15-16 January 2016
After an interesting night in Corinth, which consisted of finding the only restaurant in Greece where no one working knew English, so a fellow customer had to translate for us, and then back at the hotel a double-feature screening of Hercules and 300, we awoke the next morning ready for the drive back to Athens.
Our last two days were a great way to finish the trip. We visited the Acropolis Museum, which was gorgeous and very impressive (although photos weren’t allowed, so the few I have I had to sneak. A security guard caught me once, but he told me where to go that I could get some pics without getting caught again. S/o to you, old man).
We wandered some of the neighborhoods of Athens we hadn’t yet seen, one of which was full of cats. We met with a Greek reporter – the brother-in-law(?) of one of the professors – who explained the economic crises of the country to us, and went to the severely underwhelming Plato’s Academy, which was just some fenced in grass and rocks in the middle of a city block – we did stumble upon a big, beautiful church on our search of the Academy however, which was neat.
We spent our final night in Piraeus, the port of Athens, where we were free to wander for a few hours. All of us students got gelato together before the boys went in search of who-knows-what while us girls went to Marks & Spencer (one of my fave stores in Ireland) and a massive bookstore with a bunch of novels in English for under 1€ (I may have bought a few). We met up with the professors again for dinner, the second of two the school was paying for. We went to a really cool seafood place where, like our first night in Greece, we ate and drank too much, having a great time.
Here’s a pro-tip for you world travelers: If you are traveling with Wisconsinites, and there’s a Packer game on that night, they will want to go to the airport six hours early, in the middle of the night, just so they can stream the game uninterrupted. Thankfully, they saw reason, and we took a van as a group to the airport around 3 am rather than the train around 11 pm.
After a nightmarish layover in Paris (why is it always French airports that are the worst??), I finally made it to my plane just as they were closing the doors – literally the last person to board – and was on my way home to Minneapolis.
This trip was really an incredible one, full of history, amazing art, fun nights, and a new friends with a group message appropriately named #GreekLife. The only thing that made this trip even better was the full course credit earned in just two weeks on a wonderful trip that was anything but work! <3
Lastly, f you want to see some college kids attempting to recreate Raphael’s The School of Athens by memory at Plato’s Academy, then look no further!