Tuesday, May 12, 2009


The next stop on the list, Barcelona. A beautiful city. Our time in Barcelona was very short but I had a wonderful time. The afternoon we got in we relaxed for a very short time and then got some food from a grocery store and made a lunch. We got ready for the night and went out with some friends to a little underground bar. It was called the black sheep and it was really neat inside. We just sat and talked for awhile and drank some sangria. Then we went to a club called Duvet. It was really nice and we stayed for a couple hours after which we went back to our hostel. The next morning we rose early and headed out for some sightseeing. Sadly it was our only day to see the sights. We went to three of Gaudi's buildings. They were absolutely beautiful. I would love to go back some day and see more of his work in Barcelona. We walked down Las Ramblas which is a main street in Barcelona. During the day it is filled with entertainers and people selling animals and all sorts of things. At night it turns into a place of prostitutes and drug dealers. Crazy, I know. We walked along the water and just kind of explored the city some more. It's a very beautiful place with lots of things to do. That night we went out with our friends again to a small bar and then we tried to go to a nice club but were turned away because we weren't dressed appropriately. Apparently our touring clothes aren't good enough. Haha. No big deal we just went down by the water for awhile and hung out. Then it was late enough where it was time for us to head to the bus station so we could make it to the airport for our flight. It was a wonderful place and my only regret is not staying longer. Next stop, the Eiffel Tower.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Walking Like an Egyptian

So I know it's been awhile but I've been having the most amazing experiences of my life. Spring break began about 3 weeks ago and I started my vacation off right. I took a little trip to Cairo, Egypt. It was probably one of the most amazing places I've ever been and definitely my favorite place that I went on break. We got in to the airport around 1 in the morning and people from our hostel were there to pick us up. The ride to the hostel was one of the scariest things that's ever happened to me. I thought they were crazy in Greece, well I was wrong. They are absolutely insane in Egypt. It was fun though :) We got to the hostel and we talked with our hosts for awhile and then we went to bed, definitely the most comfortable bed on spring break. The next morning we got up and headed towards the Pyramids. We stopped at a stable and we took camels out into the desert. I had so much fun. I cannot even explain the feelings I felt when I got my first glimpse of the Pyramids. All I could think was how did someone build this. It was AMAZING! We also saw the Sphinx which is really cool too. The camel ride was really fun but oh so interesting. They are quite the creatures. Their teeth are so disgusting and they make funny noises but I had a blast. Then we went to the Pyramid at Saqqara. That was also awesome because it's a little different looking than the Pyramids at Giza. That night we went on a Nile dinner cruise. There was wonderful food and great entertainment. There were two men who danced and kind of did a routine together and then the belly dancer came out. It was so nice and very relaxing. The next day we went to the citadel and saw some mosques. We had a great view of the city from the citadel. The mosques were so beautiful. We also went to a military museum. It was actually quite interesting and it was well presented. The third day we went to the Egyptian museum which by the way you actually could spend all day in. It was filled with so much and it was all amazing stuff. Unfortunately you could not take photos so I can't share any photos with you. Sorry :( After awhile at the museum we went to the bazar or market. It was HUGE and so busy. People were everywhere and they were selling almost anything you could imagine. The fourth and final day we slept in a bit and then finally meandered out of the hostel and wandered around the area of our hostel for awhile. That night we went out to the Pyramids of Giza again to see them at sunset. It was beautiful and we got to take more pictures [we took the camels out again ;) ] Sadly it was time to leave the place I enjoyed so much, but it was on to another adventure. Next stop, Barcelona! See ya there :)

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Athens and More Broken Buses

The entire study abroad program went to Athens on April 4th and returned on the 6th. We misses classes on Friday, luckily ;) It was an extremely long bus ride. About 8 hours including the time we took to stop and eat. However, I was lucky enough to be able to sleep almost the entire time. When we arrived we settled in and had some time for ourselves. We walked around by the water and made plans for the night. Some of us had dinner at a restaurant called Il Fungo. I had gnocchi and it was absolutely delicious. That night we went to the center of town and were introduced to the area and how to use the tram. A group of us went to an ice bar. Yes, that's right. A bar made entirely out of ice. We basically walked into a huge freezer that you'd find at a butcher shop. It was so awesome though, even the cups were made out of ice. However, you could only stay in there for about 20 minutes because they needed to keep people moving through there and also it was really cold. That concluded our first night in Athens. The second day we went to the olympic stadium which was the first olympic stadium of the modern olympics. After that we went to the long awaited Acropolis. It was an absolutely amazing experience. The temple was much larger than I had anticipated. The city of Athens is named after the Greek goddess Athena. She offered an olive tree to the city of Athens while Poseidon offered water. They were competing to be the protector of the city and the people chose Athena's olive tree. After that we ate with the group and then had some free time to go shopping or do as we please. Sunday, we watched the guard change which was really cool. Their outfits are quite interesting. They wear skirts that have 400 pleats and shoes that have puff balls on the toes. Each shoe weighs 6 pounds and their procession includes them standing on one leg while the other is outstretched. It looks very difficult. Then we had some options for us to choose from. I decided to walk through the royal gardens and then climb the highest hill in Athens. It was amazing but quite a hike. After that we ate lunch together again and then were ready to head back when we found out one of the buses wasn't working. And I was so lucky that it was my bus that wasn't working. So the first bus left and we waited for our mechanic to show up. Some of us went off and saw the Temple of Olympian God Zeus and Hadrian's Arch. We got some coffee and then headed back to the bus. Luckily by that time it was ready to go and started our long trip home. We ended up getting home around 3 a.m. It was a long but very fun trip. Thanks for reading :)

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Monasteries, Broken Buses, and Bed Bugs!

Went to visit Meteora Monasteries this weekend. Amazing place. The monasteries are built up on huge cliffs. Seriously one of the most amazing things I've ever seen in my life. On the way there, we stopped in ancient city of Trikala. This is a city mentioned in Homer's epic poems. Quite an um... how should I put this, interesting city. After eating and wandering around we went back to the central square to wait for the bus. While doing so a boy of 8 years old was walking around naked, smoking a cigarette. I could not come to a conclusion whether it was more shocking to see this boy naked or that he was smoking. Well after all the attention we were giving him, his friend got jealous and started to take off his clothes. Then he preceeded to sit on top of a statues head, which ironically, the statue was a naked little boy too. After that we went to stay in our luxurious hotel. First thing I see when we arrive at doorway to heaven, door not shut all the way but still locked...? Then the door opens, one red wall, poorly painted. A gold headboard that covered the light switches and outlets, but not the disgusting growth coming out of the wall. Three single beds. And the balcony door was open. Luckily only had to stay for one night. Morning came, monastery time. Beautiful place that I am so excited to visit again with family. On the edge of departure, our bus breaks down... Bus driver does not know how to fix it. Great. So everyone got anxious and started to explore. Gone for 4 hours. Our chaperone did not even come look for us once. A couple boys almost died but got some great pictures out of it. Finally, a mechanic comes and fixes the bus and we have a wonderful ride to Goody's, basically the McDonalds of Greece. When we finally made it home it was about 10:30 at night. Monday rolls around and the school is right on top of getting our bed bug situation taken care of... however, they are nasty little buggers that don't want to die. We still have some and now my roommate and I are moving rooms, so thank god there won't be any more bites. I'm headed to Athens this weekend. Very excited for an authentic Greek weekend :) Thanks for reading. Stayed tuned. Check out the pictures at the bottom.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Museums and Stuff

So I went to a museum this weekend and an old Pagan Temple that was converted first into a Christian Church and then an Islamic Mosque. This building is known as the Rotunda for its' shape... round. The Rotunda is currently under construction and has been since 1978 when an earthquake shook the foundation. Since then they have been reconstructing the mosaics and securing the foundation. It doesn't appear as though too much progress has been made. Clearly things get done really fast here... The museum we toured was the Byzantine Museum. There was a lot of beautiful pottery and jewelry and some very intricate relief prints of various things. There were also some remnants of tombs and a lot of Corinthian style capitals from pillars. I would say it was a relatively educational day. However, the weather sucked :( It was cold and rainy. So I got coffee with Sarah and Britney after our educational excursion and we sipped on that for about 2 hours. Then we hightailed it home to warm up and take a nap. Sunday was also a dreary day so I did absolutely nothing... I caught up on my sleep before my crazy travel schedule starts. I will be preoccupied with traveling on the weekends for, oh about.... the rest of the semester. Thanks for reading :D
P.S. - Scroll down to the bottom of the page, I have larger pictures of different things.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

School Field Trip to Volos

Went to the port city of Volos this weekend. It sits at the base of Mt. Pilio. It's a city of about 200,000 people and has a considerably young population because of the university. However, we only spent a couple of hours in the city. We went to the Archaeological Museum and had lunch. Then we took about a half hour bus ride up Mt. Pilio to stay the night at "The Balcony of Mt. Pilio" which was a small village called Makrinitsa. It was a beautiful village with small cobble stone roads. Our bus couldn't even go all the way into the village, we had to walk to our hotel accommodations. Speaking of the hotel, cutest place ever. It appeared as though it used to be a home and now converted to a hotel. We had a wonderful honeymoon suite that had a gorgeous view of Volos and the harbor. We walked around when we got there and had some coffee and looked around at the small shops. We had dinner later that night at a small taverna [surprise, surprise ;)] and then had made plans to go out not realizing that there was ABSOLUTELY no bar in the village. So instead we got dessert. A delicious chocolate souffle. Stephany and I slept together in our suite, haha. The next morning we had breakfast and went to a mansion in the village. There was a collection of things inside the house. Some clothes, books, pottery, kitchen stuff, beds, a weaving loom, and much more. After the house tour we had some time to relax and do as we pleased in Makrinitsa. Our last stop was another small village about 5 minutes from Makrinitsa and we ate lunch there. We left after about an hour there and headed back for Thessaloniki. I slept the whole way home. Unproductive weekend as far as school work goes though. Thanks for reading :D

Sunday, March 1, 2009


Traveled to Edessa this weekend. Beautiful place. However, the train was a little ghetto. Quite run down and it looked like someone had thrown up on it. Yet it was still a fun train ride. We woke up at 5 in the morning to catch the train at 7. Perfect timing on our part. I was planning on sleeping on the way there, but the scenery was amazing and I couldn't sleep a wink. It took about 1.5 to 2 hours to get there. Once there we got off the train and were starving, however, we all wanted to find the waterfall first. Well, Vasilios did not want to listen to me about how to get there yet my internal GPS signals were right. Got us there fast as lightening. Walked around the waterfalls for awhile and found the hemp factory. I ripped my pants while taking about 1,000 photos of my surroundings. It was absolutely beautiful. After awhile of exploring we decided to head for the hot springs. There were 5 of us and we did not want to take 2 cabs so unfortunately they had no vans and we had to squish all of us in a cab, a Mercedes none the less. So plenty of leg room though. The hot springs were beautiful and there were a lot of people there for it being February. The water was not as hot as I expected it but it was amazing still. We stayed there for about an hour and then made our way back to Edessa. We ate linner (yup, lunch and dinner) and then meandered back to the train station. This train was a bit more crowded than our morning train but we all managed to find seats. We were all so tired so some of us slept while others recapped the day. We arrived in tact back in Thessaloniki and napped when we got home. Woke up a couple hours later just in time to go out for a drink or two. Very successful day! Thanks for reading :D

Monday, February 23, 2009

A Few of My Favorites

These are a few of my favorite things... when the dog bites, when the bee... haha just kidding. Here's a list of the things that I have come to love so far.
1. The food because I am a fatty and love to eat
-greek salad (contains cucumbers, tomatoes, feta, red onions, olive oil and vinegar)
-crepes (mostly with nutella and banana)
-katiefi (ka-tie-eef-ie)
-fried zucchini (so good with tzatziki)
-chicken souvlaki
-greek coffee and frappe
-obviously the olives :)
-apple fanta
-and I know there will be more to come...
2. Their music
3. The night life
4. The relaxed nature of their culture
5. The crazy drivers
6. The people who are so sweet and just start conversations because they hear you speak english 7. The cheap cab rides
8. The ruins right in the middle of the city
9. The way I try and speak Greek and then am told how to properly pronouce the word
10. The history of their country
11. How easy most of my classes are ;)
12. Soccer
13. Most of all experiencing these differences first hand
These are just a few things that I have loved about the country right off the plane. I hope to find more and more things that intrigue me everyday and continue to surprise me. That's all for now. Thanks for reading :D Stay tuned.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

The Finer Things in Life

So there are just a few slight changes that I have to adopt while living here. First of all, I can't drink the water. Ok that's not so bad right. Easy, just buy bottled water. Second, don't EVER cross the street when you don't have the right of way. Third, look VERY CAREFULLY when crossing the street even when it's your right of way. They are absolutely crazy drivers here. They drive too fast and don't acknowledge the street signs too often. Fourth, don't flush the toilet paper. Wait! What?! Yup that's right, I can't flush the toilet paper. It all has to be thrown in the garbage. Yuck. Their pipes are too small in Greece and if you flush the toilet paper you can cause a huge backup in the plumbing system. Right now I can already tell that upon my return home I will be quite elated to be able to flush the toilet paper. So onto more exciting things. The weekend started off on Thursday night with Carnival. We went to an area of bars called Mylos and there was a band and Brazilian drummers and dancers. People were dressed in crazy costumes and even most of the study abroad students had masks on. There was meat grilling going on everywhere and it smelt absolutely delicious. After awhile at this particular bar and club, Stephanie and I decided to hit up our favorite spot, Red Rock. Well, needless to say we had a good time. The owner gave us free shots, again and we watched some very interesting guys dance on top of the bar to "The Full Monty". Luckily nothing came off. We were out until about 4 in the morning that night and the parties were still going strong. However, what we noticed last night that there wasn't too much action going on. People must have spent all their money on Thursday and probably still trying to recover. Saturday I went to the Archealogical Museum. It was very beautiful and wonderful to see so many artifacts. There were statues, jelewry, pottery, mosiacs, and much much more. Thanks for reading :D Stay tuned.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Soccer + Greece = Love

So I'm now in the second week of classes and things are going.... well they're just going. The most difficult thing for me right now is calculus. My prof moves a little fast and some of the stuff he teaches us isn't in the book. Otherwise it's alright. On the positive side, we started playing soccer here. Originally we all thought it was just going to be a intramural thing, however, yesterday we found out that Stepan, our coach signed us up for a tournament in May. We get to play teams from Athens and Bulgaria as well as some other countries. I think most of us are looking forward to it. It should be an absolute blast! We definitely aren't the most skilled team but I think we will have a lot of fun together. There isn't too much going on right now. Just kind of living the routine life right now but Carnival is happening this weekend, you'll hear more after I experience it. I've heard that it's like Halloween and mardi gras all in one. And there is lots of food, mostly meat, yum :D Other than that I have a school related visit to an Archaeological Museum in the city this weekend which should be amazing. I've got some other trips planned for the near future but you will hear about those when they happen. Thanks for reading :D Stay tuned.