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Blog 2: First Day In Greece

Getting to Greece took a long time. I had the same flight with three other girls from this program, and we flew from Miami for about 18 hours with a connecting flight to Istanbul. Then, from there, we had to fly to Athens. Trying to get from Istanbul to Athens though was extremely hectic and a total nightmare.

Trip To Greece

Once the girls and I had arrived at the Istanbul airport, we had waited at the gate for the flight to Athens but somehow ended up missing the flight! This situation was so stressful and we were going around the airport for hours trying to figure out a solution. Eventually, we were able to get our luggage back and book a later flight departing to Athens at around 3:50pm. Although I was initially upset that I would be arriving a little later as I hate not being on schedule, I was happy nonetheless that I would still be arriving and that I wasn’t going to be stuck in Istanbul. Once we arrived, we had to split up into two separate taxis that would take us to the Athens Center Square Hotel. During the 50 minute drive, I got to see the streets of Athens and I have to say I thought it was pretty interesting but also wild. On the turnpike, when I saw some of the signs, I noticed that distance is measured in meters not miles. For instance, it would say something like “Thessaloniki – 500 m”. So, I thought that was interesting. Once we were actually in Athens, the streets were extremely narrow and it felt like cars would jump in front of you with no hesitation. Despite that, I did like looking at a lot of the buildings and the beautiful ancient architecture. I’ve never traveled to another country, let alone one in Europe, so I felt like I was in a dream looking at this landscape and environment that I don’t see back in Miami.

Pre-Departure Blog

Looking back on it, there are a few things I wish I had packed (e.g., some extra shirts, one other pair of shoes). I feel like 9 days is kind of a lot and I would have wanted more variety in terms of clothing and shoes so I’m not wearing the same thing more than once. Maybe that’s just me. Other than that, my time in Greece so far has been great and my expectations haven’t really changed. The only thing I would complain about is some of the walks we’ve had to take to different locations. That plus the hot weather is not a good combination.

Thoughts On Athens So Far

I thought Athens looked very beautiful when walking through it. Like I mentioned earlier, the streets were pretty wild. After the dinner when we were walking back to the hotel, we were crossing the street and I swear one of the cars was almost going to hit one of us. There were a lot of little shops and markets though near the hotel that had some cute items, so I would say I’m excited to check out those sometime during the trip and do some shopping. So far, we have gone to see the Acropolis and had a nice lunch that consisted of french fries with tsatziki and gyros. I would have to say that I’ve enjoyed the Greek cuisine and I’m excited to try more.

Welcome Dinner

The dinner was great! Although the three other girls and I arrived late, we still got to enjoy a nice meal and dessert. The chicken with potatoes was delicious, and baklava was something I wanted to try going into Greece so I’m glad I got to eat it on the first day. Additionally, it was nice meeting our tour guide Katarina and hearing her discuss what our plans would be for the following day. She has been very nice and helpful on this journey.

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