The Study Abroad Program has kept us very busy this month. During the middle of October, the Study Abroad Program provided a Greek cooking class for all of us to learn how to make some of the traditional cuisines that we have been eating for the last two months. I have grown up around Greek food and I have had the opportunity to cook some Greek dishes, but I have wanted to learn more. We learned a variety of different Greek dishes, such as tyropitas (philo and cheese), traditional Greek salad, souvlaki, and mousaka. The best part of the class was the fact that we were allowed to eat all the food we made when we were done. It was the perfect way to end the class.
Towards the end of October, we had our second excursion. This one was to Nafplio and to Nemea. Nafplio is a city located in the Peloponnese and was once the capital of Greece. We started off with a tour of one of the three castles in the old city. Then, we ended the tour at a museum , where we learned about the history of Kombolói (also known as worry beads). Kombolói are commonly seen in the hands of males throughout Greece. The beads are played with to ease stress. Then, we had lunch together at a local traditional Greek tavern with absolutely delicious foods. We were then allowed to explore Nafplio on our own until it was time for us to hop on the bus again in order to travel to Nemea. The drive to Nemea was a curvy one with breathtaking views. Unlike Athens, Nemea has luscious landscapes that you can stare at for hours. At Nemea, we visited one of the many wineries. We began with a tour and ended with a wine tasting. We not only got to try locally made wines but we also learned how to properly taste wine.
Last weekend, three study abroad people and I went on a hiking trip to the Vouraikos Gorge. The gorge is about a three hour drive from Athens that was led by the Outdoor Activity Club at Deree. We, along with other Deree students, followed the train tracks for 8 miles around the gorge. It was definitely the perfect time of the year to go the Vouraikos Gorge because the fall leaves made the beautiful views ten times more gorgeous. Also, we could not have asked for better weather. It was a sunny and chilly day which is perfect for hiking.
Last Thursday, I went on a field trip with my History of Ancient Greece class to the Acropolis Museum, the Acropolis, the Agora, and the Agora Museum. On the way to the Acropolis Museum, my friend and I were talking about how we could not get over the fact that we were going on a field trip to see THE ACROPOLIS. Normally we go on field trips to the aquarium or to some local museum not to one of the most famous ruins in the world. It definitely made a difference to actually see the ruins we are learning about in our class in person. You are able to gain a different perspective that you would not be able to by just sitting in a classroom.
I cannot believe that I have been in Greece for about three months. I cannot even bear to think about how I am leaving in one month. The other study abroad kids and I have become like a family and consider R1 (our residence) a home away from home. It is going to be hard to part from all of them in December. Luckily for us we still have a whole month left to make more memories together.