Parthenon sealed off

Greece has opened what looks like a beautiful museum at the base of the Acropolis. I realize that they had to do something to preserve the place: vicious air pollution and too many tourists were killing it, but I’m glad I was there back in 1972 when a backpacking kid could wander around at will, unhindered by glass walls, officious guards or even, in those days, an excessive number of fellow tourists. But that changed quickly. When I returned to Athens in 1976 I was told that the number of cars in the city had doubled in just those few years. Greece was still under the thumb of Papadopoulos and his fellow colonels in 1972 and the country  (particularly Crete, where I stayed for months) was still very poor and very beautiful. I’m sure things have improved for the Greeks since then but I’m glad I was there before development hit.


Filed under Uncategorized

4 responses to “Parthenon sealed off

  1. Retired IB'er

    Was there a little after you (1976), but have the same fond memory of wandering around unimpeded by fences.

    Same memories of Stonehenge, which is no longer free to roam about as well.


    • christopherfountain

      Ah, IB’r Athens in 1976 was still great. I spent the summer there studying Plato under Dr. John Silber but at night I’d go down to the Plaka with a great Australian girl to hang out in those below-street cave/clubs stacked with barrels of retsina. We’d drink, sing along with the bousouki music and in general just have a blast. On the trolly ride back home she taught me the lyrics to waltzing Matilda and Onward Christian Soldiers. I no longer remember her name but I can belt out those songs, even without retsina.

  2. Retired IB'er

    I would have thought you more an Ouzo man. That was my preferred libation on the Plaka.

    Alas my memories of Athens do not include a nice Aussie shelia on my arm to enjoy those wonderful Greek nights as the lit Acropolis held watch from above…

    Still good times. What I wouldn’t give to have that year abroad back.