Originally, going to the Acropolis to watch the sunrise was not my idea. It was one of my hostel mates idea, a kiwi named Clare. We were both attending Athens for TBEX, a global travel blogging conference that’s full of the who’s who for travel media.

Sunrise at the Acropolis Greece 7\So it was, after a late night of debauchery and fun with so many new friends we had met, that Clare and I woke before the sun had even started blinking its way up to the horizon. We quickly and quietly dressed so as not to disturb our other hostel mates, and in just a few minutes we were out the door and on the short walk to the hill that overlooks the Acropolis

Acropolis in Greece means “The Sacred Rock/The Raised City.” Although there are multiple acropolis’s spread across Greece the one in Athens is the most well known and is recognized as “The Acropolis”.

The two of us set off and instantly found 4  furry friends that insisted on joining us. We went back and forth for a minute but these guys weren’t willing to leave us to ourselves so we accepted the company as we trudged down the street.

Sunrise at the Acropolis GreeceOnce we got to the hill next to the Acropolis we posted up to wait for the sun to rise. The dogs sat all around and took a nap while we waited. It was a bit windy on the hill, but we were patient and soon the dark black of the sky started lightening… slowly.

Sunrise at the Acropolis Greece 2 Sunrise at the Acropolis Greece 4 Sunrise at the Acropolis Greece 5 Sunrise at the Acropolis Greece 6There was something magical about sitting up on that rock watching the sunrise on old ruins that have been inhabited since 6 BC. There’s so much history in Europe, even on the cobble stone roads we walk on. Just imagine people in civilizations past walking down the exact same cobbled roads we walk upon today.

It puts things in perspective. America was founded in 1776 and this Greek Acropolis is dated back to the late Cretaceous Period. It was named Cercropia because the first King of Athens was said to be half serpent half man. Its hard to compare young America to these ancient ruins.

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One of our new friends napping beside us up on the rocks as we awaited the sun

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Clare’s giving you the A, now its up to you decide what the A stands for

After we had sat and pondered life for awhile, the sun had risen, and the night lights had been turned off on the Acropolis itself, Clare headed back to the hostel to get ready to attend a seminar, while I opted to head up and be one of the first tourists of the day to tour the Acropolis.

Going early is really a great idea. By the time we broke off at the rock I only had to wait 15 minutes until 0800 to enter. I was the first one to walk inside and there was something even more magical about that, touring the Acropolis with no other tourists bogging up the area, it was the perfect way to start my day.

Acropolis Tour GreeceLuckily I was one of the fist people inside and it wasn’t until I had already walked through and was leaving, that the tour groups started arriving. Win!

Acropolis Tour Greece 3 Acropolis Tour Greece 4 Acropolis Tour Greece 5 Acropolis Tour Greece 6While walking around there was only one other tourist. A Japanese student traveling Europe from Tokyo. We took photos for each other as we meandered through the site.

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The Greek flag stands tall as the wind whips it at the top of the hill

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From just where the flag stands, if you look out, this will be your view of Athens

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Acropolis Tour Greece 11 Acropolis Tour Greece 12Here we have a small Greek guard marching through the Acropolis.

Acropolis Tour Greece 14 Acropolis Tour Greece 15 Acropolis Tour Greece 17The Parthenon was built between 447 and 438 B.C. The sculptural decorations were completed in 432 B.C. Humans didn’t inhabit the Acropolis until 6 B.C.

Acropolis Tour Greece 18Over the centuries the Parthenon sculptural markings suffered structural damages and looting leaving little for us to enjoy today.

Acropolis Tour Greece 20To get caught up in the mystery you’ll have to get on over to take a peak!

Acropolis Tour Greece 21Just as the sun finishes rising I finish and walk out the exit and down the path.  As I round the corner, the first 2 tour buses pull up, children spilling out and loudly running up the stairs towards the exit. I silently watch them go by and smile, I made it out just in time.

Acropolis Tour Greece 22Already taken a tour of the Acropolis? Know any really cool facts you wouldn’t mind sharing?

This article appeared first on The Cassey Excursion.