Sunday, May 1, 2011

Greek Weekend

It has been a while since my last post, but that is because until this weekend there hasn't been anything too exciting to report.  Marissa and I did go to an AS Roma soccer game before our trip to Greece, and that was quite an experience.  It wasn't a big game, but the crowd cheered, sang and chanted the whole time!  It was very entertaining.  But back to the more fun stuff... this weekend was our final trip of the semester :( and we went to GREECE!  I have been dying to go to Greece for a long time, so I was very anxious and excited for this trip.  7 girls from our IES Rome program, Ellis, Marissa, Ruthie, Neely, Anne, Nicole and I, left Rome at 6:40 am (VERY early) on Friday morning.  We landed in Athens at about 9:30 am.  It was worth it to wake up and travel so early because we were able to have the whole day in Greece on Friday. 

We left the airport and headed straight for our hotel, which was a little resort in Anavyssos, Greece.  This area is right on the coast and about 40 minutes outside of Athens. It has its own little beach, pool, tennis court, and all of that jazz.  It was warm and sunny outside when we got there on Friday, so we decided to stay at the resort and enjoy the sun on the beach and by the pool.  It was so nice and relaxing!  We ate both lunch and dinner at the hotel restaurant, and the food was fabulous!  For lunch, we ate rice with vegetables, chicken with greek seasoning, cheese pie, greek salad and ice cream.  Dinner consisted of chicken soup, pork chops, broccoli, french fries and fruit and a pastry for dessert.  Yum! After dinner, we went to the resort's "Discotech" to play the "Movie quiz" game.  Basically all that we had to do was correctly identify the title of songs that the deejay played and what movie the song was in.  It was fun and easy, and since there were only a few other people playing the game, we won both the first and second prizes!  First prize was a big bottle of wine and second place was an individual sized bottle of wine. 

View from our beach

View from our hotel room balcony
After breakfast Saturday, we headed into Athens to see the Acropolis.  I did not realize how big the hill was!  It was a bit of a climb to the top, but well worth it!  We saw the Parthenon and lots of other ancient Greek temples and theaters.  There was also a beautiful view of the huge city of Athens from the top of the Acropolis!  Once we made it back down, we ate lunch.  In true Greek style, I ate a Greek salad and shared some baklava to satisfy my sweet tooth.  And it was probably the best Baklava I have ever had!  It was so sweet and buttery tasting! 
Going up to the Acropolis
 Theater on Acropolis

Next, we hopped on the metro to go to the port of Piraeus.  Once at the port, we bought tickets to take a ferry over to the greek island of Aegina.  If only we could have had a video camera following us at this moment as we literally ran from the ticket counter down the street, across the road and to the loading docks, trying to find the right ferry with only 2 minutes remaining before the boat was to leave.  We ran from boat to boat along the docks until at last the furthest boat at the gate was the right one.  We made it there just in time, they were pulling in the ramp, but stopped just as they saw and heard the herd of us 7 girls running and screaming towards the boat.  We were out of breath, but we made it on the boat!
Aegina Island

The ride from Piraeus to Aegina was only 45 minutes.  The island itself was very cute!  There were tons of blue and white boats lined up along the docks and shops and restaurants on the other side of the road, facing the sea.  We strolled up and down the coastline and found that this island is particularly well-known for its Pistacchio nuts.  There were stands selling them everywhere, and they let us sample them as well!  We then stopped at a beach club bar right on the beach, overlooking the sea to have a refreshing drink before having to get back on the ferry to Piraeus.  We picked the best place because I have never seen fruity cocktail drinks that looked as beautiful and decorated as these did!  There were chunks of colorful, fresh fruits along the rims of the glasses, and the drinks tasted just as good as they looked! 

Aegina Island

It was Saturday evening by the time we got back to Piraeus, so we rode back into Athens.  Back in Athens, we grabbed a quick bite to eat, a delicious gyro, and then went back to the resort.  Sunday, today, is Neely's 21st birthday, so we toasted to her and went to bed.  We left Athens around 12 noon and arrived back in Rome at 2 pm.  It was a short trip, but very enjoyable.  I wish that we could have spent more time in Greece so that we could have seen more of the Greek islands with white buildings and blue shutters.  But our trip was just filled with lots of beautiful sites and memorable moments with friends! 
Aegina Island

Now the hard part of the semester is here.  I have to write 4 paper before my final exams in 2 weeks.  So, I am going to be working hard for these last 3 weeks of the semester!  Wish me luck!

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