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We soon became The Athenians

We all met in the grand lobby of the venerable and chic Hotel Grande Bretagne, next to the Greek Parliament building, built as the Royal Palace in 1830s.

History both ancient and modern understandably formed a large part of the four day tour in and around Athens organised by Julia Boadle from Arts Abroad, an experienced hand at guiding groups around resonant foreign locations and providing suitably stimulating entertainment and insight.

Julia had also taken us to many of the main museums and galleries, including two attempts to scale the Acropolis, the first thwarted by an electronic outage; resourceful as ever, plan B was quickly enacted, and the tour’s heartbeat scarcely skipped. A visit to the Acropolis and the Parthenon these days must be accompanied at any time by tens of thousands of others. But when the full majesty of the temples is seen close-to, annoying chatter and touristic proximity are instantly forgotten. Quite magical. We all became instant devotees of Athene.

We numbered nearly 40 in total. Our time over four days and nights was full to bursting with cultural and historical stimulus. Athens showed herself at her best. Almost everything worked. Our senses were bombarded. We ate and drank without restraint. Friendships were both confirmed and made. A success, we all agreed.

This was the third Grange Festival tour. More to come.

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