Saturday, September 18, 2010

The Greek Odyssey: part one.

Back on August 28th - it seems so long ago now - I left California and took the redeye to New Jersey. I spent several glorious (read: lonely and tearful) hours in the Newark Airport before meeting up with the other kids who were embarking on the ten-day journey throughout Greece. We chatted until we boarded our flight to Rome, Italy - which, incidentally, was delayed due to a broken airconditioning system. We left the USA a little sweaty but ready for Europe! We landed nine hours later only to board another flight to Athens, Greece. In short, I basically spent about two days straight either in airports or on planes. Grand. Once in Athens, we loaded ourselves onto a bus toward Sunio, the site of the ancient ruins of the Temple of Poseidon.

My first glimpse of Greece as seen through a bus window.

Sunio from the bus.

And again.

The Temple of Poseidon.

The view of Sunio from the hill upon which the temple sits.

And again.

After that, we were off to Piraeus, the port city of Athens. From there, we boarded an overnight ferry to Heraklion. If this seems like all travel and no play, that's because it really was. We were all less than enthused, what with the nonstop movement and the time difference. There's always a silver lining, though: the constant activity gave us no time to feel the effects of jetlag. We just felt tired all the time. That's a good thing, right?

On the way to Piraeus.

The exterior of the ferry - it looked a lot nicer from the outside, but let's not get into that. There's nothing pleasant about finding hairs that aren't yours all over your cabin.

The awesome thing about a place like Greece is the omnipresence of ancient ruins - they are everywhere.

The view of Piraeus from the sea after dark.

We woke up the next morning and disembarked from the ferry in Heraklion only to board another bus. This one took us to the ancient site of Knossos, which was essentially the capital of Minoan civilization. It was largely reconstructed with creative liberty by excavator Arthur Evans, so there is debate about the site's integrity. All I remember was that it was extremely hot and that our tour guide was extremely quiet, both of which were annoying. Lunch in a nearby town was a welcome respite from the heat.

Minoan ruins at Knossos.

More ruins.

The first of many lunches that looked exactly like this. Chicken souvlaki with fried potatoes, assorted vegetables and tzatziki sauce.

This is my friend Alyssa with an adorable stray dog. Stray dogs and cats run rampant throughout Greece. They're all dirty, but all very sweet in temperament!

The whole group! There were about thirty of us on this pre-semester seminar.

That's all for now, but I still have about a gazillion photos and memories to share, so stay tuned!

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