Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Acropolis Museum, Athens, Greece

Our first full day in Athens and it didn't start out as planned.

We knew the gates to the Acropolis opened at 8 a.m. and we planned to be there at that time. Total exhaustion caused us to oversleep and we didn't get up the steps to the gate until about 9:30 a.m. Where we discovered oversleeping was good because we couldn't get into the Acropolis until noon....the ticket booth and gate workers were on strike until then!

So down the stairs and back down Dionysiou Areopagitou Street, a very wide, very nice pedestrian street to the Acropolis Museum which, fortunately was open. The museum is new, open only about a year. Many pieces from the Acropolis have been moved here to protect them from further deterioration from air pollution.

The museum is designed very well with visitors directed up staircases (elevators available) and escalators in a clockwise direction. NO photography is allowed in the museum but, once reaching the third floor with great views of the Acropolis, taking photographs is allowed as long as your camera is pointed out, through the window. Also on the third floor there is an excellent video worth sitting through. In retrospect, it was better going to the museum before the Acropolis. So that worked out well for us.

For me, there are two highlights to the museum. The first was the entryway where you can see continuing excavations. The actual entryway is covered with glass but off to the side, there were open excavations. I would have loved to have gone down the steps and wandered the ancient streets for a little while.

The other highlight was the Caryatids from the south porch of the Erechtheion. They were magnificent and I really would have loved to have taken loads and loads of photos. It is hard to comprehend that the beautiful soft folds of their dresses are really hard marble. The museum site photo really does not do them justice.

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