Geiá sas (hello) from Greece! Since arriving in Athens last week, our schedule has been fully packed with fascinating activities. We spent our first full day, Saturday, exploring the Acropolis and its museum. We hiked up the Acropolis, explored, then sat down and discussed what exactly it was that we were looking at: the significance and purpose of the Acropolis, the architecture, and the mythological stories that accompany it. Seeing such a prominent Greek landmark was a fantastic way to warm up to Athens and the program itself.
On Sunday, we spent most of the day at the national archaeological museum. While we were there, we split into partners in order to do a scavenger hunt of sorts. Each pair chose a notecard and was instructed to find the artifact that was listed on the notecard. My partner and I were to find an ordinary household object from the ancient times, so we chose some large safety pins that the Greeks used to fasten clothing. After each pair had found their assigned objects at the museum, we gave a 3-5 minute presentation to the group, explaining what they were and analyzing how each object could be used in both ancient and modern times.
Monday consisted of a day trip to Mycenae, a town that houses the Mycenaen grave circles from approximately 3,000 years ago. We discussed the building of the graves and the culture that surrounded the area, all while looking at a spectacular view. Near Mycenae is Nafplion, a small water-front town where we explored a gigantic ancient castle called the Palamidi Castle. It was well worth the 999 steps!
However, Nafplion wasn’t just for leaning; we also spent a couple of hours at the beach! We ate a picnic-style lunch that consisted of the most delicious nectarines that I have ever tasted. We swam in water that was brilliantly blue and had the opportunity to watch both yachts and sailboats float by. We then ate dinner in a quaint café, where the discussion was lively and hilarious, and where we also made a new friend: a stray dog!