We started off as a group of 5, a very nice and friendly family from Wisconsin/USA and myself, together with our host and guide, Nadia. I am using both expressions because Nadia not only guided us through this unique place full of centuries of history with impeccable knowledge and passion, but also made us feel like guests in her home city - beautiful, busy, and bewildering Athens.
While a lot of other fellow tourists seemed to be either swarming all over the hill without a sense of purpose and direction, or pushed and pulled like cattle, Nadia took the time to pick the right spots for a perfect view, a fitting anecdote, or a brief yet stunning and detailed lecture on ancient as well as modern Greek history. She has the ability to blend academic knowledge with personal experience, and her appreciation for the city as a whole, into an entertaining excursion for all ages.
After parting from our American comrades, we took a short lunch break with 'souvlaki' at the Constitution square and went on a relaxing walk to our next station, the historic Benaki Museum - historic not only for its unique overview of Greek history from the prehistoric periods to modern times, especially the War of Independence, but also for its own history and that of its late owner and founder.
Even though I understand that such a potpourri of periods, styles, topics and sheer mass of exhibits can be tiring, for some even boring, Nadia understood how to keep me interested and focused from start to finish.
In a nutshell, it was exactly what I had hoped for - and a lot more! The logical consequence: I have already booked her for my next visit to this stunning city, with the remaining must-dos on our schedule: Acropolis Museum, Agora, and National Archeological Museum. I am very much looking forward to this! Thank you, Nadia, for an awesome day!
Achim Feetzki, Losheim am See, Saarland, Germany