Thursday, May 5, 2016

A Great Attraction Remains NOT Visitor-Friendly

The Acropolis is magnificent -- truly one of the world's great, not-to-be-missed attractions.
And seeing the Parthenon and the other sights high atop Athens will be an experience you will never forget.
But, be forewarned: Athens is a chaotic place and the Acropolis tops the list for sheer, crowded, rustled and jostled disorganization.
There is no visitors center at the Acropolis.
There is no place to rest, to contemplate or to become oriented to your surroundings and what lies ahead as you approach the steep climb to the top. There's nowhere to sit, either at the foot, at the top nor anywhere in between -- not even a park bench. What's more, there are abysmally inadequate restroom facilities (a huge problem in much of the world outside the US) and few if any trash containers. 
Once you pay your fee of about 20 Euro to access the Acropolis, you're pretty much on your own.
There are many, many steps both shallow and deep. The ground underfoot is uneven, changeable and treacherous with loose bricks, rocks, soil and chunks of stone. The crowds are HUGE and you must take care to watch out for your belongings.
On top of all that, the whole area is not very well signed and you may find yourself in a line leading to an exit with no way to go back in the other direction. Once you leave the "gates" it's difficult to get back in.
Of course, the shrines atop the Acropolis are crumbling and they are almost always in a state of repair. So, you will have to take care to frame your photos amidst cranes and scaffolding. 
As hearty and irrepressible travelers, we never want to discourage others from venturing out to experience all that the world has to offer. 
But this is one visit you will have to prepare for. Get there in the morning as soon as the place opens. Allow half the day. Take your time. And be prepared!
BTW: We'll post some of our spectacular photos from our visit ASAP!

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