A few years back I decided to spend a weekender in Athens, before island hopping to Paros and Santorini. When I arrived in Athens, it was a blazing hot afternoon. There were no clouds to be seen and the sky was the deepest of blues. After jumping out of a taxi at the bottom of the Acropolis, an abundance of olive trees and vines lining the path struck me with a sense of nostalgia. It was my second visit to the bustling city, which after a few short years had dramatically changed. Businesses were shutting down, paint was peeling off buildings, windows were boarded up and the city felt strangely irritated yet quiet. Sadly these were the signs of a once thriving city affected by an over spending government. Although, perched on a rocky outcrop above the city of Athens standing strong against the elements of a failing economy, harsh weather and a sprawling urban footprint, remained the Acropolis.

After making my way up the steep climb, I was rewarded with one of the most beautiful views I’ve ever experienced. Rich in history, the remains of several ancient buildings of great architectural and historic significance stand at the Acropolis. Whilst there is evidence that the hill was inhibited as far back as the fourth millennium BC, it was Pericles (c. 495-429 BC) who coordinated the construction of the site’s most beautiful and important buildings, including the Parthenon.

Even though Greece was in the midst of an economic meltdown, the maintenance of the Acropolis was a priority. It was undergoing major reconstruction work so a lot of the buildings were covered in scaffolding. Wandering around the ruins, listening to the diverse languages from tourists who had come to see the Acropolis from far away, I remember being easily swept up in the spirit of being a global explorer in this ancient city.