A Travellerspoint blog

Giorno Trenta-uno // Day 31

26 Giugno // June 26th

Not much happened after the exhausting weekend in Greece. I slept in to recuperate. In the evening, we went out to Hosteria del Moro (the 20 euro place) to celebrate Brooke's birthday. I don't personally think the food is very good, but it has unlimited wine and gives you tons of food so most of the girls like it. After, we checked out Lungo il Tevere, which are the tents by the Tiber River. At night during the summer months, it turns into a "bar scene" with restaurants, games, and other entertainment. During the day it operates as a market. It ended up being pretty nice...I even had a sangria. Hoping to go back at some point this week before I leave on Friday.

Posted by trentacinque 07:24 Archived in Italy Tagged il tiber tevere lungo Comments (0)

Giorno Trente // Day 30

25 Giugno // June 25th

Last day in Greece :( Rachel was an amazing personal tour guide today! She took me up to the acropolis (which I got in for free with my Rome student ID) where we saw the Parthenon, Temple of Athena, Cave of Pan, Cave of Zeus, Cave of Apollo. We each put a rock on Aphrodite's shrine to ask for fertility during our lifetimes. After, we saw the Temple of Asklepios and Theater of Dionysus. She took Hannah and I through the National Gardens and the Zappeion Gardens, which had beautiful statues, flowers, and a turtle pond! Instead of taking the metro, we walked to Syntagma Square where we saw the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Every 15 minutes, the guards do a small performance in their large clicky shoes. We saw an old Byzantine church that had many icons. Rachel told us about the classic ceiling with Jesus at the top. We got lunch at one of her favorite restaurants, called Efkaris, where I got veal. We spent the rest of the swelteringly humid day at Monastiraki Square and Flea Market shopping. I got several souvenirs for people. Hananh and I headed back to the airport around 5:30. Because Hannah didn't check a bag, the security lady gave her grief for having her pistachio butter in her bag. It was amusing to see them bicker back and forth. Hannah ended up scooping out the rest of her Lush lotion from one container and pouring her pistachio butter from the 106 ml container (which was not allowed because it was more than 100 ml) into the Lush container. We were sad to leave Athens, but had an amazing night back in Rome. We took a megabus from the airport to Termini and found this adorable market inside of Termini, which was lit at 10pm. We got dinner and drinks there (in addition to the number Hannah acquired from a cute Italian bartender ;). Definitely a successful weekend with some of my favorite people.

Posted by trentacinque 06:24 Archived in Greece Tagged greece athens parthenon acropolis turtle zeus monastiraki dionysus athina Comments (0)

Giorno Ventinove // Day 29

24 Giugno // June 24th

Today has been one of my favorite days abroad so far. Hannah met up with Rachel and I at our hotel. One of the workers very kindly offered to drive us to the Piraeus port (saving us an expensive taxi ride). We took a ferry to the island of Aegina, which is known for their pistachios. My legs got fried on the ferry. We went to the other side of the island, where we walked up to the Temple of Aphaia. We took a steep dirt road down to the Agia Marina beach. The sandbar was so shallow and the water was so warm. We sat cross-legged in the water for hours. We ate an early dinner at this seafood restaurant where we tried anchovies, calamari, and lots of other fresh seafood. The same taxi driver picked us up from the restaurant and dropped us off at his favorite pistachio stand. I'm not sure if the guy was a really good salesman or just really passionate about pistachios, but the three of us tried everything pertaining to pistachios: ice cream, butter, truffles, liqueur, caramel, and much more. I had never appreciated pistachios more than in that moment. Before catching the last ferry back to Athens, we ventured around many of the local shops. One jewelry store had these intricate handmade bracelets with the original coin of Aegina, which featured a turtle on it. The store owner was so sweet and knowledgable on the history of Aegina. She even gave us some free Greek candy. It was a hot, exhausting day, so we stayed in that night. Ended the night watching a Greek music video that Rachel and many others from the Greek program were featured in while in Santorini (see 3:45 on...Giorgos Tsalikis- Santorini Omonoia).

Posted by trentacinque 06:02 Archived in Greece Tagged greece beach ferry seafood sunburn aegina pistachios Comments (0)

Giorno Ventotto// Day 28

23 Giugno // June 23rd

Today's the day I've dreamed of! Greece here I come! Running on two hours of sleep. My flight takes off at 6:30am...that means leave for Ciampino airport at 3:45am. It was a lot easier to get around by myself than I would've thought. I remember being in the line for security and everyone was wearing Hard Rock Cafe shirts. That seems to be a common trend in Italy/Europe. Also, foreign flights are weird. Nobody tells you when to start lining up to board your flight...everyone just kinda starts crowding near the door. It's very chaotic. Let me also reiterate the lack of personal space. People stand basically on top of you as you wait in line. The guy on my flight kept spilling over into my seat and would reach over me to take pictures. No thank you.
My taxi driver's name was Dennis. He was super kind. We sang American 80s music on the way to the hotel. He even offered to take me back to the airport on Sunday. Unfortunately, Rachel would not be getting into Athens until early evening, so I had most of the day to myself. Greek is a very confusing language, so I had trouble navigating the streets on my own, so I hung by the pool and read my book most of the day, soaking up the sun. I was so excited to see Rachel, Tom, and many others once they arrived. Rachel took me to a gyro place, where I had my first (very authentic) Greek gyro (10/10 would recommend). After, we went to the acropolis via metro to watch the sunset from on top of this hill where Socrates would teach his philosophy lessons. It was a gorgeous view, but I'm amazed I didn't twist my ankle trying to get up the steep, jagged limestone hill. After, we walked by some shops. That night, I experienced how the Xavier Greek program goes out. We were supposed to meet one of the hotel workers (Alexandros...beautiful man) at this club, but struggled to find it. After several hours of walking, we found a strip of dance clubs and ended up having a blast. Athens definitely knows how to party.

Posted by trentacinque 05:44 Archived in Greece Tagged greece hotel athens acropolis candia Comments (0)

Giorno Dodici // Day 12

7 Giugno // Day 7

Bright and early morning today! We were up at 7:30am to visit the Vatican Museum. No lines or anything because our tickets got us right in! We had most of the early museum rooms to ourselves, which was incredible. It was nice to enjoy the Raphael rooms without the chaos of large tourist groups snapping pictures of works that they probably know little to nothing about. Although I had been through this museum just three years prior, I had learned even more about new pieces and could take my time viewing them. The Sistine Chapel was more gorgeous than I last remembered. We spent nearly an hour and a half in here, admiring the artwork and drawing. There was a priest who announced that he would be available for blessings if so desired, so a few of us went up and it was such a powerful experience. I had tears in my eyes...I felt Christ around me. I am so blessed for this opportunity to study and be abroad in Italy. We could not take pictures because the works are very delicate. Every so often, Vatican guards were scream "Silenzio or No Foto or SHHHH." Today was the first day Suzanne let us stop for lunch...what a treat. After an 8 hour day, we really deserved food. After philosophy class, we stayed local for dinner. Many groups recommended an Italian place, Ristorante Il Chiodo Fisso. I got a pizza with fungi and prosciutto. Every meal I've had has been delicious thus far.

Posted by trentacinque 15:11 Archived in Italy Tagged vatican Comments (0)

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