Thousands of foreign visitors faced closed doors at the main archaeological sites of Athens on Thursday morning due to a work stoppage by guards.
The three-hour stoppage in response to what their union describes as staff shortages, made tourists and locals alike stand in long queues outside the Acropolis, the Roman Agora, the archaeological site of Olympian Zeus.
According to some estimates about 4,000 tourists from cruise ships and another 1,000 with organized groups were made to wait for three hours to enter the Acropolis.
There was pushing and shoving to enter the monument when the gates finally opened.
A tour guide described the situation as “Hell on the Acropolis.” “I have been doing this work for many years,” he told tornosnews.gr. “But such a horrible and suffocating situation like today is very rare.”
At the height of the tourist season, many visitors felt frustrated and angry. Many had planned a day or maybe a few hours of stay in the Greek capital and were hugely disappointed to miss the sites.
Some were forced to take pictures of the ancient marvels from a distance whereas others waited under the strong sun for the sites to open.
The strike occurred on the same day that PM, Alexis Tsipras, estimated that Greece will break through the 30 million visitors’ barrier this summer.
He added that that the aim is to extend the tourist season and increase tourism’s added value.