I set out early in the morning when the air was crispy cool and gushes of wind flowed everywhere. Never before had I been so grateful than when I saw the pale and wonderful orange pour out across the horizon bathing the sky in its magnificent dye knowing that if I kept this steady pace the vast, harsh rays of the sun that brought with it an intolerable heat could be avoided. The clouds themselves were turning crimson red a shade lighter than blood, a colour unique to the glorious skies of Greece. My trek to the top started in the urban part of the city with graffiti covering every crook and cranny of the vast metropolitan expanse, until brown clay dust travelling at the speed of light began hammering my face. Inescapable. The current of brown orange acrid lint seemed unyielding and unforgiving. Like a hoard of arrows firing at a single shield I used my hand to block the relentless onslaught. After what seemed like an eternity the titian powder rained on what was now revealed as an ancient worn path.
The path meandered and slithered itself to the peak of a desolate hill with patches of green occasionally spouting out of the white chalk like rock. And there it stood; a proud, towering, immense temple unlike none before it and none after it. I was mesmerised by the purity of the white that encased the building like a protective shell from the sun. My eagerness to see the secrets hidden inside the relic meant I was unfazed by the daunting challenge that stood before me. I was yet to reach the top of the paramount hill where the relic lay.
Lethargically the trek up the path continued and with every step I took clouds of copper dust rose from the ground. My salty, saline sweat instantly evaporated into the air as the day progresses and the scorching heat intensified. Long gone was the crisp cool air, instead I had a tremendous task to perform in the most inimical and unsympathetic conditions. It was going to be a long day.
Exhaustion finally took its toll and I was forced to take a short break from my trek. I slumped myself against the fiery rock but was too spent to pay it any notice. Sluggishly I combed through my back pack which I had forgotten was on my back; in it I found a jewel, a beacon of hope in this inferno of heat. I found water. I wasted no time in guzzling down the icy sharp elixir but my thirst was like nothing I’ve ever experienced. No matter how much of the enchanted beverage I drank, my thirst raged on like Greek fire, unstoppable, uncontrollable and unquenchable. With The contents of the bottle now empty, I was hit by the sudden realisation that in an hour I had only made it halfway up the hill. I now had a choice, continue my journey to the top of the hill and witness the incredible, breath-taking spectacle with my own eyes or make the wiser decision and go home to enjoy an ice bath and a chilled drink. Curiosity got the better of me and with every step; I regretted my decision until I reached the peak. Until I reached…