MY HUSBAND AND I SCRAMBLE up a steep, rocky trail, following hand-lettered signs pointing us toward the Great Wall. At first, there’s not much to see except dense foliage, but coming around a bend, we catch our first glimpse of this world-famous structure. It is massive. At the top we are alone, with only the sound of birds and the rustle of wind in the trees for company. The view of the wall snaking relentlessly through the mountains to the hazy, distant horizon is intoxicating.
The city took its name from Athena, goddess of wisdom, strategy and war, and protector of the city. The financial, political and administrative center of the country and an all-powerful city-state in antiquity, Athens is a major center of culture. A visit to the first-ever museum dedicated to Byzantium, a stroll around the National Garden and a trip to the Olympeion archaeological site will take you back through time.