Saturday, July 14, 2012

Acropolis Fevered

The heat! The heat!
Oh how could we possibly consider ignoring the aching fever and vicious intestinal malaise to face the Greek heat in all its unforgivable Apollonian glory?

What could compel our bodies, trembling with putrid illness, to traipse through the invincible sunshine of Athens? Only the vision of the Parthenon, that proudest dream of Pericles, the long lost world of Classical Greece from which we still draw intellectual succor. Only that.

As we approached the ancient theatre of Dionysus, god of wine, celebrations, ritual madness and ecstasy, Zeus smiled down on us (or was it Athena herself?) in at least one way. For some reason, admission to the Acropolis was free on this sweltering Monday, June 3rd. Despite this welcome largesse, the Acropolis was not choked with vistors or the dreaded touring groups that descend like locusts from cruise ships at any grand sight near enough to the sea. All praise be to the Olympian deities for this fortunate turn of events.
...and yet, the heat! The heat of Apollo's sun bore down on us with an alarming intensity. We stopped frequently in the shade on our way up to the Acropolis. It was the only way to avoid exhaustion and the potential for catastrophic collapse. We felt as old as the aforementioned elder cruise ship tour groups. Yet we had no way to shed the excess hundreds of years our bodies had seemingly aged overnight.
Around noon, we reached the summit. A German man sprayed water out of his mouth onto a small boy. A small group of Japanese in formalwear sweltered in the sunlight. We paid too much for a cold drink. But they can never take back our brief glimpse of the apex of the Ancient World.

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