VISIT TO THE ACROPOLIS: The first trial of our tour package
Finally, the big day was upon us! It was the day we were going to try out our first tour package in Acropolis, including a visit to the Parthenon and other monuments, and a tour of the Acropolis Museum.
Thirteen students went on the tour, along with our honorable teacher, our beloved volunteer, a tour guide, and with the wonderful Mr. Anastasis Economou, a cheerful man with a great sense of humor and a passion for life who enjoys every single moment from his wheelchair. Mr. Anastasis contributed to our project by helping us take a more analytical look at the accessibility problems we found at the Acropolis and the Museum.
At the start of our visit to the Sacred Rock of the Acropolis, it was really difficult for the wheelchair to move around, and even to get to the area where tickets are sold, due to the paved paths. We managed to go up the hill using the elevator they have in case people have trouble walking on the slippery rocks. When we reached the top, we realized that the situation up there was even worse than that in the entrance. There was no proper path, just slippery rocks again that made it extremely difficult for Mr. Anastasis to move around and admire the wonderful monuments, from the great Parthenon to the Erechtheion with the famous Caryatids. Despite our tour-guide that tried to show him all the great beauty of the site, it was a burdensome task for people with disabilities to enjoy the history of Athens and its view from the highest spot in the city.
At the end of our tour, we headed towards the Acropolis Museum where things were, fortunately, a lot better. Firstly, we did not need to pay for tickets as we are students and Mr. Anastasis is a person with disability, and secondly, they tried to give us the best service they could. We wandered around the museum with great ease thanks to the ramps, elevators, and spacious rooms. It was Mr. Anastasis’ first time visiting the museum, so we wanted it to be an unforgettable experience for him. Despite his tiredness, he was so pleased that he was eager to learn every detail about every little vessel and statue he saw on the way.
The tour was marked with glorious success! Although realistically we didn’t see the accessibility chain being applied, and there are still many improvements that must be made so that the Acropolis becomes fully accessible to everyone, the Museum definitely exceeded our expectations!
Overall, trying out our tour package for the first time was an amazing experience; Mr. Anastasis was very pleased and thankful for our work. We hope our future clients will have the same opportunity to have fun by getting to know the legacy and ancient history of Greece!