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Published: November 28th 2005
Ali, Abby and Amelia
My fellow adventurers
Well when the opportunity arose for me to join my friends in Athens for Thanksgiving I of course jumped at the chance! Abby is studying there for the semester and Amelia, coming from Rome, Ali, coming from Amsterdam, and I all converged upon her and her fair city for four glorious days of fun. It was a very mellow adventure full of long chats and exploring the city, oh, and the food, how could I forget the food!
Thursday was spent traveling to Athens and inside because of rain and wind but we ate our first gyros and Greek salad so the night was far from a waste. Not quite the usual Thanksgiving feast but I was warmed by being with my good friends and found myself at home in a very foreign place.
Friday we didn’t quite seize the day with vigor, but instead took our time waking up before we wandered to the Olympic stadium, the Temples of Zeus and Hera, and did a fair amount of shopping- it is amazing how those girls were able to get me loosen my purse strings which have been so tightly shut in Paris, the joys of vacation and pushy
The Olympic Stadium
Our first overwhelming site
friends I guess. Our walk along that day was lined with orange trees and yipping stray dogs. The orange trees were too tempting so, in spite of Abby's warnings, I jumped up and grabbed one which Amelia, Ali, and I dug into-- it tasted like a bitter lemon, blech. I guess that the trees are there just to look lovely and to emit a subtle sweet smell. That night four fanatics attended the new Harry Potter film! It was glorious to see it surrounded by friends and the Greek subtitles were a kick too.
Saturday we made our way from Abby’s apartment to the Acropolis! It was too good to be true. I've looked at pictures of the Acropolis in mythology texts and my art history books for years, so it was kind of surreal to be there in person. It is wondrous and really puts one’s life into perspective, those structures are so old and full of history! Abby was an informative tour guide who put a humorous spin on the myths and truths that the visit all the more enjoyable. We of course went into the museum and gawked at the Caryatid Porch before heading down to
Temple to Zeus....I think
and the second overwhelming site
more ruins, which I think are called Aeropagus. What was basically of note at these ruins was our being yelled at! Why? Because we are goofy and can't take too many "normal" photos. So as Ali and Amelia were playing Greek goddesses a man yelled "No fun pictures!" We were all too surprised to laugh for a moment, did he just say no fun pictures?! The flash wasn't on and we were outside so how could this man be saying anything else! That sent us giggling and strolling to a new neighborhood for more delicious gyros and wandering.
Sunday was again a day of travel so we just enjoyed the sunshine and heat (I say heat because it was tee-shirt weather, though the locals were all bundled up and thinking it was cold!)
As I came up from the metro at my stop in Paris, I saw red Christmas lights hung on the mall, which is my first view, and immediately I was smiling and enjoying the sight of my breath in the cold. It is good to be back in Paris. I am so thankful I have more time here, if I was going home in a
Abby, Amelia and Ali
Taking a break to try some Greek coffee....not impressed with the Nescafe thing to tell you the truth
week I’d be dizzy with all I still had to do here. Now I can get pumped up for my family to come for Christmas in a few short weeks!
Beyond my trip, life here has been hectic with papers and tests. I got a membership at the national library, which is in my neighborhood so I hope to be able to use it. It was a very different experience than anything in the US! Another thing that I thought was going to be universal that turned out gave me culture shock! This week will be more papers and then off to Nîmes, in the south of France, for the weekend with my school.
I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving, I’m genuinely grateful for you all!
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