Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Athenian First Impressions

wow. it all I have to say about this place. I'm currently sitting in the academic center of the program I am at, and to my right outside my window is the ancient olympic marble stadium (picture to the right).

Once I landed yesterday I was greeted by two energetic employees of the program who swiftly lifted my luggage and got me into a cab to my apartment. My apartment is in the Kolonaki district of Athens, which is this beautiful, upscale residential neighborhood. It is on the top of a hill which includes many, many steps (I honestly will be getting in shape just walking around this city). My apartment is the farthest away from the academic center (where classes are held), but it is hands-down, at least I believe to be in the most beautiful area. Oh, and did I mention that behind me the view from where I'm sitting is the Acropolis!? It is mesmerizing...

My apartment includes four other girls. Two doubles and one single. I honestly could not have been luckier with getting awesome apartmentmates. I'm in a double with a girl named Emily who is a junior from Davidson (for those of you who know my obsession with Davidson basketball, this is super exciting). She is awesome, hands down. We have so many similar interests, I'm really excited. My other housemates are great, super sweet, and eager to do everything here. So excited about it. We already have plans for cooking classes/cooking dinner nights, making friends with locals, travels, etc. One girl, Marissa, is studying for the entire year.

Last night: Went with the people in my apartment to a cafe a couple blocks down the hill. It was beautifully lit up with lights. I had a greek salad, don't laugh, they are amazing. There is no salad, it consists of FRESH, and I mean fresh tomatoes, onions, a HUGE chunk of the best feta ever, olives, drizzled with olive oil and a bit of vinegar. Everyone of course was thrilled that they could order alcohol, this is obviously a novelty for everyone since most of us are rising juniors. The wine here, as my parents warned, is very sweet and well, they aren't known for it, but good to try nonetheless. Afterwards we went to more of a "hip" bar, however, most were extremely tired and therefore laid back. OH! and for those who know me super well....guess what they have here!?!!?!? FANTA LEMON!!!!!!!!!!!! My favorite drink in the entire world. Corey, I know you respect that.

We had orientation today, it got me so pumped. A big thing here are outdoor garden theaters. They are looking out to the Acropolis and they are in a garden (obviously) with home cooked food and a little outdoor wine bar, and they show current movies. In English (with greek subtitles). How great is that !? outdoors. drinks. a view of the acropolis. good movies/good company

Going to look into babysitting for a local family, tutoring, or some other sort of local interaction. I really want to meet as many locals as possibly and get to know the culture. Also, looking into (besides cooking classes), yoga and Greek dance :)

Tonight we get a walking tour of our residential area, and a reception with the program's president.

**my phone is apparently not accepting calls, however I can call out. It will be fixed within 48 hours. Will update when it is working. Skype: erin.malone.smolla
Once I get a regular schedule will let you all know when skyping will work out well :)

i love the comments by the way (thanks mom and stewart!), keep them coming, I love hearing from you

1 comment:

  1. That's great that everything's working out so well. I'm particularly jealous of the fresh tomatoes since heirlooms are officially on the decline here - sampling tomatoes at the farmers market was a sad day in Palo Alto - may or may not have cried myself to sleep the past couple of nights. Keep us posted when you starting cooking, can't wait to hear what you make over there. Is balsamic, red wine, or some crazy/awesome Greek variety the most common vinegar they use? Talk soon,