The Acropolis Is INCREDIBLE

greece acropolis

Photo: Busines Insider

ATHENS, GREECE — History looms large in Athens. This is true both metaphorically and physically, as the city’s most distinctive landmark, The Acropolis, sits high above the city, looking down on the sprawl.The Acropolis (which means city on the edge) is over two thousand years old, and actually consists of multiple structures, the most identifiable of which is the Parthenon.

Today in the 95 degree heat, with the help of a local guide who hadn’t been up there since he was a kid, I went and checked it out.

My journey starts in Syntagma Square in the centre of Athens. It's blazing hot and incredibly bright.

There I meet my guide, John. He's a computer engineer who lives two hours away and plans to emigrate to Australia. He hasn't seen the Acropolis since he was a young kid.

The Acropolis sits way high above the city.

At the base is a touristy area with cheap gift shops where young people hang out.

As you walk up, there are other ruins at the base.

The sign says this is the Hadrian Library.

The walk up to the Acropolis is hot and narrow, and you pass by houses and tiny shops.

After some walking, the Acropolis still looks extremely far away.

As with the rest of Athens, on the walk up, there's graffiti everywhere.

The walk is narrow and turny.

Another narrow corridor.

Once again, there's graffiti everywhere. My guide explains that there's always been graffiti in Athens, but now it's tolerated more.

We've been walking for several minutes, and it's sill a long way up.

Looking back on the city, you can see how far we're already up.

The views are already spectacular from up here.

Until I got up here, I had no idea how sprawling and big Athens was. It's HUGE.

Finally, we get a clear shot of the Acropolis, but we're still not there yet.

Finally I arrive, and I pay 24 euros for two tickets go all the way up.

John, my guide, absolutely refuses to let me buy him his ticket. So far, nobody in Greece has let me pay anything for them.

Finally we're getting close. A sign warns people against vandalism and theft.

Immediately next to The Acropolis is an ancient theatre.

Finally! We're here.

Statues honour the gods.

Another shot shows how breathtakingly sprawling Athens is.

A Greek flag waves in the sky.

The main attraction: The Parthenon.

Closer up, you can see there's an impressive amount of intricacy to the architecture.

More ruins far below...

From high above, this is the stadium built for the first Greek Olympics, in 1896

We begin our descent.

It's still scorching hot, as we walk back down through the narrow roads.

And finally, back at sea level, in the touristy square where we started.

Now for a more depressing scene...

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