Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Standing on the Acropolis of Athens, Greece

After reaching the top of the steps and winding our way through the crowd, I spent about a half hour taking photographs of the ruins, being totally overwhelmed by the experience, when I noticed a little group of people coming out of a small building. I recognized them immediately. They were from our tour group, and had been the ones who had decided they couldn't manage the steps. They had opted to take the elevator. They were just arriving. I knew I had made the right decision, even with the plantar fasciitis and back problems, to take the stairs. I had done it because I didn't want to miss anything. Some things are worth the pain I know will come, and some are not. I knew this would be. I just didn't know it would also be that much faster.

460 B. C. That kept running through my mind as we climbed the many, many steps of the Acropolis once we were off the bus from the Athens, Greece ship terminal to the ruins. I remembered the wonderful nun who had taught ancient history to my third grade class. She made it come alive for me. I remembered coming home and telling my mother that the Sister was reading to us from some books called "The Idiot and The Oddity," and not understanding why Mama laughed until she cried. Okay, so I loved the stories but got some words messed up even then. And I kept telling myself to keep climbing, that at least I didn't have to carry a child on my back like Ruth and Benjamin did.

These buildings have been standing for almost 2500 years. That seems almost impossible. As I walked along, the preservation efforts are obviously determined and ongoing. Even with the crowd that was there that day, every effort was made, as is obvious in my slide show, to allow everyone to get some photos unobstructed by the masses. It was a well coordinated effort.

Again, I have to say that this was not a place I ever imagined I'd actually ever get to see in person. Like the Taj Majal or The Highlands of Scotland, the Pyramids of Egypt or the Great Barrier Reef, I dream big but expect my travels to be done from the passenger seat of a car in my own country. (I've been to all 50 States.)

So if you're sitting at home thinking that you'll never see a remote part of the world, remember that dreams come true. You never know when some unexpected blessing might pull you out of your normal daily life and give you a taste of the exotic. To Ruth and Ben, who made this possible for John and me, and to Kate and Ashley, who showered us with as much love as Grandparents could ever believe in receiving—thank you all so much.

We knew we were lucky to have seen Athens and the Acropolis at all on this trip. The day we were originally slated to arrive, the next day, there was a political rally scheduled, and our ship was re-routed. No one would have been able to get to the ruins that day. Costa Cruise lines did a great job for us. We had no problems at all.

My slideshow begins with the bus ride from the ship, where our tour guide entertained us with stories of Greece and its history. Some of the photos of John and me together were taken by Ben. He probably took five photos for every one I took. Thanks for sharing, Ben. You do good work.

1 comment:

sherrie said...

Wow! And your music always adds so much. Wow!