The Acropolis is a flat-topped rock of about eight acres that rises about 400 feet above the center of modern Athens, today a city of about four million people. The earliest artifacts found on the Acropolis date to about 10,000 BC. Two of its most well-known structures, the majestic Parthenon and the elegant Temple of Athena Nike, were built during the Golden Age of Athens in the 4th and 5th centuries BC.

I highly recommend, once the outer gates open at 9am, a morning walk up the southern side of the Acropolis, climbing above two open-air theaters -- one ancient Greek, the other Roman-era -- past the olive trees, to arrive on foot, as people have for centuries and centuries, at the Propylaea entrance. You won't avoid the crowds, but it's a wonderful experience.

Another recommendation includes getting lost in the lower hillsides on the north and east sides of the Acropolis, where centuries of homes, churches and a monastery or two are connected by only narrow and tumbling walk streets. Nearby is the handsome and spaciously modern Acropolis Museum. http:/​/​en.​wikipedia.​org/​wiki/​Athens

Parthenon. Distortion from an 8 mm lens.

Parthenon. Distortion from an 8 mm lens.

Temple of Athena Nike

Temple of Athena Nike

Acropolis dig

Acropolis dig

Diptych: Acropolis lesson

Diptych: Acropolis lesson

Diptych: Neighborhood below Acropolis

Diptych: Neighborhood below Acropolis

Temple of Zeus

Temple of Zeus

Temple of Zeus

Temple of Zeus

Statue of Greek Orthodox patriarch

Statue of Greek Orthodox patriarch

Night street vendors framed by the Agora ruins.

Night street vendors framed by the Agora ruins.

Neighborhood below Acropolis

Neighborhood below Acropolis

Neighborhood below Acropolis

Neighborhood below Acropolis

Neighborhood below Acropolis - tagging

Neighborhood below Acropolis - tagging

Neighborhood below Acropolis - tagging

Neighborhood below Acropolis - tagging

Neighborhood below Acropolis

Neighborhood below Acropolis

Neighborhood below Acropolis

Neighborhood below Acropolis

Piraeus Harbor

Piraeus Harbor