αντίο (goodbye) to Schenectady; γειά σου (hello) from Greece

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By Andrea Schwartz

The city of Athens has much to offer, from great shopping districts and the weekly flea market to outdoor cinemas with views of the Acropolis, an ancient citadel high above Athens.

Despite having been here for just under a month, I’ve taken every chance I can to get out and explore the city.

Though I’m taking four courses on ancient and modern Greece, I’ve managed to find the time to enjoy the weather.

Greece is like an extension of summer with swimming possible —and pleasant—until late October, so beach trips on the weekeds are a must.

Apart from the attractions in Athens and the beach weather, the food here has been amazing— not that I expected anything less.

The gyros at the flea market for less than $3 were the best I’ve ever had, and the Greek frozen yogurt with toppings (TCBY style) is always a refreshing treat.

Outside of Athens, there are many islands to visit and day trips to go on. I have plans to visit Santorini and Mikonos over the next two weekends while the weather is still great. I also plan to visit the Czech Republic to see some fellow Union students who are studying over there.

I have already travelled to Andros and Crete on school-sponsored field trips. Later in the term, we will also be taking a four-day journey to the Peloponnese, which is in the southern region of Greece.

The trip to Crete was a weeklong excursion that all the students visiting as part of the College Year in Athens participated in.

On our itinerary were visits to archaeological excavation sites and ancient castles, tours of small towns and of course, plenty of time to swim at the beach.

On the final day of the trip, we hiked the Samaria Gorge, covering 16 kilometers. Along the way, we ran into some kri kri, which are wild mountain goats found in Crete. Walking through the gorge with huge cliffs jutting out above me was an experience that I doubt I’ll ever have again.

Athens has been a great experience so far and I can’t wait to continue seeing more!

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