Monday, 21 January 2013

Visiting Acropolis on winter Sundays

I don't know how things work in Europe and the rest of the world, but when it comes to my country's history and culture, I feel that I have the right to learn them, without paying a fortune. If nothing else, it is what creates the conscience of a nation. And God knows we need this now.
Until March 2012, there was a very nice law, that allowed all people from EU (Greeks included) to access all the museums and archeological sites for free, every Sunday from November till March. This was the best way to help all Greeks learn their history and appreciate their culture by visiting the museums and archeological sites, without actually losing revenue, since these months were actually low tourist season. Note that in a united Europe, if only Greeks were allowed for free, it would be a case of inequality for the rest of the Europeans. So by choosing this season and especially Sundays, they by-passed the problem and  families were able to visit all these places. What's more, most archeological sites are at the same time nice places to have a walk and enjoy nature, since Athens is the only city in Europe with almost no parks! 

But with great surprise I found out this Sunday that the ministries of tourism and culture (I really don't know which one is responsible, but probably the ministry of economics, the IMF and EU, as well)  have changed this. From now on, only the first Sunday of each month (total 5) are free for EU citizens. The price for visiting Acropolis is now 12 Euros, per adult!  It is really a very rude reminder of how sensitive matters like this are lost in the bulk of stupid news.

For those that they think that 12 Euros is not much, let me remind you that 600 Euros is considered a good salary in Greece and two adults in a family means automatically 24 Euros!  For those arguing that there are more people outside drinking coffee, and that they could deprive themselves of it and pay for the ticket, I can only say that a coffee costs 3 Euros max, and anyway these people wouldn't visit these places. For me and many other families, it was the easier, cheaper and most rewarding Sunday outing. Some say that  5 Sundays is an OK number. But they forget that these Sundays are during the wintertime and  rain, snow or severe cold is enough to spoil it for you.

I don't know how much they expect to collect from this. I don't expect much. Today Acropolis and the Ancient Marketplace (Archea Agora) were practically empty! And it was such a lovely day! We had to settle by going to the near by Philopapous hill. Which, for those that don't know or remember, was about  to be fenced and become a pay for "archeological site" but fortunately stopped by free thinking people.

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