|Photos from Lisa Mitchell's trip to Greece during her study abroad experience.|
Editor’s Note: This is a guest blog post by B-Section senior Lisa Mitchell, who is majoring in Mechanical Engineering and works as a co-op at UTC Aero Systems LK in Connecticut. She is currently sharing her experiences in study abroad. If you’d like to write a guest blog post, e-mail phayes(at)kettering(dot)edu
By Lisa Mitchell
Our Pentecost break continued with a ferry from Bari, Italy, to Greece (and by the way, we almost missed that ferry because our train was delayed 45 minutes. We really thought we were going to miss the ferry so we were starting to put together a plan if we needed to stay the night in Bari and re-arrange the accommodations we had set in place). Fortunately, we did not miss this ferry.
We have a heated Italian taxi driver to thank for this. He managed to drive us (with exceptional speed) to the port, all while yelling at his father on the phone (complemented by eccentric hand motions) and while driving a stick. Needless to say, it was an experience. After frantically buying our tickets and running across the port with all our luggage, we managed to board the ferry in the last five minutes as the cargo was being loaded.
The ferry ride was really amazing and the view it offered of the Adriatic sea was surreal. We got to watch the sunset and have some dinner on the ferry before most of the group went to bed. I attempted to Facetime with my mom, but the connection wasn't very good on the Adriatic Sea (ha) so our conversation was choppy (pun intended). After everyone went to bed, I actually went to the top deck by myself for about an hour. The temperature outside was phenomenal and the way the moon sparkled off the water at midnight was indescribable. For an entire hour I just stood at the railing of the deck marveling at the view. I can't fully articulate the beauty of that hour, but it was one of the most surreal moments I've ever experienced.
When we arrived in Greece the next morning, we had to take a bus three hours to Athens. On this bus we met three lovely students who attend Law School in Indiana and were studying abroad in England. We talked with them for the entire three hours and decided we would try and meet up again that evening around the Acropolis. Within five minutes of being in the train station we realized it was excessively difficult to decipher the greek language and ended up getting on a train (which we thought was the right one) but had no idea which stop was ours or when we should get off because none of the stop names were displayed anywhere. This kind old gentleman who spoke perfect English and Greek ended up helping us get to our hotel by translating between people on the street and our final destination. So finally, we arrived at out hotel, dropped our stuff off, then went to a Greek restaurant that was recommended to us. Athens was extremely run down, and it is definitely evident that there is an economic burden laying over Greece at the moment.
It was still beautiful, however. We had to go off the beat and path to get to this restaurant and we ended up being the only ones in there, but it was actually a great place with rhythmic Greek music, good service and delicious food. Afterward, we walked to the Acropolis and, my personal favorite spot, Mars Hill. Mars Hill is the location that my church in Seattle is based off of, and it has a lot of Biblical/historical significance which I was really excited about. It was so amazing to pull up the scripture of the sermon that was spoken in the same spot that I stood. It was easily one of the greatest highlights of my trip.
The next morning, we took another ferry to Mykonos. Ahh, it was perfect. When we arrived, we were met at the port and taken to the bed & breakfast we were staying in. The place was spectacular! A classic, white, Greek style house with a view of the ocean. Later that day, we rented two ATVs and a Moped to have for the weekend (sooo fun). We rode into town and had lunch at a restaurant that was directly on the water. The water was crystal blue and the weather was perfect. After lunch, we dropped one of the guys off at the B&B so he could sleep, and the rest of us went to the beach to check it out.
After some time there, we went and picked him up again, then road downtown to watch the most glorious sunset I have ever witnessed. I'm convinced that Greek sunsets are the best in the world. Then we went to get Gyros from what we were told was the best place in Mykonos to get Gyros (they weren't lying, so delish!). The next day was beach day. First we explored the island on our Moped/ATVs. We spent the rest of the day on the beach and it was perfect. We ate gyros again for lunch (and for dinner, lol) and every time they were so good!! Later that evening, we explored downtown (and got lost because all the buildings look the same) and I bought more art to add to my collection. It was a fabulous night. The next day, we got to wake up slow, pack up, then return our mopeds before getting on the ferry back to Athens.
The night was interesting because the hotel we stayed in was in really bad shape. We booked it because we thought it was close to the airport, but it ended up being about 40 minutes away. We ended up sleeping with the lights on because a cockroach was found in the bathroom, which also resulted in us refraining from using the toilet until we arrived at the airport. Also, our room did not have any air conditioning, and I swear our room was at least 90 degrees. Our flight left at 6:30 the next morning, so we had to wake up around 3 a.m. to catch the bus to the airport so we would be on time.
We went out to the bus stop, and after waiting for about 20 minutes we spotted the bus we needed to get on. So all five of us stood up and got ready to get on the bus, but instead of stopping, the bus driver plowed right on through the stop and left us with nothing but a wave. It was a great way to start our trek back to Germany. We ended up taking a taxi to the airport. After landing in Munich, we took a train back to Esslingen and we arrived home around noon. We dropped our stuff off at our dorms, showered, then walked down for our class which went from 3:45-9.
Somehow, even after all of this, I still was not tired. I like to think it's because I go to Kettering so I have been trained to withstand sleepless nights and busy days. This next week, all my fun came to an abrupt end because now I had to start studying for my finals. :)