To be in Greece
Madison LeMaire - March 1, 2018
To be in Greece is to watch the sun set over the Aegean Sea at the temple of Poseidon, it’s orange horizon illuminating the off-white marble of the last remaining fragments of stone still standing.
Being in Greece is passing cliff-side villages, with their red terracotta roofs overlooking the valley of mountains near the city of Delphi, with their small cobblestone streets littered with cars and motorbikes as we climbed up, up, up to the broken Temple of Apollo and learned the history of the springs and oracles.
To be in Greece is to see the beauty of a civilization, mostly lost to time, still hanging on by bare threads with their sacred Parthenon at the Acropolis.
Being in Greece is to stop at the bloom of bitter oranges in winter, and try them, because curiosity killed the cat, and that cat, even as a stray, is probably better fed in Athens.
To be in Greece is to drive up and down the winding roads on the mountains of Athens, passing vacation homes and hillside cottages.
Being in Greece is breathing the ever-present cigarette smoke into your lungs, and loving every minute of it, because even the smoke smells sweeter in Athens.
To be in Athens is to walk downtown during the day, or at night, completely alone, and feel safe. To walk to the Plaka district. To the ancient Agora. To the Parthenon. To see the past mixed seamlessly with the present.
Being in Greece is seeing the beauty of history, even the wrecked bits, coexisting, not at odds, but at peace with the culture at present. Seeing the beauty in the people and the way they treat their history, at one with it.
To be in Greece is to see the radiance of forgotten cities, to see a culture that isn't your own. To realize that you are small. To try and explain the life changing experience to others, but fall on deaf ears because they haven’t seen the magnificence themselves.
To be in Athens is to eat in small, cramped restaurants, and try things you wouldn’t have eaten in a million years.
To be in Greece is to be changed.
For those who have always wanted to visit but have found some excuse, I urge you. Go to Greece.