Monday, September 26, 2011

southern greece


Sunday, September 18th- Day 20

Today began our tour of Southern Greece! After meeting at the pier at 8:30 AM and taking a ferry over to Athens, we boarded our bus and set off.

The bus, first of all, was amazing. It was big enough that all twenty of us got two seats to ourselves and the seats were big, comfy, and soft. Even those of us who don't usually enjoy naps ended up nodding off on some of the longer rides and usually, I didn't even mind because it was so comfortable. Plus, our bus driver was really cool. On one of the first days, someone said calamari to him instead of kalimera and it made him laugh so much that he'd say it to us occasionally for the rest of the trip :) (kalimera= good morning, not fried squid).

We drove all day with stops at the Corinth Canal, Corinth's archaeological site and museum, and Mycenae, and then ended the day in Nafplion, where our hotel was located.

 Panos took us to a great local swimming spot as soon as we got there and everyone got in the water, even Panos and Ioana. The water felt great after such a long day. When we'd finished swimming, Panos found some sea urchins and cracked them open so we could taste the meat (which is a very expensive delicacy). It was small and slimy looking and tasted incredibly fishy. Some people really enjoyed it, but others (like me) couldn't wait to get the taste out of our mouths. Yuck!

After swimming, a big group of us met up for dinner in the square. Nafplion has such a great atmosphere. There weren't any cars or motorbikes allowed in the square, so there were lots of people walking around and kids playing soccer. The cafes that bordered it were all very cute and the one we chose ended up being great. I had moussaka, which is a Greek dish almost like lasagna but with eggplant and a hint of cinnamon/spice. It was delicious. Maybe the best dinner I've had in Greece yet!

Monday, September 19th- Day 21

We stayed in Nafplion for the morning and traveled up to the Fortress of Palamidi, which looks down over the whole town. It had an amazing view of the water and there was so much to explore that we didn't even get to see everything.

Next we went to Mystras, another castle, which is a couple hours outside Nafplion and near Sparta. We could see Sparta from the top of Mystras, but we didn't visit it because Panos said there's really nothing there to see and he didn't want to take the time for something so underwhelming. Mystras, though, was very cool. First we climbed up to the top and got a great view of the city, the other parts of the castle, and the hilly landscape surrounding it. Then, gradually, we all made our way down to the bottom. Again, there was so much to see that we didn't get to look at everything. Lots of mini churches, ruins, etc.

After a stop at the Olive Museum and dinner in Nafplion, we shopped more. I bought a cute floral scarf- my first souvenir/gift purchase of the trip! Then after a quick game of cards, I joined a group heading down to the pier. We sat and took pictures and just relaxed. Nafplion was so pretty and charming. I would love to go back someday.


Tuesday, September 20th- Day 22

A very cold, rainy day but we made the best of it. We explored Olympia, where we visited both the museum and site. Because of the rain, we didn't get to spend as much time there as we'd hoped. It was still very cool to see though, knowing it's where the ancient Olympics were held.

We headed to our next hotel next, which was located in Rio. After dinner and a walk, we took a little walk on the beach. Later, my roommate Alison and I were getting ready for bed when there was a rumbling and the bed started shaking. Really shaking too, rocking back and forth and everything. We thought maybe it was just some people running down the hall, but the next morning at breakfast, we found out it was an actual earthquake! And the first I've ever experienced, I think (if I felt one before, it was too small for me to feel/remember).


Wednesday, September 21st- Day 23

We visited the Trikoupis Bridge, Nafpaktos for a lunch break, and the museum and archaeological site at Delphi. It was really beautiful, with lots of mountains and pine trees that smelled like maple syrup. We spent some time there sketching and exploring because, thankfully, the rain stopped after we visited the museum. Afterward, we explored the shops in Delphi, played a few games of cards, and had dinner before heading back to our Delphi hotel.

View from the Temple of Poseidon.

Thursday, September 22nd- Day 24

We started the day with a long bus ride. We drove through a really pretty ski village, we drove through rain, and we even drove through a rainbow! Then, for a special surprise that wasn't on our itinerary, Panos took us to the Temple of Poseidon in Athens. We sketched, took some pictures, and then headed down to the beach below for some relaxation time.

This was our last day exploring Southern Greece. It was a fantastic trip though and definitely made me excited for future field trips!

The rainbow that greeted us back in Aigina.

Friday, September 23rd- Day 25

A lazy, quiet day in Aigina. A large part of the group went to Santorini for the weekend (I didn't go because I'll be going there with my mom when she comes to visit) so there were only a few of us left in the apartments. I skyped with my mom, e-mailed, and uploaded/edited my pictures from the trip.

One of the program directors found us some English DVDs, so we were able to end the day watching Friends and then Boogie Nights as we ate dinner.

Saturday, September 24th- Day 26

Another lazy day. Used the internet, read, went to the beach.


  1. An earthquake--how exciting! Are you enjoying all this sketching? Think it's something you'll keep to remember Greece by?

  2. After a long childhood spent watching Hercules and wondering what Moussaka is (you know, when Hades says "I haven't been this choked up since I got a hunk of moussaka caught in my throat!"), I'm relieved to learn that it's a delicious meal and not something nasty.


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