This week we began our first week of classes. We had been warned that while this semester is wonderful, we are not excused from studying. No matter how many time people said this I'm not sure any of us truly understood their seriousness. We do, in fact, have to study... a lot. I am getting 16 hours of credit out of this semester. I am taking Christian Ethics, Humanities, Life of Paul, Modern Greek, and Photography. I will definitely have the opportunity to learn a lot out of the course of the 40 class days. These class days are packed full and end by 1:30 for lunch, which leaves the rest of the afternoon and evening to explore Porto Rafti, rest and socialize in the Artemis, or make a trip to Athens. I have had the opportunity to do all three of these things in the past 4 days.
Monday, after our first day of class and realizing that we do indeed have to study, a few of us went on a trip to a nerby town to the Greek Best Buy, Kotsovolos. Because it was a rainy day, Dr. James took a group of 6 of us to this electronics store and then to a Famous Brands Outlet Mall. It was a nice little outing and on our way back to the Artemis we took a driving tour up into the mountains of Porto Rafti. The view of the Agean Sea in the rain was beautiful, and I hope to take a bicycle outing to the same spot later after the weather clears up.
Tuesday, I had one class. Yay! After class and lunch were over for the day, a group of 14 of us made a trip to Athens for the rest of the day. It was a beautiful day. The sun was shining with temperatures in the 50s, making it very pleasant. We took the two buses and train required to reach the Plaka and split into smaller groups to go shopping. The group I was with went in and out of different shops. I found and purchased a Greece Futbol jersey for 12 Euro. After a little bartering with broken Greek on my end and broken English on the shopkeeper's end, I left with my first souvenier in hand. After wandering around for a while, we made our way to The Poet Sandalmaker's shop. This place is famous. Jackie O, The Beatles, and other celebrities have been to this shop to have leather sandals handmade for them by The Poet or his son. The business is approaching its 100th year, and it is one of the many things I have been told to see while here in Greece. I purchased a pair of Olympia sandals for 27 Euro. The fit like a glove, and I have already gotten a lot of use out of them. I plan to go back later in the trip to purchase another pair. After getting our sandals we met the other group for dinner at a Greek restuarant, Sabbas. I had chicken kalamaki ( a chicken skewer, pita, and french fries). We rushed from dinner to barely make the train headed back to Karopi where we would go on to catch the two buses back to The Artemis.
Wednesday, after class day number 3, I went to the Palmi Bistro down the road. Three new friends and I walked 10 minutes down the road to the sea and had coffee in a little place on the beach. We went with every intention of tackling our homework, but ended up accomplishing very little. After a few hour of relaxing and conversing we made our way back for dinner at the Artemis.
Thursday, we did not have class. Instead we left at noon for the National Archeological museum in downtown Athens. The tour was very interesting. We saw amazing artifacts, statues, and art from places all over ancient Greece. Now, as I read a chapter out my humanities textbook, I am seeing picture of the very statues I saw yesterday in person. Wow. This is an amazing trip, and I will only see more as this semester goes on.
Today was rainy and windy. We were pretty much confined to The Artemis. I am reading a book titled Water for Elephants, I am a little more than half way through after this day of reading. A group of us sat by the fire and read or studied whilst some of the guys played piano and guitar. A few times throughout the day we got a group together to play some ping pong. Even though it was rainy and dark; the power went out for a few hours, it was a very relaxing afternoon and evening. I am almost finished with my Humanities reading assignmet. People are scattered throughout the Artemis watching movies, studying, skyping with friends and family, enjoying tea time, or like me, blogging.
This week has been busy. We have had a lot of fun and we have learned a lot. And we have realized that yes, we do have to study.