Wednesday, December 23, 2009


Hello from the USA! I'm sure most of you already know, but I finally arrived in Washington, D.C. last Thursday. I was supposed to get in last Wednesday, but my flight was straight up canceled (technical plane problem). Although I was extremely upset because I was thrilled to get home, I was put up in a super nice airport hotel, and I got to explore some of the Christmas markets while having all my meals paid for by the airline.

When I arrived in DC I couldn't have been happier. I got home around dinner time and was quickly greeted by my amazing friends. The next day most of you probably saw that we got a snow storm on the East Coast. In Williamsburg we got about an inch which is a lot for our town sadly. However, when I was driving home I saw people playing touch football in the dark while the snow fell, but had lit up the field with all of their car headlights in a row. It doesn't get more American than that, and it definitely made me happy to be back.

Since this is my last post, because my study abroad is now over I wan to thank everyone who read my blog, and who contributed to my time abroad with comments, suggestions, and help.

I had the most incredible time abroad, and feel grateful for every experience. I learned just a couple days ago that I'll be spending my next summer in Tanzania, so expect I another blog soon! Plus, I'm thinking about starting an everyday type blog also.

Please keep me updated on what all of you are up to.

With love. Always,

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Goodbye To Athens

Today is my last day in Athens. I have my last final in one hour, a farewell dinner this evening, and then soaking up the last hours of Athens with my roommates before catching a cab at 5am Wednesday (tomorrow) morning. I land in Washington, DC at 3pm tomorrow. I am beyond excited to be back in the States with friends and family. I have missed everyone so much. But leaving Athens is also incredibly sad. I have had the most incredible semester, and have learned so much about many wonderful places around the world and about myself along the way. Athens has been a wonderful home for the past 4 months and I will miss Greece/Athens so incredible much. It is such a wonderful country.

Things I will miss (the highlights, since three is a lot to no particular order):

-my incredible roommates
-waking up to the noise of the gypsies selling things outside
-using the Acropolis as a direction marker when walking around the city
-lunches at my school
-Greek food
-Celia, the little girl I tutor
-pitchers of wine at tavernas/tavernas in general
-the relaxed Greek culture (aka people work when they want to)
-lemon fanta
-the beautiful Greek towns around the country
-how when a big soccer game is on in European cities/town everyone gathers in cafes/bars to watch them
-blocks of feta
-the incredible farmer's market
-Greek people, they are the nicest people
-learning a language that nobody around the world speaks (officially)
-Greece/ Athens as whole, and every god/bad thing about it

All the places I went this semester....
Athens, Greece
Santorini, Greece
Istanbul, Turkey
Crete, Greece
The Peloponnese, Greece
Paris, France
Barcelona, Spain
Shanghai, China
Cairo, Egypt
London, England

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

More Barcelona Photos

Christopher Columbus statuea beautiful building along the port
Park Guell
love this lizard

Park Guell, one of the super cool bridges
A club we went to on Friday night
The highest point at Park Guell
Some of the amazing buildings at Park Guell
The super busy (yet, super delicious) tapas restaurant we went to
The fresh juice mango and orange mix
Christmas markets!


For my last trip of the semester, I had a whirlwind tour/visit to Barcelona. I sadly had class last Friday, so I couldn't leave until Friday afternoon. And sadly, the only flight that made sense economically and with time, was at 9am on Sunday--so it was a really short trip.

Friday: Direct flights to Barcelona were super expensive, so I had to fly through Geneva, Switzerland. However this was nice for two reasons: 1. I got to fly over the Swiss alps, which were beautiful 2. I got to fly Swiss airways, which is known for being on time and the food was quite food (and they give you Swiss chocolate). I arrived in Barcelona around 7:45pm. Luckily, Austin was visiting a friend and his flight landed at the same time, so we were able to metro into the city together. After about five minutes of navigating once outside the metro, I was at my friends' apartment (was visiting Guillaume, Ben, and Evan). By the time I got to the apartment, it was about 10ish. We hung out for a bit, then went to an Oktoberfest style bar for Kevin's birthday. We stayed at the bar for awhile, while trying to finish bucket-like quantities of beer, while also soaking up the atmosphere of Barcelona. We then headed to the area where the Olympics were, because it has no turned into a club area. We went to two clubs and danced the night away until about 4am. It was a lot of fun, and I also ran into a couple other Dukies who are studying abroad in Barcelona.
Saturday: We all started to wake up around 11am, and got our act together before a busy day of touring. At about noonish we mobilized towards the metro to head to our first stop--Park Guell. For those of you who don't know, Barcelona made the brilliant decision to hire an architect named Gaidi to design many buildings in the city. His architecture is the most surreal thing, basically only pictures can explain it. The park is this beautiful, tropically landscaped area filled with Gaudi's unique designs. The weather was about 66 degrees and sunny, and basically the perfect way to start the day. The park was also filled with bohemian artists and many musicians, it was really cool. After exploring the park for a couple hours, we took the metro to a very popular tapas place called the Champeria. They have amazzzzing sandwiches for all less than four Euros, and have champagne bottles for 4 euros. However, the place is extremely popular and was beyond packed--but nonetheless a delicious, cheap meal. We then walked down the most famous street in all of Spain--La Rambla. The street is filled with street performers, markets, and artists. It was extremely busy, and a really cool strip. To the side of La Rambla was a market that had fruit, fish, meat, wine, spices, and just about everything you can imagine. The best thing, however, was the fresh juice bar. I got a cup of fresh mango and orange juice mix, it was incredible. By the time we got our fill, we walked to our last stop--the Gaudi church called Sagrada Familia. The church looks as if you built a church out of wet, dripping sand. The design is so intricate that it has been under construction for 100 years aka. it is still not finished, and is not expected to be finished for quite some time. After staring at the building in awe, we walked through some of the Christmas markets. It made me beyond excited for home, and Christmas. Can't wait! We then went back to the apartment for a little siesta before heading out for dinner. For Kevin's birthday we decided to eat at a tapas restaurant with a bit of an American flair. I got a salad, which was super exciting because I hadn't had a salad since August (except Greek salads but they don't have lettuce) . For the rest of the evening we explored the city of Barcelona some more, I got to see a Gaudi designed apartment which was unsurprisingly beyond cool.

Saturday/Sunday: Sadly, I had to wake up around 6:15am to head over to the airport for my early flight back to Athens. Overall, I had an amazing last trip in Barcelona. It is such a beautiful, cool city. The whole atmosphere is just really hip. Plus, my friends were amazing hosts, and it was beyond great to see all of them. My flights were luckily all on time, and got to see the Swiss alps one more time. However, once returning to Athens, I was also returning to the anniversary of the student riots from last December. Some of you might have seen it one the news, but if not check it out:

Things are still mostly safe, the city for the next week or so is just busy with protests and mini riots, so it will be interesting to see how things turn out.

Also, I have ONE WEEK left in Athens aka. I land in Washington, D.C. at 3pm on December 16th....I cannot believe it one bit.

Today is my last day of classes in Athens. also unbelievable

can't wait to see everyone SO soon.