After a grueling fifteen hour flight, I have finally arrived in Athens. Even though the flight itself was tiresome, flying overseeing Athens made me completely forget it. It was incredible to view the turquoise water and the ancient ruins from the plane window. One of the first things that I noticed after landing was the heat. Hailing from Vancouver, Canada, it was exceptionally pleasant to have the sun hit my face.
Following a short bus ride and walk we arrived at the Plaka hotel we ate lunch at The Greco Project. The food was absolutely amazing and I was able to try a chicken gyro for the first time. The group was also challenged to research El Greco or Doménikos Theotokópoulos who was a painter, sculptor, and a poet. El Greco hailed from Spain and lived during the Renaissance. After lunch, the group took a walk in Athens around our hotel. It was extremely interesting to explore the city, in particular, the architecture which varies from downtrodden and almost crumbling buildings to extravagant churches. However, in the midst of all the beauty, there is a noticeable unrest, with graffiti riddling the walls. The city itself is lively and upbeat with musicians playing their instruments and street vendors selling a vast array of products.
After getting a good nights rest, the group started the second day at the Acropolis Museum where we also had our first group discussion regarding Democracy and an Oligarchy based on the writings of Thucydides. After the discussion, we were able to explore the museum, which was incredible. I had learned about how the statues were previously painted with rich colors, in particular, it is believed that the reds, browns, greens, and blues used represented the four elements fire, earth, wind, and water. My favorite adventure so far has been exploring the Parthenon. It was inspiring to walk around the ancient ruins, and realizing how much history had taken place in that location. Words can not describe how extremely breathtaking the experience was. Even though it has only been two days, this journey has already become one of the best experiences of my life.