Friday, March 30, 2012

The Beach!

This pictures for you Nedra!!!!!

Today I went to the beach! This is the first time I have been to the beach; I have been by the water before just not to a beach.  It was interesting. There were lots of like street vendor people walking around on the beach trying to get us to buy stuff. It was a really fun day though. The water was freezing cold and the approach to the water was not sandy it was rocky, which was interesting. There also weren’t many waves. We are definitely going to have to find a beach with waves to play in.

My dad asked how we get to the beach well here it is: first we walk to the bus stop down the street, then we wait for a bus to the metro, then we take the metro to the tram, then we take the tram to the beach. This takes about an hour or longer, depending on how long we have to wait for the bus, metro and tram as they are not in sync in anyway.  

My friend could not get my camera to take a picture so I was just about to put my arms down then she just gave up. But I was super excited to be at the beach.

I know you're all thinking wheres the more pictures here button, you haven't had one in forever!? Well I just dont feel like it tonight. I might get around to it later but don't count on it. You'll all just have to come visit me when I get home and watch a slide show of all my photos.

Napflion & a winery

Last Saturday we went on our second study abroad trip to Napflion, the first capital of Greece.  We went to the Palamidi Fortress and saw the prison of Kolokotronis. He was a Greek revolutionist who helped free Greece from the Turks. We were rushed through the place and didn’t get to see much. After we rushed through it we went to a restaurant and had a crazy huge lunch then after eating we were rushed to the bus to go to the winery. Personally I would have rather stayed and gone to the castle out on the island. We got a tour of the winery and learned how they make wines and stuff. (I honestly didn’t pay a ton of attention but some parts were interesting) After the tour they had a wine tasting, I don’t know about the wine but the breadsticks and cheese were delicious!

On top of this mountain is the fortress

The island out there has a castle on it but they said we didn't have enough time to go out there.
(All the roads were closed and we had to take a few detours to get there because it was Greece's independence day on Sunday and they were closing roads for the parade and the riots.)

This was the opening to Theodore Kolokotronis prison.
I didn't get any good pictures of the inside my camera was acting weird I guess I'll just have to go back one day.

This is a picture from the winery.

This blog has really good pictures of the fortress. I didn't read it I just looked at the pictures

Monday, March 19, 2012

Disney movies in Greek

On Thursday I met Jenny at church and she introduced me to some former sister missionaries that were visiting from Germany. The sisters had bought some Disney movies. People in Greece aren’t as into seeing the latest movies and watching tv shows every week as Americans and the family from Greece had never seen most of the movies. We watched Ice Age 3: Dawn of the Dinosaurs in Greek and after the movie I was hungry. Jenny was hungry too but didn’t want a gyro (its said like euro) she suggested that we go to McDonalds. I was happily surprised to bite into a hamburger and have it taste just like a hamburger from home. I mean it did cost me 3,50€ for a single patty hamburger and medium fries but it was just like home, not made Greek in any way.

The next night I had a conversation completely in charades with the mom while making dinner with her. I later learned that it was a mix of a traditional Albanian and Greek dishes. It was alright, I’m not a huge fan of spinach and it’s pretty much like a spinach pie. This night we watched Tangled, which by the way the titles of movies in Greek are way longer than in America. We watched it with English subtitles for me but I’ve seen Tangled a lot and the subtitles were wrong! Both in words and in grammar.  It made me laugh at a very serious part and the sister missionaries had to explain to this family why I was laughing because the English was even wrong from what they were saying in Greek apparently.    

The next day I went on a hike that the outdoor center at school put on. It was weird. Let’s leave it at that. After I got back from that hike I went and met up with the sisters and Jenny and her sister and watched more Disney movies! This time we watched Up! with no subtitles because I got there in the middle but it was ok because I had just watched up the other night in English. Squirrel! is still just as funny in Greek as it is in English.

I think the literal translation was like High to the Heavens
Sorry for the weirdness of the picture I took it with my Xoom and everything was reflecting off of it.

I am sad to say that Jenny, the one and only person that speaks fluent Greek and English that is understandable is leaving on a mission on Tuesday. I told her that I was going to force her sister to learn better English and make her teach me Greek so that I can still have someone to hang out with at church.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

My walk around Athens

On Saturday I decided to go see all the sights in Athens. Most of the people in the study abroad program went to Thessaloniki this weekend so I went sightseeing alone. I put in my headphones, turned my iPod to shuffle and started walking. I really enjoyed it, we didn’t have to get 5 people to agree on a direction, or which place to eat, or which place to get coffee(I swear we spend half of our time finding coffee houses), and most importantly for one whole day I didn’t hear swear words.
I started by walking around the Parthenon. I just moseyed around and took my time and read like all of the little plaque things that said what it was you were looking at. I eventually moseyed on up to the top where the Parthenon is. Holy cow the Parthenon is huge! The columns are so big at the bottom. Like I had no clue how huge this place is. Well the Parthenon is set up directional and when I exited the park I was not where I entered. I really had no plans for the day so I just stared walking and ended up at the Ancient Agora.  

I met a nice lady from Argentina who was on vacation in Athens by herself. We walked around the Agora then went our separate ways. She was pretty nice and at first she thought I spoke Spanish because she asked me if I would take a picture in Spanish and I answered her in Spanish then she asked my name and I answered and asked her what her name was then she started talking really fast and I said woa I don’t speak that much Spanish sorry. Then in English she told me she thought I spoke Spanish because I was answering with a really good accent. I guess I can speak with a Spanish accent who knew?  

After I left the Agora I had absolutely no clue where I was so I chose a direction and started to walk. At every corner I made a decision based on how many shops were on the roads around and I eventually ended up on a street that I had been on before and knew exactly where I was. I was so excited and discovered that I was by the famous shoe maker Melissinos. I went into his shop and tried on a few different styles and decided on one and bought them. I am very excited about my sandals because I usually can’t find sandals in this style that fit and this shoe maker fits them to your feet! After the shoemaker I decided to go find something to eat so I started walking towards where I thought we had gone before for food. Well needless to say I got lost but I’m pretty sure I found a euro store, like a dollar store but European. I continued to wander around and somehow ended up in the middle of a riot like thing. I was just standing on a corner trying to decide where I was and where to go when all of the sudden there were all these people yelling something and throwing flyers. I decided it didn’t matter that I didn’t know where I was I just needed to walk in the opposite direction of the angry people. Turns out the opposite direction of the angry people lead me right to a metro station and a flea market. I looked around the flea market for a while then walked back toward where food would be.

Well on the way to food I stumbled upon The Tower of the Winds. I walked around there for a while then decided to find something to eat. I was in the mood for pizza so I set out for a place that had pizza. Well I couldn’t find anything that was open because I foolishly waited until like 3:30 to decide I wanted to eat and that is right in the middle of siesta time. I settled for a croissant filled with cheese of some kind and a salad.

After I ate I went to the changing of the guards at the parliament. That was pretty cool. I want to go see it again because I missed the first little bit of it.
I think I'm gonna buy a pair of those funny shoes they are wearing.

By this time I was kinda cold and sick of being in the wind so I decided to go see if anyone was at the church. Well no one was at the church yet so I started wandering around and I found this store that said international food store. Excited for something American I went in. Ya it pretty much had the same stuff as the supermarket by my apartment. But when I walked in the guy at the counter said yasou, and I said yasou back and he said you’re not Greek are you. My Greek can’t be that bad can it? I said no I’m American from Utah. As soon as Utah came out of my mouth he said oh are you Mormon? I had a slight panic attack and was like I hope this guy is nice and doesn’t kill me when I say yes. I have no clue where I am and there isn’t another soul on the whole road. I answered very apprehensively yes. He then said ah yes so am I! Boy was I relieved.
I still had like an hour to kill before outreach night at the church so I went to a restaurant I had been to with some friends that had wifi that I knew the password to. I sat outside on a bench because I didn’t want to order anything and played around on the internet for awhile then went to the activity night.
I want you all to know how much I love the church. It’s like having built in friends in every country you go to. Even if you don’t speak the same language you can still sing hymns and play ping pong. Also they always feed you. J
I have become pretty good friends with one of the girls from the Athens branch we live one metro stop away from each other so we ride the metro home together and she speaks English, really good English. On Saturday I found out that she is going on a mission to Thessaloniki for 4 months. I was extremely sad to hear that since she is the only person close to my age that speaks English. She leaves not this Saturday but next Saturday.
and of course more pictures here

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Post office and Pastry shop

Today I decided to walk to get stamps so I can send postcards while I am here. The stamps are still the lick and stick kind. That was kinda weird for me, I bet the people in the post office were having a good laugh while I tried to figure out how to peel the sticker off. I should have taken a picture but the post boxes are yellow and stand on a pole. They don’t go down to the ground like ours do, they are much smaller. I’ll remember next time I walk past one to take a picture. Maybe on Sunday on my walk to church I’ll stop. I only sent two postcards today to see if they make it to America. If they do I will send the rest if not I’ll send them home with mom and auntie when they come and they can mail them for me.
Right next to the post office is the sweet shop that we stopped at for the scavenger hunt. I decided to try some of the pastries today. They are delicious.  
This is a croissant filled with chocolate.

I need to find a way to bring some of these home with me. They are the most delicious things ever!
I really think you would like these Dad if you can get over the gooeyness of them. They kinda taste like a really crispy croissant stuffed with oranges.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Acropolis Museum

Today I had one class at 9:30 this morning and then a huge break until I had another one at 4:40. I asked if anyone else had a break and if they would like to go to the Acropolis Museum because it was free entrance today. Sam and Kelsey went with me to the museum. My plans for the day got a little sidetracked when they went on a hunt for gyros and coffee. We did get to see the museum which was pretty cool. They built the building over some ruins but they made the floor glass so you can see what it looked like. But sadly we didn’t get to hike up to the Parthenon after finding coffee and gyros because everything in Greece closes at like 3.

We decided to go and find a store one of the other girls said was really cool, but me not liking to shop, after finding the store and spending some time aimlessly wandering around convinced them to go look for this shoe maker. We found him and asked him how much his shoes were and how long it took him to make a pair and then told him we would be back with our group to buy shoes(He said the shoes were like 30€ and it takes him about 30 min to fit them to your feet).  Link to sandals which pair should I get?
By this time I had to go back to school for my last class. You have to plan a lot of time for public transportation as this is Greece and they run on whatever happens happens time. Even professors are late to class like 10 minutes and it’s like no biggie.  
These pictures are outside of the museum becuase they had signs saying no pictures (although there were people inside taking pictures we thought it better safe than sorry) and you had to check your bags in with a service before you could go in. But the floor inside is also see through like this

This is a car company. This picture is mostly for fun to show the different types of car companies

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Scavenger hunt through Athens

Today we went on a scavenger hunt through Athens. It was pretty fun. We were paired up with Greek students and they were supposed to show us around all the sites. Funny thing is that none of the Greek students do the touristy things, kinda like how there are touristy places in Utah I don’t know much about because they are always full of tourists I don’t go there they don’t go to the touristy places in Greece.
I guess you're not allowed to have groups of people take pictures with the guards.
The two people in our group that spoke Greek were listening to the
other guard yelling at us but we didn't know we were getting
yelled at.

This was at the Temple of Zeus. Everything says do not touch

On Monday when I went to this church activity I asked one of the girls there what this arch was because it is like right across the street from the church and she didn't know. I learned today that it is Hadrian's Arch.
More pictures here

Delphi and Arachova

On Saturday they took the study abroad students to Delphi and Arachova. It was amazing! I felt a little rushed though, the guide wasn’t as into taking tons of pictures as we were and it seems like he was always way ahead of us. You could have stayed there and heard and read about it for hours. After visiting the ruins of this city we went down to this like little ski resort town and had lunch. Lunch was like a 4 course meal. The Greeks know how to eat. My favorite dish they brought out was a huge red pepper that they stuffed with deliciousness. I don’t know how to describe what was in it I wouldn’t know where to start but it was delicious. After eating we got to go and explore this little town for like an hour or so. I went with a friend and climbed up all these stairs to this church, but halfway up there was a playground and I got slightly distracted. The view from the church was amazing!  It was like a 2 hour bus ride to get there but it was so worth it.

A little bit of history of Delphi. There is a legend that says Zeus released two eagles from opposite ends of the world and that their paths crossed in the sky above Delphi, making this site the center of the earth. It is renowned as the dwelling place of Apollo. People used to come from all over the ancient world to visit Delphi to consult the god on what course of action to take. There were also the Pythian Games held in Delphi.  

I took this picture from another study abroad student she has a really really nice camera and is a much better photographer than I am. I wish I would have taken a photography class before coming.

It was warm and super sunny and I have no clue how people got the mountain to ski or even where the ski resort was. This was like the only mountain with snow on it we could see.

The playground halfway up the steps to the church.

I'm pretty sure you can just add this to you're favorites and it will come up with the new pictures whenever I add more.More pictures here