I was in Europe for 2.5 weeks, visiting places I had never seen before, but with no time for tourism. Virtually every waking moment I was chasing interviews with refugees and the people who were helping them. In Berlin I saw the Brandenburg Gate from the window of my bus. Look quick!
The exception was my last day in Greece, when I spent a wonderful afternoon around the Parthenon with Theo Karvounakis and Sokratis Anastasiadis, my delightful and generous hosts from Scripture Union. A friend of theirs is a professional guide, and he took a little time off between gigs to walk me through Mar’s Hill, where Paul preached his famous sermon regarding the Unknown God. (Acts 17:16ff) Mar’s Hill, better known as the Areopagas, is a rounded rock outcrop near the foot of the Parthenon. It’s quite an obvious feature of the terrain. Our guide said that archaeologists have discovered that it had a parapet all around it, so there was only one access to the small forum at the top. That access was a staircase cut out of the rock, still visible today.
“So you are saying,” I asked, “that Paul must have walked up those very stairs.”
“So if I were to climb up there, I would be walking in the exact place where Paul walked.”
“Yes, but I wouldn’t advise it, it’s very slippery.”
“I’m a mountain guy,” I said. “I will have no problem.”
So here I am with Theo. I can’t quite explain why I got such pleasure from this, but it really was the highlight of my trip.