it could snow any minute, my heart still skipped a beat as I saw the Acropolis. While eating gyros the night before, we had seen it lit up on a hill high above our heads. In our hurry to run to the top, our guide stopped us and casually said, “by the way, don’t pick any rocks or anything up from the ground. They arrested a 17 year old American kid for picking up a rock.” With a thoughtful look he added, “I actually think he’s still in jail…”
Not entirely sure if he was being serious, we continued the long hike to the top. I was disappointed when I saw that the colossal Parthenon was covered in scaffolding, as was the temple of Athena Nike. The local guide said reconstruction has been going on for twenty years and is supposed to continue for another fifteen! Regardless, we still took pictures from every side. Looking for a picture with a bit of fun, I employed about seven of the girls to stand on a short ledge with me. We all held hands and on the count of three jumped into the air. Before our feet touched the ground (but luckily after the camera shutters snapped), a uniformed woman came running out of a hidden room– no doubt spying on us the entire time. We stood, dumbstruck, while she continued to blow the whistle in our faces, screaming in Greek the entire time. I’m not sure who started laughing first, but within seconds all of us were holding our sides!
It was still freezing, so Tess and I decided to head to the Athens Archeological Museum. For some reason, they closed at 3, so by the time we got there, we only had 40 minutes left. We were about to give up and head back to the hotel. As we got to the door, I shrieked, “wait a minute, we’re never going to be back here!” Giving each other an understanding look, we threw some Euros in the direction of the ticket booth and started sprinting through the museum, cameras in hand (did I mention it is one of the largest archeological museums in the world?)
We only paused long enough to snap pictures. The place was enormous and had pottery that dated back to 3500 B.C.! After the pottery section, we sprinted through sculpture. I’ve never seen so many statues in my life. After getting a candid (read: naked) shot of the statue of Olympic Zeus, we sped-walked through the rest of the museum and got finished just minutes before they locked the doors!