Very few photographs I have seen capture the beauty of the marble of the Parthenon and associated structures. The light on the acropolis is dazzling! So much light is reflected in all directions that even the sides of walls hidden from the sun remain somehow bright, composed of shades of buttery light rather than shades of dark.
Experiencing the Parthenon is visceral and immediate. We were not allowed inside the pillars due to renovation work, but that did not seem to matter. The building is alive and muscular, physical in the way that muscle and sinew are physical, beautiful in the way animals inhabit form. Gawking does not begin to describe my contemplation of its pillars, but it will have to do. I gawked slowly around the building.
Unlike European cathedrals which seem to make one feel submissive to their grandeur, the Parthenon was inviting, confident, as though it were the world's best health spa, a place that shared its grandeur.
My final note on the Acropolis is this purely architectural one that I am sure blooms in the mind of every visiting schoolboy: how the sensually endowed caryatids contribute to such a firm Erecthion.