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Acropolis is Now Accessible!

By Stephen Mydanick

I recently spent a week in Greece as the guest of the Greek National Tourist Organization and Hellenic-American Chamber of Tourism. I was part of a group of travel agents and writers invited to see what Greece has to offer.

In preparing for the Olympics, the Greeks also prepared for the Para-Olympics which followed, and one of our SATH members, Kostas (Gus) Zagrafopoulos attended. Probably the prime example of new accessibility was the elevator built at the Acropolis, so that people who could not walk up the steps could still see the Parthenon. The elevator was closed for repairs the day I went, so I had to walk, from time to time sitting to catch my breath, but the trip was well worth it. Nobody should miss this cradle of civilization! For more information contact Acropolis of Athens Museum at 01130 210 3214172.

The subway, Metro it’s called here in Athens, is quite interesting. Since the City is one vast archeological site, all the activity was inspected during construction. At every station, whatever artifacts were dug up there are on display in that station, creating a miniature museum. Additionally, every station has an elevator so that wheelchairs or those who can’t ride the escalator can travel in ease and comfort to the platform to catch a train.

In talking to tour operators, hotel owners (and managers) and transportation people, I discovered that many facilities were friendly to people with disabilities and more were being modified daily. I can certainly recommend a trip to Greece for a person with a disability if a knowledgeable travel agent is used.