Blizzard hits Greece and Turkey, motorists stranded

Luke 21:25,26 “There will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth dismay among nations, in perplexity at the roaring of the sea and the waves, men fainting from fear and the expectation of the things which are coming upon the world; for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.

Important Takeaways:

  • Snowpocalypse hits the Acropolis: Snowstorm leaves thousands of motorists stuck in their cars for 24 HOURS in Greece – while stranded tourists protest at Istanbul airport as Turkey is also hit
  • Snap blizzard buries much of Greece and Turkey in thick layers of snow, spelling traffic chaos for second day
  • Turkey’s Istanbul airport suspended operations until 12pm GMT as heavy machinery cleared the runways
  • More than 31ins of snow fell in some areas, as some of ancient Acropolis in Greece was pictured submerged
  • Thousands of motorists were left stranded in sub-freezing conditions overnight in both Turkey and Greece
  • Rescue crews and soldiers drafted in to provide essential supplies to motorists who refused to leave cars

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Greece faces row over wheelchair pathway at Acropolis

By Deborah Kyvrikosaios

ATHENS (Reuters) – A new concrete pathway to facilitate wheelchair access to the Acropolis in Athens has fueled a row between authorities aiming to broaden access to Greece’s most famous ancient monuments and critics who say it ruins the classical harmony of the site.

Opposition leader Alexis Tsipras last month demanded the conservative government “stop abusing our cultural heritage,” saying the changes would amount to “changing the landscape” of a world heritage site.

But Culture Minister Lina Mendoni defended the development, which was approved by the Central Archaeological Council (KAS), the body which oversees the Acropolis complex that includes the Parthenon, a 5th century BC temple to the goddess Athena.

“I have seen people in wheelchairs who came up for the first time and felt happy,” Mendoni told reporters during a visit to the site late on Tuesday.

“I think this is something that should also make us particularly happy because to give joy to people is perhaps just as significant as the protection of our cultural goods,” she said.

The Acropolis, a rocky outcrop with an ancient citadel and temple complex, has dominated the city of Athens for more than 3,000 years but reached its high point with the Parthenon, one of the supreme expressions of classical Greek culture.

Now a protected UNESCO World Heritage site, it attracts thousands of visitors a day in peak periods, most of whom climb the 160 meter hill on foot and wander among the monuments on uneven stone paths worn smooth over hundreds of years.

The new walkway, a grey concrete track, is laid over a synthetic membrane that protects the ancient stones underneath and permits easy removal, said architect Manolis Korres, who is heading the project and has been doing restoration work on the Acropolis since 1975.

It was opened to the public in March, replacing an older walkway from the 1970s which had worn away over the years.

As well as improving wheelchair access, other changes include a new elevator and golf carts with plans for tactile mobile models to allow blind people a fuller experience of the monuments.

“I still think the Acropolis is very beautiful,” said Michael Kirk, from the United States. “I don’t think it’s hurt the Acropolis at all.”

(Reporting by Deborah Kyvikosaios; Editing by James Mackenzie and Jane Wardell)