A Travellerspoint blog

santorini!

hey sorry i dont have time to type a lot now but we are in santorini we arrived last night.. this morning we took a boat to a volcano, then traveled and swam in the sea and a hot spring, then walked around santorini and shopped! we took donkeys up to the top of the mountain and it was unbelievable! have a good weekend!

Posted by topspin98 13:30 Comments (1)

Everything collided

archaeological museum, byzantine empire museum, class and fun times in general

sunny 92 °F

So it's been a while since I made an entry in this. Monday, the nap never happened so I pretty much remained exhausted for the day. I don't think I ever really caught up on the sleep I lost from our flights and then my timing here is way different since we all like to stay up late and class started again! Tuesday's class was again interesting. Generally for the first hour and a half we talk about our book or something and then the second hour and a half we do close readings in small groups and paraphrase for the class. She said our test will include these close readings which I am happy about because I sort of think they are fun! After class I TOOK A NAP and then we headed to an art history museum (sorry Vin I do not know the name of it but whatever!). Unfortunately, on Tuesdays the museum is closed but after walking all the way there, we decided to head over to the Byzantine Museum. Generally, I never really liked museums but since we are learning about this stuff in class it is really bringing it to life. After the museum, we all decided we needed to try a gyro for dinner... I mean we couldn't believe we had been in Greece about five days without trying one! We shopped and walked around near the Acropolis a little while longer before heading back to the apartments. Discussion questions ended the night along with the word fathom being used a lot (don't worry Beth I got it covered :p )

Once a fun filled class of Socrates and Agamemnon was over on Wednesday, we ate lunch before heading to the Archaeological Museum. This museum was awesome!! First we looked through the section on Mycenea (where we will be heading this weekend by the way) and we saw the imprint of gold made on Agamemnon's face after he died. We also examined all of the jewelry and different spears they used to use during battle. Their clothing styles and bathtubs were even on display!! Following Mycenae, we walked through to the history of statues throughout the ages and it was cool to see how cultures started off with the most basic forms of statues but now they are so intricate and well-designed. Santorini's history came next followed by vases throughout history which sounds kinda boring but the red and black pottery completely transformed the way vases were made. While walking around I read through a sign about Daedalus which was majorly interesting because we had just talked about him in class that day! It was great to know background information on this god before reading about other incredible works he created. After the museum the group came back and showered and went out on the town for a night. We had a great time talking about our life stories (haha laura) and just becoming closer to one another.

Thursday's class was scheduled to take place at the "location" of where Socrates was imprisoned. I put location in quotes because this is the suspected place but no one can really be sure. Upon arriving at the jail, we sat along the sidewalk and the benches scattered around the area. I love Jane so much because of her idea to even allow us to take the twenty minute walk to the jail. She knows how to keep us interested in the class and she uses examples that make perfect sense. While demonstrating an example of Socrates and his hierarchy of knowledge, two Greek guides of the Acropolis came up and started saying that we needed to leave because Jane was guiding! This was ridiculous because teaching a class is completely different from guiding. We all had our Plato Five Dialogue books out and were taking notes. The guides are on strike at this point and apparently on the verge of losing their jobs but it was ridiculous that we weren't allowed to just sit on the premises although it is completely allowed since she wasn't guiding (their definition of guiding is offering free information about the acropolis or anything in the park without being asked... if you ask a teacher in conversation, it is not guiding). The worst part was the guides weren't even being nice about kicking us out! They kept saying Jane didn't have a license whereas her teaching license, in my mind, is ranked much higher because she has so much knowledge on various topics! In addition, they wouldn't let us have our class ANYWHERE in the park because it was all an archaeological site so after our twenty minute walk to the jail, we walked back to our classroom after about fifteen minutes. I think Jane felt bad about it being canceled but there is nothing she could have done and we all appreciate her offer in the first place. When class ended, our group went to the travel agency to plan our trip for the following weekend. We ended up booking two four person suites in Santorini for eleven people and it should be awesome! The six hour ferry ride means nothing to me due to the fact that I will be spending three days on one of the most beautiful Greek Islands.

For dinner tonight, some of us decided to save money and stay in. To me, it was one of the best nights so far. We saved pasta from our lunch and just bought tomato sauce (yuck not for me though! a-dog remember I was supposed to try that in your class? haha) and drinks and laid out beach towels on the roof of our building. Our roof overlooks Athens so even during the day our view is beautiful but after we finished our meal and the sun was setting it was beyond spectacular. We talked, laughed, and reminisced for about two hours before deciding it was time to clean up and pack for our trip this weekend. Tomorrow morning at 8 am we are leaving to take a bus to Delphi and visit sites such as Apollo's Oracle and then we will be traveling to Olympia before heading to a hotel for the night (which is supposed to be fabulous so everyone is excited). Saturday we will be taking a ferry to the Pelopenese and visiting Mycenae before staying in a hotel Saturday night and traveling along the Gulf of Corinth coastline. I don't know if I will have internet so I might not be able to fill you in until Monday but if not I hope everyone has a great weekend and I will keep you updated soon!!

Also this weekend, I will be writing my first paper for this class - ahhh!!
And again, sorry for the length!

Posted by topspin98 14:36 Archived in Greece Comments (5)

The Island of Aegena

On Saturday night, dinner under the acropolis was unbelievable. It is amazing how easily you forget that something is so incredible when you are just sitting there. We all knew the acropolis was right above us but until about halfway through the meal, no one had bothered to look. Being here is still like a dream. After dinner, a group of the girls and I just walked through town and looked at all the different vendors. Greek jewelry and practically all of their pottery and scarves are very unique from the items we can find in the United States. In addition, their manners are very different. We must have been asked about... hmm I would say 15 times if we would like to eat or get a drink in their restaurants. These people just walk up to you on the streets! (and the random street vendors and also very pushy and annoying but in a group we handled it - walking at night alone would definitely not be a good idea!) Eventually, we walked back to the apartment around 1:30. We are still somewhat on American time so it's difficult to fall asleep at night. Around 2:15, everyone passed out and sleep felt awesome until we were woken up at 6:15 am...

Four hours of sleep was definitely not enough for the Sunday that we had. At 7:00 am we had to meet Jane (our professor) and Maria (the assistant director) in front of our apartment. From there, we walked to the metro and took a twenty minute ride to the ferry. Then we boarded the ferry for an hour long trip to Aegena. Still tired, some people slept but some of us decided to sit on top of the ship. The views were spectacular and I know it sounds repetitive but I can't even describe the essences of the scenes. I took many pictures (don't worry mom) and the ferry was our last moment of relaxation for a while. When we got off the ferry, we took a very crowded bus up to the top of Aegena to see the Temple of Aphaia. It is crazy to see all of this history right in front of us. Now, history never was and never will be my favorite subject. It sounds bad but I'm not one to focus on the past; luckily, Jane had so many interesting facts though and the true stories behind all of these pieces that she is showing us are intriguing. Unfortunately, I am still not good at remembering what she said but I do have it on video! (haha) From there, we hiked down the other side of the island to the Aegean sea. The beach was basically a tiny strip of sand covered in umbrellas and beach chairs and we wanted to stay together as a group so we climbed the rocks on the side of the island and set up there. The water was such a blue/teal color that seeing the bottom was easy. You know when you look on a postcard and think the color of the water they put is fake? It seems too good to be true but after yesterday I know that water color does actually exist. Immediately, we went swimming in the ocean and I loved it! (the ocean has always been my favorite :] ) We met some Greek adults playing water volleyball and we asked to join. They were very generous and allowed us to play with them (although they were MUCH better and very competitive). Our team was victorious!! Dennis (the captain of our team) referred to himself as "the terminator" and luckily he spoke a little bit of English and also taught us some Greek. Messa means in and Exxo means out! (he told us this by putting himself in the water and saying messa and then jumping up and saying exxo! It was hysterical to see that we have come to this language barrier. After lunch and lounging around, we spent some more time in the ocean before we had to catch the last bus up and down the mountain. Then we walked around the port side of the island until it was time to catch our very home. We got to the apartment around 830 and everyone was exhausted. I showered, read, talked to some friends and then fell asleep around midnight.

Class started this morning and it wasn't bad at all. Jane is an excellent professor and after she gave us history of Greece, we talked about the Agamemnon play. Christine and I went shopping later and had an excellent time roaming Greece. Now, it is definitely time for a nap!

ps- sorry this one was really long!

Posted by topspin98 07:46 Comments (1)

Acropolis and more :)

So this morning Laura and I decided to be adventurous and go for a morning run around Athens while exploring. We ended up making it to the park that Jane recommended we jog in and we had a great time. it was enormous and filled with other joggers and various people. When we decided to head back to our apartment, we saw the Parliament building and agreed that a last lap around that would be awesome! Unfortunately, I think this is the part that got us LOST in Athens! Realizing later that we came out at a different part of the park than we walked in, we ran around random streets in Athens looking for our own. Eventually we decided to ask store owners (which was difficult since we could not pronounce the name of our street and their English was iffy) We made it back to Sandagma square and asked for directions from another man. He directed us into his hotel and the receptionist was able to give us a map and directions home. An hour after our departure, we returned to the apartments. Everyone showered and then went to explore Athens with Jane. We saw many fabulous sites (even sites that we will study more in depth later) and had lunch under the acropolis! After lunch we ventured to the top and the view was unbelievable. The postcard view's beauty couldn't even be captured by a picture. Though I tried, the feeling was breathtaking and that is something that can never be recreated. The houses sparkled in the sun and the sea was sapphire blue. It was extremely hot and we were all sweating but it didn't matter because we had made it to the top and it was worth the trip. The diligent climb down was more relaxing and on our trip back to the apartment we went down cute little streets that had tons of shopping! We decided as a group that we would go back after a day of class.. as for now we were beat!! While everyone went back to shower or sleep, four of us went to a fruit stand down the road to see the fresh fruit Greece has to offer. Everything looked amazing and after we went back to the dorms. As for now, I am going to shower before dinner tonight! It is back below the acropolis at another Greek restaurant and should be fun! Tomorrow we are heading to an island and the beach - finally!

Posted by topspin98 09:06 Comments (2)

Arrival in Athens

sunny 85 °F

At 9:15 in the morning (Greece time), the group stumbled off of the plane after our nine hour ride. The trip was long and it was hard to sleep considering it was only 2am our time. Luckily we all grabbed our luggage then boarded a bus to drive the 40 mins to the apartments we were staying in. Since the streets in Athens are so small the bus had to drop us off about five blocks away because the bus wouldn't fit! We got to the apartments and unpacked our suitcases. The apartments are actually very nice and livable including bunk beds, a kitchen and a living room. We went to the dining hall we will be eating lunch at during the week and it was ok.. (you know me and food =] ) Later we had our orientation and then a walking tour of Athens. By the time the walking tour was over, everyone was completely exhausted and decided to crash. After an hour and a half nap we felt refreshed, had the energy to shower, and then ventured into Athens for dinner around 9:30. It was impossible to find someplace to eat since none of us knew what we were looking for! We ended up taking directions from this man and we ended up at a restaurant that he said was "very good." (later on, this man walked into the restaurant, shook hands with our waiter and came over to ask how everything was... we told him he tricked us because he clearly owned the place or had some affiliation but he said "no I'm just a customer! - yeah right!) Dinner was good and then we went back to the apartments. Tired but still wanting to explore Athens nightlife, we met up with one of our tour guides from orientation. Due to the fact that we were already exhuasted, at around 2:00 am we came inside and passed out.

Posted by topspin98 08:47 Comments (0)

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