Operation Greco-Roamin’, Entry 003

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.

It’s hard not to replay every Dungeons & Dragons campaign you ever ran in your head when you’re at this place.

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 kept a sharp eye out for the harpies from Jason and the Argonauts.

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.”

These ruins are massive and you can’t get too close to them for a number of safety reasons.

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.

More spectacular views.

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.

This cat was napping amid the ruins atop the Parthenon. All of the cats in Greece are quite tame, used to handouts.
This little busker himself made eighteen dollars in tips while I was standing there.

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.

It’s hard to get a sense of scale from photographs. These sites were massive and humbling.

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.

Um…welcome to Athens. Y’all ain’t got no stuff for Poseidon, but Priapus evidently has the street vendor novelty bottle opener penises on every corner?! What the hell, Zeus?! You need to sort this out…

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