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Arriving in Greece was truly something spectacular. Right near the Athens airport. There are already some ruins you see on your flight in. This really sets the stage for how Greece works with that mix of new modern things like airports, right next to ancient ruins. I thought it was just a really amazing sight to see as I landed in Greece. Already at the airport, the people were so helpful. It’s nice to see that signs were in both Greek and English, which made things easier for travel for the entire trip. I also realized that I forgot to buy a outlet adapter for the outlets, so I couldn’t charge anything. Luckily, at the airport there were shops that sold the adapter. When I was having trouble figuring out which way the adapters were working, whether they were to an American outlet or from an American outlet, a store clerk helpfully helped me find the correct outlet adapter. This quite literally saved my trip because without that I wouldn’t have had an outlet to charge my phone. Another thing that struck me as interesting is how many people were waiting to pick up others with signs. This range from all types of signs, from people dressed very professionally with iPads displaying the names of the person they were picking up to people dressed casually holding a piece of paper with the name scrawled on it. They filled the exit from customs in a way I had never seen before.

Once the group was together, we got on the bus to drive to the hotel. This keep us an opportunity to truly see the city of Athens and its unique landscape. Athens is a city of hills ringed by mountains. On this bus ride, we drove around the mountains, where peaks at the city would pop up. One of the things that shook me almost instantly as we entered the city was the amount of graffiti. On almost everything, every square inch was covered with graffiti. If it could be reached with a stepladder, it was probably marked it almost added a bit of artsy flair to such an old city. One of the unique things about the hotel was that the doors to the lobby were wrapped to blend in with the rest of the market that was located around the hotel. The hotel also only had two elevators, one that could hold about two people and one that was a 1 person elevator. This was quite a shock as all of us checked in at the same time and had to go up to our floors. Another interesting thing was that when we walked in, there were two twin beds pushed together to make a bed.

As we walk to the restaurant for our first dinner, there is so much to take in. We walked through a square with shops selling fruit, clothes and other souvenirs. There was also a church in the square. We walked up the hill to the spot where we were having dinner. From where we were having dinner, we had a great view of the Acropolis and the Parthenon. During this dinner, I learned that Greek restaurants can be very accommodating. I am a pescatarian so one of the things I was nervous about for this trip was finding diverse food options. At this restaurant, while everyone else was served chicken, I was served vegetables served over Orso with the same sauce that was used on the chicken. This helped me feel included in the group while also adhering to my dietary restrictions. After dinner, I went up to the rooftop of the hotel and had a gorgeous view of the city. It really made me excited for all the things that we are about to do.



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