The tactual museum in Athens

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Living in a city means that there are lots of things to do. Lots of gigs, galleries, talks, and museums. Athens has many museums – the exact number is rather unclear, as it depends on what you call a “museum” and what you call “Athens” – but Dave has put a rather comprehensive list in this blog post, and he plans to visit at least one museum per week. As he is using a lottery system, we can’t pick out the next museum ourselves – it’s down to luck.

We drew the number, and this week it was the tactual museum – a museum intended for blind people, where people can touch the exhibits, unlike in most museums.

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There are only five museums of its kind in the world! It is open to everyone to visit, and it’s something I highly recommend. I had been meaning to go there for years now, but I always postponed it for some reason.

When we arrived, they told us a few things about the museum, they gave us a mask to cover our eyes and they encouraged us to wear it before looking at the exhibits.

Now as some of you know, I have a 99-year-old grandmother, who has lost her sight since many years now. Although she is not 100% blind, she can not see properly.

Trying to understand what was in front of me with my fingertips was something I had never really done before – at least not so consciously. It was a pretty big shock to feel like a blind person. I guess the best way to describe it is “helpless”, or perhaps “limited”. It actually freaked me out, to think that some people cannot see what most of us can…

Touching copies of world-famous statues was also quite a thing. I could understand where the eyes, the nose and the mouth were, but there was no way I would be able to distinguish if it’s a man or a woman – at least not if they had clothes on.

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Obviously Dave refrained from touching certain parts of certain statues. Aye!

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This was a great day, full of emotions. This museum made me appreciate how lucky I am – and how much we tend to take things for granted sometimes…

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About Vanidio

I was born in Athens, Greece, and left at the not-so-tender age of 27 to go to London for a master's degree - or, rather, to go experience the city. I worked there for a while, and after four years I decided to move back to Athens, and got a really boring job with a decent (more than decent) salary. In December 2011 I took a year off work, and travelled to Latin America, Europe, Greece and the Middle East. When I came back, I spent quite a bit of time trying to fit in and organise my "normal" life - or decide that I don't really want a "normal" life. At that time, travelling was more important to me than almost anything else... And then things changed a bit, as I got an offer from a foreign company to organise tours for foreigners in Athens. Dream coming true? Yes! We've done a few tours so far, and hopefully more are coming... let's see! And then things changed even more, as I met a nice, handsome foreigner through one of these tours. And we are now living together, and planning our next trips together :) Life is strange, isn't it!

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