Today felt like it was three days combined by the vast amount of stuff accomplished. In one day we managed to go to the Acropolis, the Acropolis Museum, Olympic Stadium, tour the Kefassis neighborhood, and swing by the bus station for us to buy tickets. I still managed to squeeze in a little salsa dancing with the break dancing street performers.
By 9 am our class was at the Acropolis ready to sketch, learn, and take in this wonderful masterpiece of a building. When you learn about a building from a book, it’s a completely different experience than being in its presence. Studying the floor plans, sections, elevations, renderings, and photographs only tend to hint at the magnificence of the Acropolis. Honestly if it wasn’t as hot out, I could have filled an entire sketchbook with sketches of the Acropolis and surrounding buildings. There were so many people coming to look at this building it was like a constant flood of people arriving.
The Acropolis Museum was next on our massive list of things to do today. We were not allowed to use our phones or cameras inside, but I very much wanted to take pictures of the amazing building. I didn’t really care about the artifacts, but more marveled at the architecture. The building is raised on specifically placed pillars allowing for archeologists to continue to dig and discover below. In the locations where they are digging, the floor is glass allowing for the unique interaction of person to artifacts. Upon entering the museum one is guided through a multi story progression ending at a vantage point view of the Acropolis. Northern light and indirect light to flood the Museum allowing for beautifully lit rooms without the destruction of artifacts.
Kefassis is a upper crust neighborhood on the North side of Athens. It doesn’t have quite the grunge of downtown but still carries the active atmosphere. It has the shopping boulevards that have started to crouch in taking over the streets. The sidewalk literally took the 2 way street and turned it into a one way due to the demanding ambiance of the pedestrians. Honestly, this is BEAUTIFUL to see. It’s a city planners dream to have the pedestrians taking back the streets. The simple idea of the people demanding this atmosphere that promotes shops, restaurants, and outdoor activity. It is so hard for Californians to give up their cars (sorry to lump San Francisco in that). We(Californians, again sorry San Francisco) all want our front row parking spaces, expanded freeways, and the feasibility to get from point a to point b. By wanting this, we sacrifice these active districts. Sad, Sad World.
I am not an author. To be quite honest, I always hated English class. I write so I may share my experiences and remember the man I met on a bus who treated me to dinner with his family, paying and booking a hotel only to find out its out of business, fake crying in the Athens airport to get a ticket home, or remember the strangers who looked out for me on a bus. Some live, experience, and are fulfilled by what’s in their backyards. I find there is something truly exhilarating about cramming as many possessions into a bag as possible, only to complain you brought too many. This is my life out of a suitcase, hope you enjoy.