Curled up in a stranger’s bed, I pull back the sheets as a wake up in my bnb. The sun is sending its rays out over the city of Athens and as I look out of the window, I see the ancient city on a hill that I have come here to see. Athens as a city had captured my curiosity many years before. The past few days touring the city had been magical. The city has quite a bit of grunge to it, but that grit and character had me falling in love quite quickly with the city.

Pulling on my jeans, a loose sweater top, and my usual white sneakers, I grab a granola bar that I have packed in my suitcase and head out the door to start the hike up to the Acropolis. Walking through the cute streets and watching as vendors open up their doors for the day, I breath in the crisp air of the city as we exchange heartbeats even if just for a moment.

Since the day I arrived in Athens, I have been continuously taken aback by the structures on the hill. It's odd that I am so enthralled by a series of buildings that I should know quite well. I spent years of my architectural studies drawings floor plans of ancient buildings and studying the history behind architectural marvels such as this. But, in my studies, these ancient ruins were nothing more than drawings and old black and white images. For whatever reason, I had little to no real understanding of what the present day Acropolis looked like and how it towered over the city of Athens. Hence, my new found fascination with these ruins.

As I continue the rather steep treck up the hill, the sweeping views of the city come into focus, and I am transported back to another period of time. When the Acropolis was in its hay day, what a site it must have been. And, the significance of its towering position on the hill overlooking the city is not lost on me. It was and in many ways still is a symbol of power and prestige presiding over Athens. And, the views the lucky few had from its steps were rivaled by few.

Continuing my hike, I come face to face with the true grandeur of the complex as the large pillars and oh so greek feeling olive trees come into view. Entering into the complex, I am floored. I had spent three days admiring the Acropolis from my bob balcony’s view. But, now, coming up close and personal with this architectural marvel, I realize that I had no real concept of its size and significance.

I am walking the ancient grounds where greek mythologers and royalty once pondered the meaning of life and human existence. I am touching ancient stones carved from the minds of the world’s early architects. I am quite literally climbing in and around ancient rock and picnicking up on the hill that looks out over the entire city of Athens from the foothills to the ocean.

To say that this early morning experience was worth it would be a gross understatement. If I hadn’t fallen in love with Athens before, I am certainly in love now. With my mind completely blown, I venture over to a rock formation where many others are snapping pictures and taking sit down snack breaks. I climbed up to where these tourists were gathered, sat down along side them, and took several moments to just take it all in.

If you haven't already, make sure to add the Acropolis to your bucket list. It is well worth a visit on your day in Athens!