So I am actually in Athens!! How in the world did this happen? Well, I am finally recovered from jetlag and have so much to tell you!
First off, I flew from Philly to London, and from London to Athens. The London to Athens flight was so cool because we flew right over the Swiss Alps! Then we arrived in Greece…GREECE! I have only been thinking about this moment for my whole life! And my first impression? HOT…and lots of mountains. Greece is covered with hills and gorgeous greenery. The airport was about a half hour away from the city, so I took a taxi to my apartment in the city. Now, contrary to the United States, the Greeks do not believe in doorknobs! I was standing outside my apartment building alone for a good ten minutes before I could actually figure out how the lock worked and enter my building. Once that panic attack was over, the real adventure began.
We spent the first day doing orientation events and meeting roommates and so forth…so I basically felt like a freshman all over again, which is pretty ironic after just being an Orientation Leader at my own school…funny how the roles have switched! At this point, I was still very overwhelmed and exhausted, and I just happened to look out of the school’s third floor balcony…and there it was. The Acropolis! At that moment, everything felt right and all my worries went away, I mean who has time to worry when you are looking at the acropolis?!
I began to sum up Athens pretty quickly: Athens is a beautiful city, but not in the manicured, high rise, glass building, clean and organized, American city kind of way…because it’s not. Athens is NATURALLY beautiful. It is covered with Mediterranean plant life, paved in marble, and spotted with mountains. Its ancient ruins are not behind thick glass screens to protect them, nor are they hidden in the safety of some expensive museum. Instead, they are simply part of the city, out in the open for anyone to stumble upon. The classics are truly a fact of life here, and there is much pride for that in this city. It is obvious that Athens has been through a lot, and it might be a little rough around the edges…but that is the beauty of it! Living in Athens is so special because of how friendly the people are. Living in Athens is so special because of the cross-section of cultures that meet here. But most excitingly, Athens is so special because a mere walk to class or trip to get ice cream means a chance to catch a glimpse of the Parthenon, or maybe pass by ancient Greek baths. These are moments that remind us that the classics are still alive and well, and aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.
Here are some pictures of my first few days!
Can’t wait to update you with more later! My goal is a post once a week, so we will see how that turns out!