Tuesday, January 26, 2010

First Exploration of the Acropolis

At the top of Areopagus Rock by the base of the Acropolis, Overlooking Lykavittos Hill (where we climbed to the top the second night in town), January 23, courtesy of Joyce Chun

Wow, so little time has passed, yet SO much has happened! I guess I will just have to keep up with the blog more often as to not bore you with the long posts necessary to capture all of the details.

Our dinner party turned out to be a ton of fun, and quite delicious. We made pasta with a sauce from fresh tomatoes, garlic, spices, and wine, a salad from feta, olives, tomatoes, cucumber, and mint, and had lovely cheese, bread, and wine brought over by the guys. Our apartment does not have a very big sitting area, so we ended up converting the double room into an extended living room for the night. Sadly, halfway through the meal, we were informed that the trip scheduled for the next day had been canceled due to weather (either the cold or rain, we weren't sure). However, we found the silver lining and continued to hang out, be merry, and play games late into the night.

At the dinner party (L to R): Mike, Joyce, Liz, Jimmy, Kate, Me, Melissa
January 22
After waking up to a woman singing and accordion music being played out on the street the next morning, I looked out and found it not to be cold OR rainy, in fact, quite the opposite! However, it was too late for the program to return to the original field trip, so we made our own. A large group of us ended up grabbing lunch and hiking all around the Acropolis (see pictures below) and into the surrounding area. We were unable to actually go up to the Acropolis and Parthenon due to the bizarre visiting hours they have. After a beautiful day of hiking, and a warm up at the new Acropolis Museum, we headed back to our respective apartments to get ready for our first "clubbing" experience in Athens. Apparently, it is hard to find a place where people actually dance, so after going to a chic bar and a place with older sketchy men, we decided to go back home in the wee hours of the morning. Apparently, clubs don't get "hopping" until about 4 in the morning... a bit too late for me to stay up!

The Acropolis from Philopappos Monument, January 23, courtesy of David Schneller

All of the hiking girls, top of Philopappos Hill looking west onto the Mediterranean Sea, January 23, courtesy of Joyce Chun

Yesterday, I had my first Greek hospital experience. After all that we had to go through to get our original visas, they only last three months, so we have to apply for extended residency. Not only do we have to pay more, but we also have to get tested for TB, which includes a shot and a chest x-ray. Luckily, I ran into other students from CYA on the way to the hospital, so I did not get lost. Lots of waiting, a quick poke and x-ray, and I was on my way. Now let's just hope the reading goes well tomorrow... Also, on the way to the hospital, we used the Greek public transit for the first time. Even though we had been endlessly warned, one of the students was pick-pocketed. It's a good thing I was clutching to my purse for dear life.

Roomies getting ready to go out (Liz and Joyce), January 23

The final excitement of the day happened back at the Academic Center--I got to learn how to do traditional Greek dances! No, there were not any "Opa"s going around, but after working our way up past the first five dances (specific to different parts of Greece) we got to learn the dance everybody thinks of... to the music from Zorba the Greek! This one was my favorite, because though the initial steps are basic, we learned different flourishes on them, and had to speed up our dancing as the music got progressively faster...not easy when everybody is connected together in a circle.

Roommates in front of the Acropolis and Theatre of Herodes Attiucus, January 23

If I can experience this much of Athens within a week, I cannot imagine what else I will experience on this four month venture! However, fun and games will be slowing down a bit, as classes are starting to get harder.


  1. Doesn't sound too tourist friendly with the weird Acropolis hours, etc., but the dancing and hiking sound fun, as does the food at your dinner party. Looks like you landed in a great group and situation! Imagine four months of such experiences.WOot!

  2. Hi Mol, love your reportage... you'd make a great travel writer... oh that's what you are doing! Love and adventures! Martin et Celeste