Praha… Prague

Sarah, Erica and I went to Prague on our week in between. We left Athens early Friday morning. I had to get up at 2am and I could still here the people above our apartment partying. Anyways, we had a 6 hour layover in Munich. So, we decided to go to a beer house that they had at the airport. Good German beer and pretzels to start the day off right! We arrived at Prague that night and walk around and saw the town at night. We walked across the Charles bridge which was really pretty.  We decided to go to bed early that night because we were super exhausted from getting up so early.
On Saturday, we went exploring the old town. We saw the main attractions like the tower, bridge and Prague castle. We also did quality shopping. I got a nice scarf because it was pretty chilly out. At night time, we went on a pub crawl. It included a free tshirt, unlimited drinks for an hour and access to the clubs. It was fun and worth the money.
On Sunday, we walked around the old town again and took pictures in a park. It was nice to see fall weather with all of the beautiful colors of the trees and leaves. It reminded me of Minnesota and it was good to change up the scenery from being in the city in Athens. We went to bed early again because we had to catch a flight out early Monday morning to Zurich, Switzerland!

Γεια σας or Goodbye Greece!

It is crazy to think that today is my last day in Greece! It has been an amazing experience here and I have created so many great memories. Part of me doesn’t want to leave, but the other part is super excited to start my journey in Rome. 

I have had a great last 2 weeks here! I finished up everything that I wanted to see in Greece. I went to the new Olympic Stadium from the 2004 Olympics in Athens. It surprised me how run down it was. We also went to the big shopping mall that was near by. This week, I also attended a cooking class where we made stuffed eggplants, fried cheese pies, greek salad, tzatziki and a yogurt/fruit desert. It was really fun and the food was amazing! My history class and I finally made it to the Acropolis. We have been here for how long and we just went to the Acropolis on our second to last week! Crazy! I really liked the Acropolis and learning everything about it! I even wrote my last final in history class about the Acropolis!

This last weekend was full of studying for my Greek Art History final. It was not my ideal image of my last weekend in Greece, but it needed to be done. It also contained creating my Olive Oil project and studying for Ancient History Final. It was not fun, but I can now officially say I am done with Greek Art History forever! We also had a brief break were we held our own Olympics right next to the old Olympic Stadium. It consisted of egg race, eggplant toss, trivia and 5 legged relay. The night ended with booze around the world/ a toga party. We all went to each other’s apartments were we had a different booze from some country. My apartment was a traditional night in Greece, where we had Ouzo. The toga party was very fun!

During my last week in Greece, I went to Syntagma Square, Monastiraki and Plaka for the last time to go shopping. I also made my way inside the old Olympic Stadium next to my school. Last night, we had a big, goodbye, last taverna dinner with some of our professors. I have truly had some great professors in Greece! We ended our night with a celebration at the Pirate Bar next to our apartments. Today, I got my last yummy Baklava and for dinner I will be getting my last gyro from Grill and Pita. I am sure going to miss Greece a lot! Γεια σας Greece!

Delphi!

To start my weekend off, we went to the beer academy to celebrate my roommate’s, Sarah’s, birthday! The beer academy was very fun and was a great way to socialize with everyone! The next day, Friday, was her actual birthday. So we went to a nice little bakery in the morning and got some chocolate cake at this amazing chocolate place called, Max Perry. All of the chocolate is homemade. This was the best chocolate cake I have every had! We then proceeded to going to the National Gardens and taking cute roommate pictures! To end the night, we went to a little restaurant down our street called the Black Sheep. The food is good and cheap!

Saturday morning, we left bright and early for Delphi. Along the way, we stopped at St. Luke’s Monastery. It was very pretty and the scenery was fantastic. I had a little panic attack at this monastery because my camera broke, but I later fixed it after visiting the monastery. At Delphi, we were shown the ruins and were Athenians would go to cleanse themselves in the water before going up to the great temple. We ended the day with walking around the city of Delphi. It is a very small city with not a whole lot to do. Although, we did find a nice restaurant called Telescope that had a good view. At night, we had a nice dinner provided by the hotel and I stayed in and played Euchre with some people.

On Sunday, we went and visited more ruins in Delphi. We saw the museum and then headed back to Athens. I ended up going to the English Catholic mass at night and laying in bed watching a movie. It is getting to be a little chilly in Athens, but nothing compared to what we are use to in Minnesota!

A Weekend in Athens

This weekend was the first weekend I actually spent in Athens! Crazy to think every other weekend I have been somewhere else. It was good to spend the weekend in Athens because I got to do all the things I have been meaning to do before I leave.

On Wednesday night, we had crepe night with Nutella and bananas to celebrate being done with my culture class. No more Greek!!! This was very exciting to be done with one of my classes in Greece.

On Thursday night, we went to a Greek Orthodox service for Theology class. It was actually very interesting even though I could not understand any of it. Although, I am not alone because the service is actually said in ancient Greek so a lot of Greeks don’t understand the mass either. Weird if you ask me! Anyways, the church was very pretty and decorated with a lot of pictures, icons and gold. Very pretty compared to our modern churches. After the church service, we had tickets to see Gregorian Chants at the Ancient Acropolis Theatre. We were all expecting for it to be actual Gregorian Chants and some of us were thinking that we might end up napping during it. However, we wanted to go for the experience of attending something at the Ancient Acropolis Theatre. When we arrived at the theatre, we found out that the Gregorian Chants is actually a German band who signs a lot of well known, old, American songs. We were all so excited. I think that it was the best concert I’ve been too and of course the best theatre! Who can say that they had ancient ruins as the background of the concert!

Acropolis Theater

Acropolis Theater

After the concert, we heard about a TGIFridays that was close by to our neighborhood. Some of us went to that to get a little taste of home. I was also really in the mood for buffalo wings! At Friday’s, I got a Strawberry Daiquiri and split an appetizer sampler that consisted of mozzarella sticks, stuffed taco wontons and buffalo wings. It was so good and exactly what I needed! I think I will be coming back there for more wings and a good burger! Although, I’ve heard there is an Applebee’s in Greece, but it is an hour away!

Friday's

Friday’s

On Friday, my roommates and I got woken up early my our maid. Yes, we have a maid every week! So, Sarah and I decided to hike up Lycabettus Hill and saw a very pretty view of Athens. We then went to the market to get fresh fruits, veggies and olives. My olive guy was there and he always gives me a couple of hot olives for free! That night we tried out the night life in Gauzi. It was fun, but one of the girls got red wine spilt on her white tank top by a waitress. That was not fun!Image

On Saturday, some of us went to the Athens beach. This was my first time going to this beach! It was very nice and I got even more tan!! My roomies and I decided to stay in and have a movie night. We watched the Parent Trap together; my favorite movie!

Sunday started off with seeing the changing of the guards in front of Parliament. We then visited the flea market in Monastraki. I was on a hunt for greek jewelry, but came up short. It was all super cheap or super expensive. However, I did find a ring for 5 euro with the classic greek swirl on it! The rest of the day was me being productive with homework and getting to skype my parents! It was the first time seeing my dad since I left, which was nice!

Nauplio and Olympia

This weekend was the first weekend we had a tour guide. My history professor, who has a british accent and is really funny, went to the ancient sites with us. We first departed on the coach bus to Mycenae and then from there we headed to Epidaurus. We learned about the ancient history and saw the ruins. We then had time to explore the city of Nauplio. We went to a really good gelato shop and walked around the streets, looking in shops. The city is very nice because it is quiet and small. It is also right on the sea. We then climbed 999 steps to the fortress and the view from there was super nice. We climbed down and had a nice already paid for dinner at our hotel in Nauplio.

The next day we were back on the coach bus and on our way to Olympia. We were all wearing our Johnnie gear in support of Johnnie Tommie day. We saw were the first olympics were held and had a little race. We also took nice Johnnie Tommie pictures. While visiting the ruins, one of the other tour guides was questioning my professor. The tour guide was really mean and starting a scene. They were trying to prove that he was not a tour guide and did not have permission to be here. They asked to see his documents, but it is illegal for other guides to ask for them; only the guards can ask. My professor, Robert, showed them up. We then carried on and went to the museum. Later, we had the rest of the day to explore after the museum. Olympia is not much of town so we stayed in and swam at the pool at our hotel. We again had a nice paid for dinner at the hotel. For the night, we played cards and watched the Johnnie Tommie game where the Johnnies won!

The weekend was really fun, but being gone every weekend is very exhausting. I am glad to know that next weekend we will be in Athens!

What you picture when you think of Greece!

Last weekend, I went to Santorini. It was so much fun! It is exactly what you picture when you think of Greece. There are white buildings with blue roofs and everywhere you look there is always a great view of the sea. If I could live in Santorini forever, I would!

On Friday, we left early in the morning for our 8 hour ferry ride. Our ferry is not like any other ferry though, it is like a cruise ship. It’s really big! When we finally arrived in Santorini, we got to our hotel in Fira. We then went out exploring and some of us went to the red beach. I thought the sand was red, but instead it was not. However, the rocks behind it was red and goergeous. The view was amazing and we took quality pictures. To finish off the night, we had dinner on a dock with the sea surrounding us. I had really good chicken! 

On Saturday, we went and explored the volcano and then swam in a hot spring. We were all tired and didn’t want to climb up the mountain, so we decided to take a donkey back up to Fira. My donkey was really nice and I really enjoyed this part! Afterwards, a couple of us went to a wine museum. Here we learned about the process of wine and got to taste four different kinds. It was really cool and the wine was really good. We then headed off to Oia. This is the place where you get all the cool Santorini pictures. We arrived just in time to get seated for dinner and watch the sunset. This was a really beautiful view. After dinner, we walked up and down the streets of Oia. To finish off the night, we went to explore the night life of Santorini. I would say that the night life was really fun!

On Sunday, some of us decided to stay my the hotel’s pool and relax. We did not have that much time before we had to go on the ferry back to Athens.

Overall, Santorini has been my favorite place. I wish I would have had more time to spend here. If I go back to Greece, I will be visiting Santorini!

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Red Beach!

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Sunset in Oia!

1st Island!!! – Aegina

On Saturday, we had an excursion trip to the Island of Aegina. The ferry ride there was really pretty! The scenery was really breathtaking; however, it was kind of cold. When we arrived in Aegina, we got on a Mercedes Coach Bus! We then went to the Temple of Aphaia and headed over to Palaiochora which is a hill with random houses on it. The houses are the ones that are left after the Pirates attacked. We then saw the monastery which was really pretty. The girls were all wearing shorts and tank tops which is not appropriate for the monastery. Although, they had skirts and shawls we could put on to cover up. It was kind of like dress up. One of the churches we went into at the monastery had a tomb of a famous saint in it. Apparently, if you stick your ear next to it, you can hear the saint’s heartbeat. We did not know this at the time or we would have tried it. The last stop we made was at Kolona which is a bunch of ancient ruins including the Temple of of Apollo. For the rest of the day, we all hung out at the beach and walked around the marina and shops. The weather was kind of icky for a beach day. It would just randomly start sprinkling throughout the whole day and the sun was not out. This was disappointing, but I still had fun. They had really good 2 euro gyros and amazing ice cream! On the way back to Athens, the ferry ride was really beautiful because we got to see the sunset over the Mediterranean Sea. 

Nothing important has really happened this week besides getting more and more homework. When you think of study abroad, you think of a long vacation. You forget the study part and that is what is getting most of us. We have to do our homework when there is still so much to explore. Although, we did get to see Parliament which was very cool. It was actually really interesting to see how their political system works.

This weekend we get to go to Santorini! I am super excited because when I picture Greece, I picture Santorini!

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First Week of School

καλημέρα! This means good day in Greek! School has officially started for me! I started on labor day and has had it pretty easy this week. I have had a Greek culture class where I have learned a little history and statistics about Greece. In this class, I have been learning Greek. Greek is really hard to read and that has probably been the most challenging. Our professor has taught us the alphabet, numbers and the basic responses. However, little is actually retained. 😛 I have also had a class of theology and the class taught by the SJU professor. In this class, we have discussed food and how it is different and the types of plants with it. It is really interesting so far! My professor, Steve, and his wife, Linda, are really nice!

Besides school, we have had events planned for us basically everyday of the week. The other CYA students had orientation this week; therefore, we were the only school that actually had classes. On Tuesday, we were taught some Greek dancing. It was really fun and easier than I thought. Although, it was really crowded that it was hard to actually practice it. On Wednesday, we had a taverna dinner. We were split up into different groups with different CYA students. There were about 15 students in my group were we went to a real, authentic Greek restaurant. The restaurant was located in Boy Scouts Square which is an outdoor plaza. At my dinner, we had a professor from CYA order all the food for us! We had appetizers upon appetizers. We had a spinach pie, pita bread, homemade french fries, sausage, fried cheese and a greek salad. I assumed that this was our meal, but it was not. For the main course, it was a mixture of meats such as sausage, pork and chicken. It was very good! For dessert, we had a delicious chocolate cookie with ice cream, orange cake and a lemon desert. The cookie was definitely my favorite! The dinner taught be a lot about Greek traditions too. I learned that Greeks all share their dishes. They order for the whole table and there are no individual meals. Also, they are not afraid to use their dirty fork to pick up more food from the shared dishes. Additionally, I learned that there is a mother of the table who cuts up all the dishes and pours the wine for everyone first and they are always serve themselves last. Greek dinners go very long! We were there for about 3 hours, but it went very fast! 

On Thursday, we went to the U.S. Embassy. We were lectured about everything we need to be conscious about. At night, we went to the CYA’s president’s house. His house was huge and his backyard was seriously a big garden. It was gorgeous! We also ate a very Greek meal at his house. We had gyros and ice cream! It was a very fun night!

Today, Friday, I went to the central market where you can get a lot of cheap fruit and vegetables! Also, they have really good olives there! Yummm… I also went to the flea market where I got a pair of custom made sandals. They were kind of expensive, but I’m in Greece so I minds well live it up! Plus they were all real leather and it molds to your feet. Tonight, I am going to dinner on a rooftop! I am thinking that this will be really fun! 

Γεια σας or goodbye!

Sounion and Temple of Poseidon

Yesterday, we had our first excursion! We went to Sounion which is on the Aegean Sea. We relaxed on the beach and swam in the Sea of Aegean. We then went to the top of the hill where the Temple of Poseidon is. It was a gorgeous view of all of Greece and the Sea. The temple was very pretty and we found Lord Byron’s signature. We sat by the temple until sunset. The view again was very pretty.

Today, 3 people from my class and I went on a scavenger hunt. We had to find about 20 different places by ourselves. We really got to explore our surroundings; however, it got exhausting at the end because it was really hot and there was a lot of walking. It took us around 3.5 hours to accomplish it! Tonight, we are having a potluck in our apartment, so we will see how that works out!

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WE FINALLY MADE IT!!!

We finally made it to Athens! We arrived at 1am this morning and walked to a hostel. We got super lost on the way there and stopped at a hotel for some help. The guy was super nice. We were informed that our hostel was in the sketchy part of Athens and when we arrived the hostel was pretty creepy itself. However for $10 and a couple hours of sleep, it was worth it. Although, we were split into 2 groups and the other group’s room had bed bugs. Eww… Thank goodness that was not my room!

Today, we got all settled into our apartment. It is a super nice apartment. I have my own room and 2 huge closets. We also have 2 balconies. One balcony connects all of our rooms and the other connects the kitchen and living room. We also went grocery shopping at a store just 10 minutes away and we came back to hand wash all of our clothes in our bathtub. Tonight, we are all planning up on meeting and going out to dinner together.

My giant closet!

My giant closet!

My bedroom!

My bedroom!

Our Kitchen!

Our Kitchen!

Our bathroom!