Sunday, October 30, 2011

Safe arrival and First Day!

I arrived safe and sound! Although there were some flight issues, (my flight out of Boston was delayed by two hours) I made my connection fine and got to Greece all in one piece, with all of my luggage and without any hassle! After getting my bags, I easily found a taxi that took me to my hotel, where I'm staying for two nights before I go to my internship tomorrow (the 31st). It's a very nice hotel: the Acropolis Museum Hotel. It's very centrally located.
After dropping off my luggage, I just went for a walk, and looked for a good taverna.
Most stores were closed, so it was a pretty quiet night (9pm or so). Eventually I ended up wandering all the way to Plaka, a district in Athens. There I found a really quaint taverna with live music, so I stopped in and got some delicious traditional Greek Food. It was fun to listen to the music and watch the other restaurant-goers get up and start dancing! And, after getting lost on the way to the taverna, I made it back to the hotel with no stops and having to turn around!

The next day... So, I today I wanted to get a little more aquatinted with the city of Athens before I jump into my internship tomorrow. So, I took one of those "Hop On, Hop Off" City Buses. It was actually great! And I would've gotten off at the Acropolis and started my journey there, but I realized something... I had left my camera at the hotel! So... I went through the whole tour (all 90 minutes) until I got back to my original stop and went back to the hotel for my camera. Finally, once I had everything, I was ready for my adventure! Off to the Acropolis!
So, I climbed the Acropolis. Firstly, the view from the Acropolis down to the rest of Athens was amazing! Such a site to see!
That's just part of it! But, not only that... It was so great to see the Parthenon. It was really quite fascinating!
After finishing up with the Parthenon, I strolled down to the Theater of Dionysus, one of the many different ruins that are scattered around the Acropolis. It was exciting for me to sit where the ancient theater-goers sat in the small stadium seating!
After exciting the Acropolis, I went for a walk along Dionysiou Aeropagitou, this long walkway/road that follows the curve of the Acropolis. There I saw how truly vibrant Athens can be. There were street performers, street sellers, nut carts, drink carts and just people walking this way and that. It was so busy, I could barely take all the pictures I wanted to!
I then went to Hadrian's Arch, which is right next to the Temple of Olympian Zeus. But, on my way, I had my first encounter with a Greek man. At first I thought he was a pickpocket, so I was really careful. But, he seemed nice enough. He just wanted to talk. But, we soon parted ways.
Hadrian's Arch:

Temple of Olympian Zeus:
I then thought that it would be smart to scope out where I will be tomorrow for my internship, so I got back on my bus and went up close to where my internship will be. I found the street fine, but the actually office I couldn't find! I just hope that I can find it tomorrow! :)
I then thought I would walk down Ermou Street, a big shopping street, with street vendors on both sides of the street. Unfortunately I forgot that most street vendors pick up at 3pm on Sundays and it was almost 4pm. So, I just walked down the street anyway! And guess who I saw!? That same Greek man from before... It was interesting. Then I saw a sign for a Flea Market, so I just kept walking, not knowing where I was going or what I was looking for! It was strangely fun and yet relaxing! Eventually I ended up back at the Acropolis, so I went up the rock hill next to the Parthenon to watch the sunset. It was beautiful!

I finally went back to the hotel, and decided that I might as well go to the Acropolis Museum, while I'm staying so close to it! So, I went for the last two hours that it was open. It was so fascinating going through the museum and seeing how the Acropolis has changed and what it's missing! There were so many temples that paid homage to Athena that were wrecked by the Persians! They destroyed precious history!
Finally, on the way back I stopped at a small taverna for dinner and then went back to the hotel, stopping at a patisserie on the way to buy a piece of baklava! Let's see how tomorrow goes with my internship!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Departure day is close!

Hello all.
I have never used a Blog before... I'm excited!
I thought that I would start of by saying that I'm almost prepared for the trip... I leave in two days!!!! AIEEEEE! It's kind-of nerve-wracking, but I'm extremely calm about the trip, not nervous or scared or anything at all. If anything, I'm super excited! I'm going on a new adventure, who wouldn't be excited?!
So, where am I headed, I'm sure you're asking?! Well, I'll be heading off to Greece first for 5 and 1/2 weeks and then I'm off to Nepal for about 3 weeks. I then come back home for a bit, then I will be heading off to Australia, for a unknown time as of right now. I was mainly focused on getting ready and making sure that Greece and Nepal were set. So, now it's time to focus on solidifying Australia.
Now you're probably wondering when I leave. Well... This FRIDAY! My plane leaves from Boston, Mass at 8:42pm, bringing me to Frankfurt, Germany at 9:32am. (Keep in mind that there's a 6 hour time difference to Germany). I then have a lovely layover for 5 hours, before my plane for Greece leaves! I will have to keep myself busy!
I'm going to be arriving in Greece three days before my internship actually starts, so I can comfortable in Athens before I head to my internship. I will be interning with MEDASSET, which is a sea turtle research and conservation group for all over the Mediterranean. One of their headquarters is in Athens, which is where I will be!
After my time in Athens at the sea turtle conservation I will be heading to Nepal (via Bangkok, Thailand) where I will meet up with my Godmother. We will be visiting a school, where we sponsor a Nepalese girl, and will teach some English to them as well. We will then be trekking for the rest of the majority of the time! I have never gone trekking before, so gathering all the items that I need for that (compasses, walking sticks, leggings, etc...) has been a little bit stressful! I hope that I'm prepared for Nepal!
Well, I think that's all for now. That's what I'm up to! I will do my best to post relatively frequently!