Saturday, May 18, 2013

Room With A View

After a short flight from Naples to Athens, then a long, hot slog on bus, metro, and a critical wrong turn out of the metro stop, we arrived at our Athens hotel. And found an incredible surprise upon opening our hotel room door. This view. And I needed an uplifting moment.
Two years ago, we had a six hour layover in Athens and raced from the airport into town (a one hour trip) just to see the Acropolis. We did get to see it, but due to strike, we couldn't climb up to see the Parthenon up close. Upon arrival at our hotel this afternoon, our nice clerk answered our inquiry about closing time of the Acropolis with Sad Face. "It closed at 3pm today." We are in Athens only for this afternoon, so my heart sank. Then we got to our room and found this incredible view of the Temple of Athena and the Parthenon. Glory be!

Nathan took La Bimba for a mid-afternoon snack while I went off to get a SIM card for our phone (in Greece, it is more complicated than other European countries and involves registering your passport). Then we meandered around, ate frozen yogurt at a fix-your-own-toppings-bar that had about 53 topping options, walked (very slowly) around the Plaka neighborhood at the foot of the Acropolis, and finally reached the Museum at about 5:30. I stood, gazing longingly at the Parthenon, so high and out of reach. And noticed people at the top. A quick check in with the museum info desk confirmed that we could, in fact, climb to the top. Sad Face hotel clerk was Wrong! And it was Free today! We strapped on La Bimba and started up, up, up.

I will admit that we have become jaded in our travels. On the airplane, we were reading an article about a town we had not seen. The words that came out of my mouth when looking at a photo of this pretty town's piazza, ringed with beautiful buildings, were, "Blah, blah, blah."

Then we climbed up a hill and stood in front of the Parthenon! I never imagined it would feel as special as it did. I remember little more than absolutely nothing of my history lessons (and haven't had a second to read the guidebook either), but still, walking around the top of the Acropolis was an extra special life moment. I am typing out this post on my phone tonight while sitting in bed and looking up at the temples, lit up and dominating the view. And I cannot believe I'm here!

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