When I first visited Athens in the heat of a summer many years ago my travel partner insisted we climbed to the top of the rock in the scorching heat of a July afternoon, with temperatures in the mid thirties I was gradually melting onto the slopes of that famous hill. The sanctuary of the small museum at the summit was little comfort, masses of tourists packed into a claustrophobic anteroom afforded little ventilation and it was more of a relief to exit. I still recall the descent to Monastriaki and a refreshingly cold beer at the end of the walk as a wonderful finale to a day at the furnace.
2009 and it’s all changed, the Greek government have ploughed millions of Euros into a fitting temple of antiquities that is the New Acropolis Museum. Gone are the memories of dust and dankness and a big welcome to a bright, airy and spectacular museum that befits the 21st century. Unusually, for such a new exhibition, the entrance price has been set at just one Euro, allowing almost everyone access to the exhibits and a piece of Athens history.
Tradition, it seems, has to be followed and the Museum is reached at the bottom of the hill best suited after a tour of the Parthenon and the other temples and a time to reflect upon the beauty and timeless architecture of the Acropolis. The day I arrived the queue was about twenty minutes long but strategically placed well in the shade so no harm done, security was brisk and offering up a Euro seemed fair to say the least.