Γεια σας from the Hellenic Republic, also known by most of the World as Greece!
|The View on the first night from my hotel!|
I have been in this beautiful country for over a month and I cannot believe how fast the time has flown by! Since being in Greece I have explored Athens, I visited the Oracle at Delphi, tried my hand at Greek cooking, met some stray dogs, learned the Greek alphabet, and flew to Barcelona Spain.
|There are stray dogs everywhere! I am in love!!!|
Since arriving in the land of over 3000 islands the days have been a whirl wind of exploring one of the most unique countries in the world. AIFS (the American Institution for Foreign Study) and DEREE (short hand for The American College of Greece that no one knows the meaning of) started out the Study Abroad program by immediately immersing all of the students in Athens and the History of Greece. During the first weekend in Greece the Study Abroad Students were taken on a walking tour of Athens. We were able to walk through the old neighborhoods that surround the base of the Acropolis and see the small homes that made up the area. We were then treated to a local delicacy known as Souvlaki. Souvlaki is what most of the world knows as Gyros, however in Greece “Gyro” is the meat that spins around an open flame that is shaved and then put into the pita. This meat is than accompanied by a sauce either tzatziki or another sauce depending on the meat, then there is tomatoes, onions, sometimes lettuce, and always fried potatoes.
During the Greek Cooking class held in the Residence Halls we learned how to make ΝΤΑΚΟΣ (dakos) and TZATZIKI two typical Greek foods. The NTAKOΣ is pictured above.
I have been asked by a lot of people how the current situation in Greece is and I would like to address that question here as well. Before I say anything I should point out that I have not be reading any information on the situation from any news sources American or Greek. This is because I want to get a feel of how the Greek people are reacting to the New Leftist government elected. So all of the opinions stated are from my observation by talking to locals and what I have learned in my Modern Greece a Troubled History Class if there is false information stated I apologize... To begin I would like to talk about the feeling surrounding the elections. The Sunday of elections two of my roommates and I traveled to downtown Athens, in the shadow of the Acropolis lay Monastiraki one of the busiest squares in Athens. On this warm Sunday afternoon the streets of Athens were deserted except for hundreds of news cameras that were interviewing the few locals that dared to wander to narrow streets. The people of Greece had scattered to their neighborhoods or cities of their birth to cast their crucial vote and Athens looked like a deserted city that tourists had no idea was no longer functioning. The days following the election results I went back downtown with Alice who is the AIFS representative that is an asset to have in Athens and she mentioned how different the Greeks felt now that their government was supporting the views of the people. Before the election there were cops stationed outside all of the government buildings and the people felt like they were in a police state, since the elections there are cops that just sit on the main roads watching cars drive by because they have nothing to do. The people are hopeful for the new government and the metaphorical light that has shown itself, instead of protesting against their government the people have gathered in support of the government standing up to the European Union. I do not know what lays ahead for Greece but I completely support the views of the citizens, a government should represent what is best for the people and what the people want. Even if the government may not stand in favor of what more powerful countries believe.
Changing pace completely I want to talk about visiting the Oracle of Delphi.
The story goes that two fishermen were visited one night by a dolphin (delphin) that could talk...after realizing that this wasn’t a normal dolphin (shocker) they followed it to the mountain side. The area Mount Parnassus was said to be the center of the world at the time (Zeus let two eagles go on both sides of the globe and where they landed was where Delphi was) and actually according to scientists the location of Delphi was in fact the center of the known world at the time it was established. The two fishermen worried about how they would survive in the mountains since they were fisherman that were accustomed to the sea and the dolphin told them not to worry because soon people would be bringing them gifts that would more than make up for the lack of fishing...
flash forward and the Oracle at Delphi became the most important Oracle in Ancient Greece...even Alexander the Great consulted the Oracle before going out on his famous conquests...however when he went, the gas that caused hallucinations in the priestesses was too strong so the priestess refused to see him, not taking no for an answer he grabbed her hair and she said “You cannot lose,” satisfied with that answer he left. It is easy to see why people of Ancient Greece would travel to Delphi to consult the Oracle not only is it beautiful, but standing on the mountain side and imagining what the ruins looked like covered in gold is thought provoking and the idea of how important the area was for the Ancient Greeks draws up stories from all over the Ancient World.
In one of the walls there are inscriptions written by people that were once slaves, but were freed. The path leading up to the temple of Apollo is steep and the fountain where the people had to wash themselves before entering the sacred land is intriguing. If only the ruins could talk.
A couple of weeks after visiting Delphi the AIFS Group was taken on a tour of the Acropolis and Parthenon. I cannot begin to explain the feeling of walking on top of the Acropolis, the first area inhabited in modern day Athens.
The great people that walked on the path, saw the view, and built the Parthenon that even in shambles is more beautiful than any modern day monuments. No words will ever begin to describe the beauty found in Athens. So I will post some pictures that will do this Ancient City more justice.
Finally, since arriving in Greece I travelled to Barcelona, Spain. While in Barcelona I attended a Barça game and visited Montserrat. Pictures are below. If you enjoyed these pictures you can stay up to date on all of the pictures I post of Greece via my Instagram @KitKatLage!