Sunday, May 29, 2011

Let's try not to pass out.

So, when we left off, we were still waiting for Jordan to get into Athens and had just finished with the incredibly hot, incredibly sunny, incredibly prone-to-vendors Acropolis. The plan, as Jordan’s flight was getting in around noon, was to meet back at the hotel at 3, which should have given her enough time to get there and get settled and would have allowed us to finish up our touristy tourism. We went directly from the Acropolis to the New (!) Acropolis Museum, which has glass floors from which you can see archeological dig sites and cases and cases of jewelry for sale in the gift shop, in case you felt like dropping a few hundred euros on a silver bracelet. We bought our tickets and went up to the first floor, entirely ignoring the “This Is How You See This Museum Map” that we’d picked up from Information. Apparently, what you’re meant to do is to walk up to the first floor, ignore everything you see between you and the escalator, take it up to the third floor (the second being a bookshop and restaurant) and work your way down. I’m sure there’s some mindset in which this is a reasonable and natural thing to do, but given that we were making it up as we went along, we didn’t do that. There were old things on the first floor, so we started with those.

It probably should have been a hint that the first thing we looked at was “Athens post-Roman Occupation” and “Athens and Christianity”. We managed not only to start with the later period but went the wrong way around the museum, which we were later chastised for by a security guard. About halfway backwards through the Roman occupation, we decided that we were severely dehydrated and didn’t want to die in front of the gold coin display. Evidently, the New (!) Acropolis Museum doesn’t sell bottles of water (though they do sell water at the cafe on the first floor and, presumably, at the restauraunt) so we had to leave, walk to a newsstand and buy bottles of water from him.

In retrospect, we probably should have checked to see if that was OK with the Acropolis museum.

It turns out that your ticket isn’t a come-and-go-as-you-please sort of deal. We got back to the entry gate and found that we were locked out. The guard asked us if we had left the building or just gone to the gift shop/cafe area and we evidently mumbled noncommittally long enough that he decided we could be let in past the gate. Which is good, because we hadn’t gotten our 5 euros worth in the run up to overheating. We did the first floor (first backwards, then in order) which caught us up on the buildings on the Acropolis that aren’t the Parthenon, then figured out that we should go upstairs to get the chronologically first bit of what we were meant to look at.

Bonus: The Parthenon floor had a ten minute video on the history of the Parthenon (from construction to being-blown-up-because-the-Ottomans-were-using-it-as-an-artillery-when-it-was-bombed) which was informative, but mostly just had chairs.

We left the museum, proceeded to the Temple of Olympian Zeus (which had some impressively tall columns, but no actual signage to tell us what we were looking at) and Hadrian’s Arch, then took the metro back to Metaxourghio to wait for Jordan.

She wasn’t there.

After some freaking out about whether she’d be able to find the hotel, we figured out that her plane had been delayed in Frankfurt for a few hours, and so we passed out because 6:30 am + walking around in the sun for six hours does not equal “boundless energy”.

Evening recap in the next post. More posts than you’ll know what to do with to come.

1 comment:

Tony said...

Very good description of the museum. The path that you are expected to take is nonsensical, and the video is helpful but not as much as the seats.