Today we went to the Acropolis for the first time since we have lived here in Greece in our Athens Around the Ages class. I thought I was mentally prepared for what I was about to see once I climbed to the top since I had gazed upon it from the streets in passing, or from the rooftop of our apartment. I have seen thousands upon thousands of pictures of the Parthenon either online or in my textbooks throughout my high school and college career. How wrong I was. When we finally got to the top I was looking down for most of the time to be sure I didn't trip over any protruding rocks from the ground or slip and fall on the smoother rocks we were walking on. I heard our Professor start to go into the explanation of the Parthenon and then I looked up. It was absolutely incredible, intimidating, and breath-taking. I stood there staring for a good ten minutes not once taking my eyes off of it and suddenly I realized that my eyes were beginning to tear up a bit. I couldn't believe I was staring at this masterpiece that has been standing over all of Athens for thousands of years. I had flashbacks to when I was in my World Civilizations class in my sophomore year of high school where I looked at tiny pictures with captions underneath it and I thought that was enough. The pictures will never do the Parthenon justice. It towers over you in a way that you want to enter it and see whats inside but you are almost to nervous. The history that took place there just boggles my mind. Not once in my wildest dreams did I ever think I would be standing in front of the Parthenon and there I was. Tears welled up and I was nothing but thankful that I was here, and that I was able to experience something so incredible.
Our professor asked us in her lecture what it was that we first thought of when we looked at the Parthenon. So many words came into my mind but none would give it justice. Suddenly a girl next to me blurted out "perfect." It seemed so simple of a word to use for such a complex architectural masterpiece, and yet it described every aspect of the Parthenon to a 't.' Our professor agreed with what she had said describing how the architects knew exactly what they were doing and knew exactly what tools to use and mathematical equations to give the Parthenon the illusion of perfection.
Although we didn't go to see the Acropolis until a month and a half into our stay here, it made the experience that much better because the anticipation mixed with all that we had learned about it in our classes made it much more fascinating and easier to truly understand and respect the significance of the ancient ruins and the culture of Greece today.For any person given the opportunity to travel or study abroad I strongly suggest coming to Greece and seeing the Parthenon because it will change your life.