Sunday, September 19, 2010


I set foot in sacred land today: The island of Delos

The birthplace of Artemis (goddess of the hunt) and Apollo (god of healing, reason and light)- Born to Leto, who was one of the many women Zeus managed to seduce.

A long time ago the people of Athens decided that to properly worship the Gods the island must be pure. In order for the island to be pure. It was ordered that all the graves be dug up and moved off the land (6th century BC-5th century). Also, no one can die or give birth there! If you are pregnant, don't plan to visit Delos- you won't be allowed! No one lives here, it is simply a sacred island filled with amazing ruins. You can get refreshments at a tiny shop, and you can also go to the bathroom (thank goodness). . . but don't plan on much other than seeing ruins that were build about 3,000 years ago. . . breath. . . taking.

Although most of it is now ruins the former beauty can be imagined. We started the adventure with with a hike up Mt. Kinthos. Mt. Kinthos is where the earliest settlements were found on the island, dating back to 3rd Millennium BC. When I finally finished the 15-20 minute walk up the mountain I was awestruck with its beauty. It is believed that Homer wrote up upon that mountain, and I can see why, it is filled with inspiration.

Delos is one of the hottest places in the world. And I can attest to that!

We also went to Mykonos. It was another beautiful island of the Cyclades; Windmills, shopping, and it is also a gay-friendly community. I didn't buy anything here, it was very pricey. The food is also expensive. If you come here expect to pay a pretty penny for everything. Still, nonetheless, BEAUTIFUL.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

A walk on the Sea Line brings me to Class.

Classes have begun! Regardless if this time feels like school or not, the homework is slowly piling up. The teachers are phenomenal, and the class sizes are smaller than I have ever experienced. Most are only 6-9 people. And my largest is 14 people. My classes are painting, inter-related media, digital photography, and historical sites. I will also sit in on Greek and learn a bit of the language. Next week we will also have yoga class as an option in the early morning. I plan on going to this. . . and am very excited for the 1 1/2 hours of relaxation and exercise.

This whole time I feel as if I have been living a dream. These past couple mornings have been rough getting up, but when I do get up I go running for 20 minutes or so then take a swim in the Sea, and then run back. Sounds dream-like doesn't it? The Greeks close everything down from the hours of 3-6. This is time of Siesta. It's so hot during these hours they just close things down and take a little snooze. This, for me, is also dream-like. I mean, you are almost 'forced' to take a nap. It's bliss.

My cozy little room is about a 3 minute walk to the shoreline, and all the girls in class are here as well. Most often during class breaks we are able to go lay on the beach.

This weekend (Sunday) we are going to Delos/Mykonos. During our excursions the professors teach. Honestly tho, when I hear the word 'teach' I feel as if 'boring' goes right along with it. This is not the case, however, here in Greece. The history here is unsurpassed. You are walking on Ancient marble grounds, you want to know who once walked here, what type of wars took place, and so on.

For example when I we
nt to the Panathinaiko Stadium (Olympic Stadium, 2004) in Athens. This was one of my favorite experiences thus far. They gave us headphones and as we walked we were instructed to push certain numbers, and it would tell us about that part of the stadium. The tunnel was remarkable. We walked to the end of the tunnel and then we instructed to walk back out. Long. long ago it was made of wood, through time it was refurbished to marble (329 BC). In 1870,1875, 1896 and 2004 the Olympic games were held here, refurbished to accommodate the spectators. I walked down the same tunnel that Greek Athletes came down to celebrate their homecomings. The same tunnel Olympians went down years before. As the headphones radiated with sounds of cheers you imagined yourself as an Olympian, the stadium filled. . . cheering for you.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Small Road, HUGE Bus.

We took a bus tour around Paros so we could all get a better view of the island. We got on the bus and stopped at 4 different places.

We went to a beach called Kolibithres, which was absolutely beautiful. The rocks were amazing to photograph, and to see. They were incredibly smooth. We stayed for a short half hour looking around and enjoying the view.

Naussa: Coming to Naussa was a totally different experience than the last time I came here. There is always so much to see and do. This village has the largest fishing port in Paros. Last time I was here I was with my mom, so I was a bit sad. Miss you mom!

Lefkes: A village high up on the mountains, that from what I could tell wasn't filled with many tourists. We went to a large cemetery that had more people in it than the town itself. In their tomb and headstone area they adorn it with Olive Oils, and other things that meant something to that person. It was a moving experience.

We then went to a beach called Piso Livadi. It was stunning, you could see islands off in the distance, and the water (like everywhere) was crystal clear.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Fira: Boat cruise: Winery

The town of Fira is what I imagined Greece as before I left. Tiny walk ways with shops and fabulous dining. We ate at a restaurant hanging on to a cliff overlooking the volcano. It was one of the most beautiful sunsets I've ever seen. I love Greece.

Santorini has so much to do. But they say if you go you should do a boat cruise, and go to the Winery. My mom and I conquered them both. . . In one day.

The boat cruise was delightful. We sailed around the island and at one point we could see the entire island wrapped around us. We were were able to see the red, white, and black beach. We also were given the opportunity to swim to the hot springs, and immerse ourselves in the warm and healing waters. The volcano produces sulfur mud which is said to be good for the skin. My mom and I took advantage of the free spa-like qualities that people probably pay millions for and rubbed it all over our bodies.

On our way back we stopped at a point where we could enjoy the view, and we had a wonderful traditional style Greek barbecue.

When we got back to our hotel we decided to take advantage of our last day in Santorini and go to the famous winery- Santo Wines. We had 12 wines to taste with cheese and crackers for clearing your palate. It was a fun experience. I have established a taste for sweet wines, and my mom likes the dry red wines.

We went back to the hotel, and didn't sleep. We stayed up until 12:00am, and then took a taxi to the port. We caught a night Ferry to Athens (port Pireaus). We slept as much as we could. When we got to Athens we did a bit of shopping, then took the metro to meet Mary Petrides. Mary used her Greek hospitality, opened her home to us and we relaxed for the next couple days.

It was sad to see my mom go. Her leaving meant that I was really going to do this on my own. I tried to take the metro but they were on strike, so I had to take a taxi to my hostel. the hostel was not the greatest, but it did the job I guess. I met up with my classmates, and we had dinner and enjoyed Athens.

We woke up @ 5:00 am to catch our ferry. The ferry boat was nice, and before we knew it we would be in Paros: our home for the next 3 months.
On the boat cruise!

Santorini isn't Teeny.

We all know the name : Santorini. We think of large picturesque white washed buildings, and donkeys. - - Coming to Santorini I had this same vision, but it is so much more.

The beauty of Santorini is unlike the other islands because of the way it was created. All the villages are situated at the tip-top of the high cliffs. To get up to your destination you get off the Ferry and take a bus up steeeeeeep and narrow roads, or you can take a cable car. We took the bus. I think both options would be scary.

We had a reservation at St. George Pension in Perissa, Santorini. We took the bus, had to make a couple transfers and finally arrived in Perissa. We walked with our luggage in hand for about 30 minutes. We thought we were lost, we were sweating and obviously had no idea where we were going. When you ask some one for directions they usually tell you 'Oh, it's only about 10 more minutes.' I have learned not to listen. Greeks have such a different concept of time, 10 minutes usually means an hour. Ugh. We finally asked a restaurant to call the Pension, and have them pick us up. At that point, on foot, we were about 5 minutes away. . . Oh well we still got a ride. When we got there we realized it was not what we expected. After a 2 hour ferry boat ride, and another treacherous hour climb up and around a mountain you just want a nice place to lay down and cry :) When we showed us our room, this was not the oasis we were looking for. We found another place that suited our needs, and after we checked in we ate the best meal ever, and then I got a massage on the black beach of Perissa. A dream perhaps?

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Naoussa, Paros

There are a thousand islands in Greece, all of which are very different from eachother. Athens is very congested and busy and the islands take on a realxing 'Don't worry be Happy, Eat, Drink and Love life feel.' Being in Paros was a wonderful change of pace when comparing it to Athens. To be honest I was a little worried when I first got there assuming all of Greece would be much like it's capital, Athens. But I was pleasantly surprised when I got to Paros and there was a slower pace. The people here in Paros are very nice as well, so accomodating to my inability to speak Greek. They help out with everything they can. Thank you Parians!

My Mom and I were able to look a bit around the school. and meet on of my Professors. It was good having my Mom see where I will be taking classes and who I will be taking them from.

We went to Nauossa today (a village on Paros), the fishermans village. Took the bus for only 1,40 Euro and it was a 40 min drive. We had a ham and cheese crepe, and walked around the area.

Ferry Ferry Quite Contrary

After dinner with the Petrides we took the bus to the Port in Athens to set sail to Paros (where I will be staying in Greece). Unfortunatly, we missed it and had to wait for the next one to come along two hours from then. We had originally planned on arriving at the dark hour of 10:30 pm, but with the hour delay and the slow ferry we set in at an even darker hour of 1:30 am. We took a taxi ride to the cozy Marinos Hotel, and had a wonderful nights sleep.

The next day we spent it on the beach. All the beaches are lovely and adorned with cabanas and chairs. We relaxed and enjoyed the sun. Then I decided to treat myself to a smoothie, little did I know that it would be 9 Euros! I enjoyed it very much, but this seemed a little pricey. After the beach we shopped and dined. All the stores and resturants are arranged beautifully along the Sea. We would walk, sit and watch the fishermen make their nets, listen to the beautiful language of Greek spoken by all- what a wonderful life.

Oompa! How could I forget I had my first REAL, authentic Gyro that day in Paros?! Yum, yum and a little more yum.

Friday, September 3, 2010

The Sea

We went to the beach today and I took my first dip into the Mediterranean Ocean! Mary took us to a secret jump of spot and we swam and swam. You feel like a feather in the sea, and after a while I could feel the sea taking away my worries and stress. I was in Greece, one of the most beautiful places in the world. We then were taken out by the Petrides to a lunch after the swim. We had beer, authentic greek salad, Kalimera (squid), and some other small fish resembling sardines hat we had to rip the spine out of before eating. I however ate the spine, in spite of Mary and Efie telling me I didn't have to. I listened to the old, beautiful women sitting at the end of the table--Mary and Efie’s mother Coolea. She said it’s good for you to eat it, and it beholds much calcium. Since I hadn’t eaten milk I gave it a go. Delicious. We then set out on the bus to get to the port of Pireus to ride a ferry to Paros. Another scuffle—We missed the ferry, had to surrender the money, and bought another one. I am currently sitting with my 3 bags (my mother with 1) waiting to get on a night ferry that will drop us off at 1:00am. We will have to try and beat our exhaustion and find our hotel with all of our luggage! Bring it on!

Greece Conquers the Bohn's

My mom was reunited with her friend from high school, Mary Petrides at the airport and soon we would be conquering Athens, or maybe I should say it was conquering us. We ran into a bit of troubles when us two Americans were on our own. It all started when mom feel in the street because she didn’t see a pole. We then had to catch the Metro to meet up with Mary. To make a long story short I thought (paranoid me) that we were being followed by a man, I also could not locate the sign so I was unsure that we were getting on the right train. When I finally decided to get on we were a bit too late. I quickly got on, but my mom was another story. The doors shut too soon and caught her suitcase. I attempted to use my super strength to open the automatic doors, but it was no good. Oh no! Mom’s suitcase! Oh no! All her belongings were hanging out of the large train. She had just barely a grip on the handle and the rest would be ripped from her hand if she didn’t move fast. Fortunately some strong Greek man tried to manually help me open the door before it started moving. His muscles must have been bigger than mine because he propped the door open. When the door finally flew open so did my mom. She went flying right onto her back. When she and her valuables were finally in the train it started full speed and she again, got pushed around by the momentum. Remember, this was all in a span of seconds! But we made it! The whole train erupted in laughter, and so did I. Ahh, the metro.


The plane ride was somewhat easy, and after a air sick adventure before we knew it we were in Greece. On our final trip from Montreal to Athens we had a screaming 3 year old sitting right next to us, that paired with small seats meant sleep would be sparse. I got air sick (or so I think anyways). I woke with my light brown shirt covered in sweat, making it appear dark brown, with a terribly stomachache. Somehow I made it to the restroom. When I stumbled out I felt faint, and looked for a flight attendant, when I found one she quickly sat me down and gave me ice for the back of my neck and some Gingerale. After that she sat my in the back of the plane where I could lay down. I felt a lot better after I got an hour of sleep. 8 hours and 45 minutes later we were landing in Athens, Greece!