Alright, let’s get this Blogging A-to-Z challenge started! Today’s destination is Athens, Greece. I spent a summer in college studying in Athens with a professor and other students from UCSD. We had a blast exploring the city and getting a glimpse into Greek life. I wish siestas were built into our days here in America. I think everyone could do with a little down time in the afternoon.
The best part about an extended visit is you get to experience so many things. I found a regular grocery store and went to the weekly farmers’ market just around the corner from where I stayed. They sold the ripest, juiciest, sweetest peaches I’ll probably ever taste! We spent each night eating dinner at local cafes, sitting outside on the terraces enjoying white wine and trying to cool off in the summer heat.
As we learned about Athens’ history in class each morning we would go explore that part of the city in the afternoon. It was an immersive experience, one that was perfect for bringing to life what we learned in the classroom. Our professor, who was part Greek, had some connections with parliament members and set-up a private tour of the parliament building. We even attended part of their session and were formally recognized on the parliament floor. The subway actually runs underneath the parliament and the large square in front of the building leads down into a major interchange between subway lines. We used this interchange each day on our way to class. The summer I was there was the same summer that all the unrest and riots were taking place in Athens over the financial crises. We never would have known unless we had popped up to the surface and seen ourselves surrounded by thousands of protesters. All that was interesting but the best part about touring the Greek parliament were the solid wood bathroom doors and how they indicated the ladies’ and men’s restrooms. I present without comment:
Those bathrooms doors are quite something, aren’t they? I laugh every time I think about them and I’m so glad I snapped a picture! The picture below is also self-explanatory although this time for a menacing reason. Does anyone else think this German Shepherd looks friendly? Maybe this wasn’t the best way to convey attack dog…
I did a fair amount of traveling to other parts of Greece as well: went to a few islands (this is obligatory if you go to Greece!), passed over the Corinth canal on our way to Mycenae, and took the bus to Sounion to visit the Temple of Poseidon and saw some of the clearest turquoise water. It was a special trip and I would go back to Athens in a heartbeat!