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Athens, Greece


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by Carlos C. & Maya C. We didn’t realize Jasmine was married when we first left for Greece. Conversation on the planes were a little awkward at first, (as to be expected) but we thought she may have mentioned it. Instead, news didn’t reach us until free time on the third day. While strolling through a Greek market, we hear out of nowhere, “WIFE! WIFE!” A large Greek man sidles up to Jasmine, a huge smile stretched across his face. “Wife! I’ve missed you so much!” Most mouths hung open, and shock was etched across every face. Jasmine simply stared at the man with a look of mildly disgusted surprise. Needless to say, it was not her husband. She did, however, end up buying something from his store. Thus began our not so little adventure, promising to be a wild ride. The first full day we spent in Athens, we visited the Agora, the “downtown” of Ancient Athens. We had our first educational discussion sitting on the steps of a stoa. Many of us have never been to Europe before, and this scenery coupled with its history was astonishing. It is as if Ancient Athens is the heart of the modern city. Carlos C. Agora The next day, we hiked to the Acropolis, where the Parthenon makes its home. The steps leading up the Acropolis were made of smooth white marble, making the scene nearly grandiose. As on many historic sites in Athens, city workers milled around, sporting large green whistles in addition to their ID’s. Even drawing too close to any of the ruins earned you a long, shrill whistle from these people. Most of the temples on the Acropolis are undergoing the process of being restored, as evidenced by numerous cranes scattered around. The Parthenon, in all it’s glory, may actually have been rivaled by the surrounding landscape. Looking out from atop the Acropolis, we were greeted with some of the most spectacular views of the city. With the ocean on one side and the sprawling city on the other, it truly was a spectacular experience. Carlos C. Parthenon Following our trip to the Acropolis, we journeyed far outside of Athens to the ancient city of Mycenae. This is the city that the Trojan War hero called home. Built on a sloping hilltop, Mycenae offered more beautiful views of the surrounding countryside. We traversed the rocky ruins, learning the confusing layout of the complex city. From Mycenae, we traveled to the coast, where we enjoyed our first trip to the beach. The Mediterranean water was cooler than we expected, but still quite pleasant. After swimming for a bit, we ate Greek food oceanside, basking in the beauty of the distant ocean-framed mountains. Carlos C. beach Most of our days here in Athens have ended with a soak in the rooftop hot tub. Though the water is really only lukewarm, it lends itself to relaxation on warm Greek nights. All of us have used this time to bond, and we are already surprisingly close. Hopefully the next few cities we see are as fantastic as Athens, which we’re sure they will be. However, despite their obvious splendor, we doubt any rooftop jacuzzi in Rome, Florence, or Paris will offer as magnificent a view as this: Carlos C. Acropolis from hot tub

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