Today’s excursion was monumental in scope, both aesthetically and personally. Visiting the Acropolis and the various sites located around it in the city of Athens, one was struck again and again at the improbability of staring at ruins that were built by a fully functioning society, some two thousand years ago.
The highlight, of course, was the climb. You can read about my thoughts on the matter in the weekly update, on Substack. I’m still processing, and I need a little distance for some perspective. For now, I’m going to park a few photos here, along with some comments.
The tour today involved driving through town, seeing various statues, and even stopping briefly at the site of the first Olympics. It’s impressive, surely, but it doesn’t have that certain something that the temple of Athena has.
I knew there would be some hiking on this trip, and I spoke with the guide and expressed my concerns about being able to keep up. He assured me that if it got to be too much, I could come back down and wait for everyone else. I didn’t want to do that. As soon as he said I could, I thought “Well, now I don’t want to.”
I’m glad I stuck it out. I had to rest, and I couldn’t vault up the stairs and over the uneven rock paths like some of the teenagers, but I did it. And the view did not disappoint.
I learned today that in the 19th century, they figured the population would get up to about a million folks, and planned accordingly. The current population is somewhere North of five million people, nearly have of the entire population of Greece. Looking at the narrow, twisting city streets and the multi-story buildings, it’s easy to imagine any number of encounters for a D&D city campaign.
Now, I don’t want to leave you with the impression that this was a piece of cake for me. My feet and legs are certainly feeling it now, and likely will tomorrow, too. But words can’t quite convey the range of emotions I felt upon reaching the top and realizing that I was (a) still alive, and (b) able to make the hike in the first place.
More on this later. I’m going to see if they have a new set of feet I can buy in one of the many open markets. I feel my chances are pretty good. I found several vendors selling, well, not feet. I figure it’s just a matter of time.