The GoGlobal Blog

Greece Trip!

Greece Trip!

Hi all,

It’s been a little while since I’ve returned from my 10 day trip to Greece, and I want to give you some details of the amazing time I had there!  This trip was arranged by the JFRC, and I was accompanied by around 50 classmates.

We flew from Rome to Athens and had an amazing seaside lunch upon our arrival. I tried so many different types of seafood that I had never tried before! It was a great start to the trip. After visiting the temple of Poseidon, we went to our hotel and then received a walking tour of historic Athens. With dinner free, what else could we get for our first meal than gyros? At 2 euros a pop, these were by far the most economic and delicious meal. Tradition Greek gyro: flavored pita, cooked meat (lamb or chicken) shaved off the kabob, tzatziki, onions, tomatoes, and french fries! We topped off dinner with Greek frozen yogurt with honey and raspberries.

On the second day we visited the Acropolis, seeing the Parthenon and the ancient Agora. We also visited the amazing Acropolis museum which houses numerous original statues, parts of pediments, and other artifacts from the acropolis. I adored the museum because it was unbelievable to see the statues I’ve studied about in Greek history courses in person!  Our tour guide was spectacular, and I knew it starting the first day- Ionna Kopsiafti always captured my attention and told us the most interesting stories of Greek history. That night a few friends and I visited a jewelry/leather shop and ended up invited to a meal and drinks with the owners! They had fresh calamari, and a variety of other delicious looking plates. We happily partook in the meal and were astounded at how friendly the people were!

We left Athens for Delphi and visited the temple, amphitheater, and ancient stadium. We did some major hiking and saw truly incredible views of the Greek landscape. We had another great group dinner and were offered oyzo, which is a licorice-like alcohol. After the shock of the time I attempted to drink it the first day, I politely declined the offer at dinner.

We then traveled to Nafplio, stopping on the way at a traditional monastery. I mistakenly wore shorts that day and was taken to a room full of skirts that looked decades old! Always up for an adventure, I happily grabbed one and wore it around on the tour of the monastery. We saw some breathtaking views and sent out to our hotel after a slight hiccup- our bus ran down somewhere between Delphi and Nafplio, so we were delayed just a short bit. To get to our group dinner, we hiked 250 steps up a mountain to a local tavern, in which we enjoyed several courses and turned the place into a dance club for the remainder of the night!

After Nafplio we drove through the area that used to be Sparta and hiked around the Byzantine ruins of Mystras. It was amazing that we were able to explore cathedrals and homes that were centuries old in this ancient town. We travelled to our tour guide’s native town, Karyes for the afternoon. Karyes is a tiny, traditional town of Greece. We were welcomed into the biggest tavern that could fit our large group and enjoyed a group lunch, after which we participated in a scavenger hunt around the city, visited a wine cellar, and sampled loukoumades ( a pastry similar to donuts doused in honey) in the town square. The one slight mishap of my trip: I lost my digital camera somewhere in Karyes. When we boarded the bus close to midnight, it took me only a moment to realize my camera wasn’t in my purse! Unfortunately, between the tavern, scavenger hunt, and wine cellar, it could have been anywhere in the city! I couldn’t hold up our bus to look for it, and was distraught to have to leave it behind. The Dean of Students here at the JFRC told us only a few days earlier that “objects don’t matter, people matter” , and I woke up the next morning deciding to forget about the pictures I lost and focus on enjoying the rest of my trip!

Our last destination was Mykonos, and we stopped briefly for a lecture at Corinth before taking a boat to Mykonos. With free time the next day, I woke up early and hiked around a part of the island (it’s much bigger than it looks!) and loved all the white buildings and blue shutters that characterize the town. After a great lunch of gyros, I went shopping with some friends. It was the very end of tourist season, so many stores had discounts on all of their merchandise. Almost everyone I know bought some form of gold or silver jewelry in Mykonos! I also, oddly enough, enjoyed a couple crepes in Mykonos. (Just prepping me for my time in Paris I suppose!) Our last evening we had an amazing meal in which I tried raw octopus, fish egg paste, and sea urchin, just to name a few! I made sure to try absolutely everything for good measure. We had sentimental speeches by our tour guide and teaching advisers seaside that evening.

Our last morning there was a local parade that took place along the sea in Little Venice. It seemed as though all of Mykonos came out in their Sunday best to celebrate an important political date in their history. I made sure to get a spot along the sidewalk to view the marching bands.

We returned to Rome that afternoon, exhausted from a very lengthy trip! I still am in disbelief of the amazing architectural and sculptural masterpieces I was able to see and learn about, combined with the incredible views of various parts of Greece we saw while hiking. I’m missing the Greek food already and wish we could have brought some back with us! I’ll never forget how kind and welcoming the Greek people were to us, and definitely hope to return someday.

Leave a Reply