A person walks in Monastiraki Square shielding her face from the sun during a heat wave, in Athens, Greece, July 1, 2021.
Scorching temperatures hit Greece on Thursday, prompting the Acropolis, its most visited monument, to temporarily close and sending people in Athens to the beaches to escape the peak of a heat wave that has baked the country for more than a week.
“(I have got) the sea, swimming, the umbrella, I am just fine,” said Vili, a 60-year-old business owner, sitting under the shade on a beach near the Greek capital where a high concentration of North African dust turned the sky grey.
Temperatures reached as high as 42 degrees Celsius, according to the country’s national weather service.
The Acropolis, Greece’s most famous ancient monument housing the 5th century BC Parthenon temple that attracts thousands of visitors a day in peak periods, was closed from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. local.
“We visited the Acropolis today and it was very hot, but where we are living it’s raining all the time so we are happy with the heat,” said 21-year-old French tourist Auriane Campart.
Civil protection authorities have advised against sunbathing and movement in congested places and have warned of a very high risk of wildfires across the country.