Friday, September 9, 2011

the first week

Tuesday, August 29th- Day 1

After a long day of traveling (from St. Louis to Toronto to London to Brussels to Athens) including layovers, Canadian burgers, a frantic run through Heathrow, and our first experience being lost in a foreign country, Brandon and I arrived in Athens! It was a very long and tiring journey. I didn't sleep on the ride over, as much as I tried, but it wasn't too bad. There was a wide variety of movie/tv options and I got lucky with my seat-neighbor (she was also a college student, traveling to London to see her English boyfriend, and very nice). 

We were greeted at the hotel by Panos, the program director and guide, who gave us our schedules and room keys. After meeting my lovely roommates, showering, watching the sun set with Brandon, and taking some pictures (like the one above), I passed out on my comfy white hotel bed at 9 o'clock and slept soundly till morning. Best night's sleep ever! :)

At the top of Lycabettus.
Wednesday, August 30th- Day 2

We began the day by climbing a tall, tall hill in Athens called Lycabettus. Although sweaty and panting by the time we reached the top, it was a beautiful view. After that, the day was a blur of walking. Monastiraki, the Plaka, Panatheniac Stadium. Afterward, exhausted, the whole group took a refreshing dip in the hotel (rooftop!) pool.

Thursday, September 1st- Day 3

We explored Athens more-- the Acropolis and Acropolis Museum, the Parthenon, even Panos's (very modern and cool) apartment! Afterward, a group of us decided to hike up another of the hills. I can't remember the name, but I believe it began with "Papi-."Although I was tired and needing to use the bathroom, it was a wonderful view and we got some great pictures of the sunset.

Friday, September 2nd- Day 4

There was a metro strike today, but luckily we had Panos there to guide us around Athens still on the (very crowded and confusing) buses. We saw the 2004 Olympics Stadium complex, which was rather sad and empty, and sketched a lot. Afterward, we took a break in the Olympic Media Center (which has been converted into a nice mall) before heading onto the Cycladic Museum. 

Our wonderful apartment!

Saturday, September 3rd- Day 5

After navigating our way through Athens by both metro and bus with all of our luggage (those who had more than one bag were struggling!), we made it to the Piraeus port before heading onto Aigina, our beautiful island home, by ferry. Lauren, Cristina, and I lucked out as far as apartments goes. The whole group is in the same building, but my roommates and I got the only top floor apartment. It's beautiful and feels very Greek (as it should, it was decorated by our sweet Greek landlords). We have a little balcony and a few luxuries (an oven, a washing machine, a freezer).

It will still be heard to get adjusted to it though because it's just so different from what we're used to in America: we have no air conditioner, only fans; we can only air dry our clothes; we aren't allowed to flush toilet paper (it goes in the trash can); the TV has few channels and it's rare to find something in English on. For the three months we're here though, we're all excited to stay in our cozy little apartment. It's so cute and just down the street from the school building.

For our orientation dinner, we went to a restaurant on the waterfront. Literally, on the waterfront. There were tables on the sand and the water was just a few feet from my toes. There were eight courses of various Greek foods- Greek salad, feta cheese, two other strange but yummy cheeses, olives, anchovies (or sardines, I can't remember), lamb/beef meatballs, eggplant with marinara sauce, calamari, greens with lemon, etc. Yum!


  1. Your apartment sounds so charming! I'm so excited for you to be there. You make me want to go so badly!

  2. Mobster children kicking your bags?! Sounds like a blast . . .
    really, though. :)


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