Monday April 15, 2013
Today was a pretty basic day of nothingness. We had gotten a good night sleep after traveling from Cephalonia to Nafplio all day yesterday. That’s just what we needed after spending the week laying on the beach and enjoying the rays…way too tiring.
Just after waking up, we hurriedly dressed and got moving on our way to class. We were meeting at the classroom to go over Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance along with Pavlov’s studies on dogs. In my own opinion, both topics are quite interesting. I cannot speak for the whole group though!
We walked along the crowded streets full of college students, police officers, and everyday pedestrians just bustling through the crowds. Every café we walked by taunted us by the heavenly smells of fresh baked croissants, loafs of bread, bougatsa, and some traditional Greek cookies. Everything is so delicious that I could eat it all in one sitting. I’ve grown up eating these types of foods since my grandmother lives a few houses up the street and mainly only cook’s Greek cuisines. These pastries are nothing out of the ordinary for me but it’s definitely nice to have them around whenever I want for such a small price!
But anyways! We all met up at the building where our classroom is. We’re unable to enter the building without the key so we need to wait for the whole group to arrive first. Thankfully, we all happen to show up within the same few minutes of eachother. As we entered the building a sense of familiarity and fatigue hit us when thinking about how tiring walking up the next four flights of spiral stairs would be. For people who seem to work out quite often, I don’t understand how these stairs tire us out so much. The same goes for the stairs leading up to our apartment. By the time we reach the top, we can barely catch our breaths! Maybe I’m exaggerating a little bit but you gotta see for yourself…they’re pretty hard.
Once we sat down in our squeaky classroom chairs that creak every time you move even the slightest bit, we talked about some plans we had come up with for our upcoming island trips. Since the teachers have planned all of the previous trips out in advance, we were given the chance to make up our own agenda this time. Our plans were presented to Rich and Matt and a few ideas were thrown around on both ends. So far the plans that we have come up with for Santorini are: riding donkeys from the base of the mountain up to the top where one of the world’s most beautiful sunsets takes place, spending a couple of days beach hopping by renting moped’s and ATV’s, seeing the world famous black sand beach and red sand beach. The plans for our stay in Naxos didn’t consist of much since all we could find were some nice beaches to go to. From what we read online, Naxos is a quieter island but still very beautiful to visit. One thing we did find was a boat cruise that takes you snorkeling and brings you to private islands that are very beautiful. If we actually go through with that plan, I am very excited to go snorkeling since I’ve never been before!
One thing I am very grateful for during this trip is the opportunities we have been given. It’s not everyday that you get to see the things we’ve seen or go to the places we’ve gone and are still going to. We’ve traveled to so many world famous places throughout this trip. We were able to see things that we have been learning about throughout our whole lives. It’s a great experience to actually be able to see these things in person instead of in a textbook.
After talking about our travel plans and our readings, we left the class and a few of us stopped at the post office. We had some postcards to send from our trip to Cephalonia and Nafplio. Way too many postcards have been sent to the states from the here so far. We’ve gone on a postcard-buying frenzy! In order to get to the post office, we have to pass by Athens Bakery. This is probably the most delicious snack spot around. Finally, our temptations from before class could become fulfilled. I bought an individual sized round pizza filled with what seemed to be ham and bacon. I’m not too sure though since the meat here looks different for some reason.
Those were the only things that had to be done for the day. Everything else was a free-for-all. Instead of exploring the city, we sat in and worked on our final papers. Our mindset is that we want to get them done as soon as we can in order to enjoy our trip to the islands without a worry in the world. We all sat in silence for hours as we skimmed parts of our books and looked through our notes. I’m finding this assignment harder than the others. Hopefully I can get through it and figure out a good way of writing it!
As everyone continued to work, Hayley and I walked around the corner to the supermarket so we could cook dinner for everyone. Our assigned dinner night was here and we decided to attempt to make shrimp scampi. Before we left we had to look up several different recipes since it was our first time cooking it. Some recipes were much more elegant than others, so we went for the cheaper route. Since we already had some extra pasta in the house, all we needed to get was the frozen shrimp, butter and oregano. We hoped that we had chosen a good enough recipe that was up to everyone’s standards.
When we got back to the apartment, we waited a few hours before beginning to cook. The recipes told us that we would only need about a half hour to prepare it. We continued to work on our papers. By this point some of us had slacked off and surfed the web. Thankfully we had some extra time to work on it!
Me and Hayley finally attempted to make the dinner. We thawed out the shrimp, cut up some leftover pieces of chicken, boiled the pot of water and came up with some sort of flavorful concoction of oregano, lemon, and salt. It wasn’t a difficult thing to make: quite easy actually. As we served it to everyone, we were complimented on the amazing smells and how delicious it looked. Good work on our part. I gotta say, my cooking skills have increased throughout this trip. Maybe, just maybe ill show them off to my family instead of having them show theirs off to me!