Welcome to Greece!
Or at least, that's how I felt as the plane from Frankfurt slid through the mist and fog to show a vision of rocky mounds tossed about in the sea. Okay, a little too poetic, but it was really beautiful. I made it to my apartment alright, but none of my roommates were there, so I made my way to the Academic center and got lost for a good hour. We have a great flat in the neighborhood closest to where our classes and meetings are, but it's the farthest away (only a 10 minute walk or so) out of the other apts. The six of us fit into four singles and a double with a spacious kitchen and comfy sitting area/living room; quite a lot bigger than I expected. My flat mates are nice; We all get along, and are becoming closer friends now that we hang out more. Joyce goes to Brown and is from SoCal, Melissa is from Iowa and goes to Pomona, Kate is from New Jersey and goes to Rutgers, Christine goes to Emory and is from Maryland, and Liz is from Texas and goes to Notre Dame. Quite a mix of personalities, schools, and backgrounds!
Partial view of my messy room; Goes out onto a balcony which I share with another single room and the double room.
These first couple of days we have been meeting new people from all over the country, listening to what the program hopes to attain, and eat and drink wonderful Greek things! Yesterday evening, after the President gave his talk, I went with a couple of my roommates and some new guy friends out to dinner in Kolonoki (the wealthier neighborhood where other students live), proceeded to their apartment to meet their other roommates and some of the girls who live across the hall from them, and then all of us climbed to the top of the huge hill (quite a hike!) to look at the city all lit up below us. It was beautiful! At the top of the hill there was an a quaint old church and, as we had joked that there would be, even a little restaurant! We then made our way down to a different part of Kolonoki to a cross between a street and an alley (without cars) to enjoy a drink and conversation for awhile. However, because this neighborhood is wealthier, drinks were quite a bit more expensive than those in other parts of the city, and much more than they would be in the states.
Roommates (L to R): Christine, Joyce, Liz
Roommates (L to R): Melissa and Katie
Also, there are stray dogs EVERYWHERE! They're not threatening at all, and if you pet them, they will follow you and "protect" you from cars, motorbikes, and other pedestrians. There are two dogs specifically that follow us around and make sure we get home at night.
Classes start tomorrow! It'll be nice to get into a routine and find out who else has the same class. There are only 130 of us (25 guys, 105 girls...), so it should be pretty easy getting to know everyone!