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For about $37 a night, you can stay next to the historic Plaka district. The clean, Australian-owned, air-conditioned Athens Backpackers hostel offers free breakfast, communal kitchen, free coffee all day, laundromat, WiFi, movies and tours. Don’t miss the Roof Bar. From the hostel, you can walk up to the Acropolis in 2 minutes.

The Acropolis Museum at the top of the hill houses a wealth of ancient Greek sculpture and friezes, including the graceful Goddess Athena unloosening her sandal, the leaning Athena with Spartan helmet, the standing male youths, the kouros, and the young maidens, the kore.

I took in every gesture, each pattern of hair and flow of garment. Panning slowly along the Parthenon friezes, I savored the rhythms and movements of the soldiers and horsemen. I felt nourished, as if I were partaking in some cosmic feast. The work of the masters: food for the soul.

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