You come to Athens and you find chaos. Worries. A future shrouded in doubt. But that's not the picture I had of Greece before the crisis struck. Greece is the place where western civilisation was born. The cradle. The place where culture, language, rites developed. The place I learnt about at school. Dates about battles. Emperors. The development of democracy. How was it with the Romans and the Greeks? The Persian wars? And Alexander the Great?
And then you come to these places. To the Acropolis. The hill where over 3000 years of history were written. And you share it with about 5000 tourists in the searing sun (stupid idea to go there at lunchtime...). :-)
It is fascinating to imagine how people lived here in 500 BC. And you wonder how everyday life might have looked like in those days. The ruins don't tell you very much.
And then your personal guide (thank you Anna, thank you so very much!) takes you to the Acropolis Museum. And to the Museum of Cycladic Art. And you find explanations. In these museums you find descriptions of how the old Hellenes were educated, how marriage looked like and how they were trained in sport in order to become warriors.
And the Spartans. Men and women were educated to defend their city. Both genders were involved. An ancient place of emancipation.
It helps to have a historically savvy guide. But all museums have very good explanations in both Greek and English language. And if you like you can go deeper and go to education sessions or ask historians that are available at the Acropolis Museum.
History turned alive. I loved it. And I want more.
And here are some links to websites around ancient Hellas in Athens: