Here goes another very late post about my travels!
For the second portion of my spring break, I traveled to Greece. First stop: Athens! Out of all of the places I visited these past months, Athens stands out to me as the most authentic. I was surprised by how few tourists I saw and how few locals spoke English. I really felt like I was moving alongside people's daily lives. Athens was also the slowest-paced European city that I visited. This was probably a combination of the Mediterranean lifestyle and the economic crisis, which I definitely sensed while there.
Of course, I also visited tourist destinations like the amazing Acropolis! The Acropolis is an ancient Greek citadel located on top of a hill that overlooks the city. It includes the Parthenon, a temple dedicated to the Goddess Athena, and other historically important buildings. Although the buildings are now partially in ruins, the extent to which they have been preserved is incredible and still portrays the grandeur of the architecture.
Another personal favorite was the Agora, the center of Ancient Greek commerce and political and intellectual life. The ruins are sprawled throughout a grassy area, which I enjoyed strolling through while imaging the ancient people selling artisan products, and visiting libraries and court houses. This strong sense of walking through history was one of my favorite aspects of Athens. However, aside from the ancient ruins, the city was more contemporary than I expected, and this relationship between old and new was what I most fascinating of all.