Photos by Jacki Healy
Earlier this week, just before Greece’s lockdown to stymie rising COVID cases, my study abroad program had the unique opportunity to go behind the ropes and inside the Parthenon! I’ve visited the Acropolis and the Parthenon several times prior, both individually and with classes, but this experience was truly unique. College Year in Athens (CYA) Professor Robert Pitt, who teaches an archaeology course on the topography and monuments of Athens, guided our visit. He taught us about the Parthenon, some of its history and about the current reconstruction project, hence the crane and scaffolding seen in some photos. The feeling of climbing the giant steps, standing inside the iconic temple and touching the marble columns was indescribable. Photos and words do not do it justice, but what I can say is that it was awe-inspiring. My time in Athens, and Greece as a whole, has been filled with the feeling of stepping back into history while simultaneously being a part of a vibrant modern culture. This was the epitome of that feeling: visiting inside Athena’s temple, gazing out at the bustling city through the ancient columns, standing right in the center of both history and present day. As we say in Greek, τέλεια! (pronounced telia; exclamation meaning “amazing,” “perfect” or “wonderful”).