When I think of Greece I think of the scenes in "The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants" when Alexis Bledel's character spends the summer at her grandparent's residence. The ocean glistens majestically blue against the neatly stacked, glowing white villas.
So what a surprise it was to arrive in Athens to what seemed like a normal city. No white homes. No blue ocean. No picturesque charm.
But I soon realized that I was mistaking Athens for Santorini, and that Athens is beautiful for an entirely different reason. Seamlessly integrated into the modern neighborhoods of Athens are breathtaking structures that were built thousands of years ago. Guided around by our newly adopted Greek Uncle, Spiros, our group adventure began at The Acropolis (Tourist tip: A flash of my Bruin ID got me tickets to all 6 tourist sites for only 6 euros, compared to the 12 euros paid by non-students):
|The Erechtheion at The Acropolis|
Next, Spiros took us to have lunch at a restaurant by the water where all the fish eaters in the group got their first pick of the daily catch. I enjoyed some perfectly grilled vegetables paired with fresh pita bread:
Our last two stops that day were the Athens flea market and the Temple of Zeus:
|The Temple of Zeus|
Before we departed Athens a few days later we convinced Uncle Spiros to be our tour guide again. We made our way about an hour outside of the city of Athens to Ancient Corinth. Before reaching the historic site we made a pit stop to have authentic greek yogurt, and to my surprise, to bungee jump in the Corinth Canal:
|The three brave jumpers|
And while my first bungee jumping experience was the most memorable event of the day, the views of Greece we had at the top of Ancient Corinth were unforgettable:
Like in so many of the cities before this, I felt like I could've spent more time in Greece. It's as if I've been given a large sample platter of appetizers from around the world, each bite just big enough for me to get a taste but not big enough for me to really understand the unique flavors. And while I would in any other circumstance prefer longer stays in each city, at least this way I can suss out which places I enjoy and which places aren't worth a revisit.
Up next, I begin to tackle other parts of Europe!