Monday, April 29, 2013



Today I woke up around 9 and went for a run. It was a perfect temperature outside and I loved running on the street with the view of the sea below. It was so beautiful with the morning air and sun shining on the sea. After my run, I went back to my room, freshened up, and packed my bag for the day. Today we were doing a private boat tour! We still had our ATVs until we had to leave for our boat, so all the girls drove around town and stopped at the grocery store. We bought refreshments and snacks to tide us over for the duration of the trip. After that, we stopped into town to eat a gyro, and then returned our ATVs. We then walked back up to the town where we were supposed to catch the cable car down to the old port of Fira. Time was running out to get to the boat, so we basically sprinted up the steep stairs to the cable cars. We arrived at 12:01, and the cable cars left at 12. We were going to wait twenty minutes for the next one but figured we could walk down faster. When we started walking down, we saw rows and rows of donkeys lined up for the tourists! We had the option to ride them down, but just decided to walk and ride them back up after our trip. After the long walk down of cobblestone steps to the ports, we finally made it and boarded our boat. Our skipper was a cute old man named Xorias that let us decide what we wanted to do and where we wanted to go. I told him to take us where he thought would be best as he knows the island so well! The first stop was in the hot springs of the volcano. This volcano is still active and the last time it erupted was in 1937. Xorias first took us to the touristy part of the volcano where many people get out to swim in the hot springs. We asked to swim, but he told us he would take us to a different part of the volcano that was better. He then drove the boat around a the volcano and to a small inlet where the hot springs was located. Once he anchored the boat down, we all dove off the back into the warm water. I couldn't believe how warm it was after getting used to the cold water! It felt like bath tub water. We swam into the inlet where we were told it gets warmer. It was a great swim and the water was refreshing. After we finally swam back and got back on the boat, Xorias drove us to a private bay where we could snorkel. In that time while we were heading towards the bay, we had some good conversations and enjoyed the time on the boat. Once we arrived to the private bay, Xorias brought out the snorkels, but everyone opted to stay in the boat. We were cold from drying off and we were enjoying the time on the boat! We sat in the private bay and Xorias came out and visited with us as well. He was a funny old man! We took a lot of pictures while we were stopped there and then Xorias finally started the boat back up. By this time, our tour was almost over and he headed back to the port of Santorini. While on the way, we drove near a small island called Thirasia that only had 200 people living there. We slowed down and took a quick look at the island. I could not get over how clear and blue the water was! Even after all the islands I have visited, I am still amazed by the beauty. We were all disappointed when the boat tour ended and we had to say goodbye to Xorias. We weren't ready to be out of the sun so we laid down our towels and laid out in the sun! Everyone fell asleep for a little bit, but I was wide awake. The sun was so hot that I dove into the water in the port. It wasn't as cold as I thought it was going to be and it was just what I needed to cool down. After awhile, everyone woke up and we decided to head back up into Fira. I was so excited to ride the donkeys because it was something I had always wanted to do! It only cost five euro for the ride. Somehow, I lost the rest of the group and rode up by myself. I was still loving every minute of it and made friends with a young Australian couple. We would keep handing our cameras back and forth to each other to get good pictures! Once I made it to the top, the rest of the group was waiting and then we walked around the shops. Everyone bought various last minute souvenirs for their friends. I had done all my shaping, but still bought myself a pretty oil painting of Santorini. Once we were done shopping, we stopped at a small place to eat another gyro. My second of the day! After that, we all walked back to the hotel and rested for the rest of the night. Me and Carolyn decided to go out and have a couple drinks since it was our last night in Santorini. On our way, we stopped at a kiosk to buy a water. When I was looking at the Pringles, I gasped in excitement when I saw ketchup flavored Pringles. I love ketchup and Pringles so it was the perfect combination!  All the bars we went to had two for one drinks, so we only had a couple drinks before going back to the hotel. I can't believe there is less than a week left on Greece, and days like these are ones that make me never want to leave!

The Poet Sandal-Maker

Lily McGartland
April 19, 2013
The Poet Sandal-Maker
            Today when I woke up, I looked across my bedroom and remembered my friend, Carly, was sleeping in the bed next to mine. She arrived from the States yesterday afternoon and was very jet lagged; I let her sleep for twelve hours and didn’t wake her up when I went to class either. When I returned from class in the late afternoon, the bright sunlight had turned into dark clouds and it began to rain. I let her sleep for another hour because the rain made our plans of going on a walk across town not sound so exciting. When we finally made it out of the house and on our way to the neighborhood of Plaka, for souvenir shopping, the sun was out again and the streets were slick with rainwater.
            We walked to my favorite breakfast place, Crepa-Crepa, a fast food crepe restaurant. They have any flavor combination anyone could ever want. On my recommendation, Carly, and I, got nutella and strawberries. It was delicious as always. The nutella melted and was thick and creamy. The strawberries were fresh, crunchy, and sweet, but after the hot chocolate enveloped them, they became warm and soft.
            We headed down towards Syntagma Square; the nutella dripped down our fingers and onto the pavement. People stared. We meandered down the main shopping and pedestrian street, called Ermou, and browsed all of the store’s windows and displays. We shopped a bit, but we had our goal on a certain Greek sandal maker down in Monastiraki on our minds. As we walked farther down Ermou, the anticipation of our prospective sandals was killing us – we couldn’t wait!
            As we walked down Ermou we passed Monastiraki Square, and I knew we were close. The street the shop is located on connects to Ermou at a slight right angle; the store was right there, only about twenty feet in front of us. The sign was up, and there were people spilling out the door. When we got close enough to see inside we realized that the shop was also full of people; every chair was taken. We waited right in the doorway for a few minutes until a group of people had finished, paid, and left; we took their now-empty seats. The majority of the people in the shop were American tourists, we later found out they were teachers. The other group was a family with the cutest daughter. She had little pigtails and was wearing pink pants with pictures of teeth and toothpaste on them. The owner of the shop, the man who started the business’s son, had a small white dog that was extremely energetic and friendly. Carly says he was spazzy and vicious. His name was Poi-Poi (that’s how he told us to say it).
            The shop’s interior was like nothing we had ever seen before. There were pieces of art on the walls and piles of sandals on every surface. Hundreds of pairs of shoes hung in groups from the ceiling. The floor was covered in bits of leather. The “sandal man’s” worktable was covered in nails, glue, and leather pieces. It was so busy and full of life, even though it was cramped.
            When we sat down the assistant, a young man, came over and gave us a pamphlet with all the sandal styles on it, so we could choose the ones we liked. Carly chose the “Cleopatra”, a traditional gladiator style, with many straps. I chose the “Gallico”, a simple
sandal with one strap across the toes that splits into three sections.

            After we had decided which style we both wanted the assistant came over and helped us to choose the correct size - this was hard because Carly and I are used to US sizing, not European. Then, the owner of the store fit the sandals to our feet; he had us walk around and try them on to make sure they fit and more importantly they didn’t hurt. After he had loosened both of ours to comfortable tightness (the leather will stretch a lot) he glued the pieces in place and nailed them down. We left the store with our new purchases, photos with the owner, and dog slobbered hands. It was a successful trip. We ambled back up Ermou and headed past the Parliament building and towards home. Our feet were very sore and our minds were exhausted; but our mission of getting Greek sandals was accomplished.
            When we finally made it up stairs to the apartment, we decided to go out to my favorite Italian restaurant, called La Pasteria. It was delicious and warm, as always. This time our waiter was not Greek; he was a Greek-American from Chicago. It was wonderful to hear his accent and be able to talk in full and complete sentences with him. When we were full and about to burst we walked the two blocks home and fell straight into bed. Good night!

Fish & the Acropolis

Lauren Miller
Blog 4/18
Fish & the Acropolis

            Today I woke up early to get a morning run in! I have been really busy the past couple of days so taking the run gave me a chance to rejuvenate my mind. There was a light breeze so it was perfect running weather! Afterwards, I came back to the apartment and ate a small breakfast: yogurt and fruit. After Katie woke up, we left the apartment and headed around the corner to the new coffee shop. We have been going there daily and the man that works there now knows our order by heart: medium freddo cappuccino with sugar. They also give you a small cookie to go with the coffee; which is a definite bonus for me. Walking with our coffees in hand, we headed in the direction of the school to meet up with everyone else. We met up near Athens Bakery and started in the direction of Syntagma. Today we were going to climb the Acropolis one last time before we leave for the islands (Santorini and Naxos) and then our final destination, America! When we arrived at the historic site, we found the boys. Fortunately, today was free day at the Acropolis! The only down side to this was that there were a lot of people. We had trouble walking up the pathway; I found myself squeezing in between people and it was hard keeping our group together. There were also lots of small children with their school groups visiting. At the top, we took the time to relax and make plans for the upcoming days of cleaning and traveling. We spent about an hour at the top; it was very windy and because I was wearing shorts, my legs were very cold! After we climbed back down, we made our way out to the main road and then took a side road next to Zeus’ temple. We noticed there were a bunch of white tents lining the streets and figured there was some kind of market going on. We learned it was a food market, my favorite kind of market! Being the people we are, we went to every tent to try a sample of the various foods: bread, nuts, honey, and cookies. After trying all the goodies at the market, we were in major need of some sweetness! We went back down to Syntagma for one last hoorah at our favorite frozen yogurt shop called White. I had my usual: honey-frozen yogurt with granola, strawberries, and cranberries and it was as good as the first time I tried it! After walking down through the shops on Ermu Street, we went back to the flea market for the third day in a row. I bought a couple final Athens souvenirs. At about 3:45 pm, we started walking in the opposite direction for our 4:00PM appointment at Athens Fish Spa. When we found the building, the spa was on the second floor. We chose to do a package that included 20 minutes of fish spa, a 10-minute foot massage, and a pedicure to finish. I chose a mango color polish because we are going to the islands next and I was feeling tropical! They also served us hot tea while we were being pampered. During the fish spa, I put my feet in a tub with small fish called Gadaroufa Fish. They then proceed to suck on your toes, ankles, heels, and balls of the feet biting off the dead skin. The tubs were placed against a window, which allowed us to watch outside. When people would walk by, I would wave and smile at them. Chryssie and I went first, so after we were finished we had some free time. I sat on the back porch, which had a garden with lots of pink flowers on it. In the spa, there was also a “mascot;” A three legged, fuzzy white cat named Kebal. His face looked like an old man! Hayley fell in love with him and would not leave him alone. He only had three legs because he fell from the 7th floor of a building almost two years ago. The fish spa was such a fun experience and a great way to spend the afternoon with all the girls.
            On our way back to the apartment, we couldn’t resist and we stopped at the boutiques! I am glad we had not found this part of the town until today because they were cheap and I would have spent all my money within the first week if I had known about them. We were unsure of our whereabouts, so we took a taxi back to the apartment just to assure that we didn’t get lost. When we retuned, we only had a few minutes before leaving once again to head back to Hellenic American University for International night. We only learned about this event last minute, so unfortunately we were unable to bring an American dish. There were students from over 15 countries and many more nationalities that came to the event. Some of the dishes that we tried were from countries such as America, Mexico, Spain, Greece, Syria, Italy, Lebanon, Philippines, Nigeria, Kenya, Romania, and Albania. I enjoyed every dish and was very happy to try many new ones. I tried to get the names of some of the dishes but it was hard to understand some of the students as they were explaining what each dish was. During the dinner, our friend Nicole sang the Greek and Italy national songs; she has such an amazing voice. After we had all finished desert, we left to go back to the apartment. Many of us had homework to get done and wanted to finish getting packed for our next island trip! The weather is getting so nice and I am so sad that we have to leave to go back home so soon. The friends we have made and the places we have been will forever be such an important part of my

Pavlov/ Lycabettus Blog

Zach Wasielewski
Dr. Roth
Pavlov/ Lycabettus Blog

            Waking up for class was a breeze because I awoke fully recharged and ready to go.  Walking to class I ended up having a few Euros in my pocket.  This was not uncommon because whenever I would spend money the change they returned back was ridiculous.  Since I had 2 Euro in my pocket I decided to treat myself to the donut house.  The donut house is a bakery on the way from our apartment to the school.  They have bread, cookies, pastry dishes, desert, sandwiches, and much more.  The most important item on their menu is the donuts!  The donuts are the size of my head at least and taste out of this world.  The best part of these donuts was that they were only one Euro and breakfast was complete.  I started to scarf down the donut on the walk from the donut house to class.  While I was eating the donut the only thing that I wanted was a big glass of ice cold milk so I could wash down each bite of my donut.  Walking into class just finishing up my donut from the rest of the walk I was ready to talk about Corelli’s Mandolin. 
            Although today Prof. Roth decided he wanted to talk about Pavlov first.  He asked us to remember three terms from the day before.  These terms were pressure, schedules, and extreme conditioning.  These three terms were the experimental work of Ivan Pavlov.  He would do test with dogs that were stimulus vs. response.  He would give the dog food with a bell and shock the dog with a buzzer sound.  During his experiment he noticed that the dog’s tail would wag when he heard the bell before the food was even offered.  The dog would also whimper and cry when the buzzer sound was made.  This ended up taking a different amount of time for each type of dog.  His work showed that each dog reacts to a different amount of sensory stimulations that are received.  The work with the dogs would later be used by Americans which changed the modern social control.  Pressure is the sensory stimulations the dogs received.  This is the amount of pressure that maximizes the learning process.  The schedule is when the dog receives the food throughout the day.  The dog would receive the same schedule every day.  Finally extreme conditions are brainwashing the dog’s brain clear of all existing learned responses.  This was when the lab flooded and the dogs were terrified of water and anytime they hear running water they whimper and cry.  This reminded me of when I would go to feed my cats and I would open up the cabinet were the cat’s food was.  My cats would run right up to my leg before I would even pull the food out of the counter and I never knew how they knew it was food time.  Learning about it and being able to relate it really made learning about Pavlov a lot easier and interesting.  After discussing Pavlov we turned our attention to discussing Corelli’s Mandolin.  Corelli’s Mandolin is about an Antonio Corelli, an Italian Captain and Pelagia the daughter of the local physicians, Dr Iannis. 
            After class I walked back to the apartment to get some lunch.  For lunch I decided to make grilled cheese because that is one of my favorite lunches of all time.  At home I would always make myself grilled cheese for lunches so I am a pretty good grilled cheese maker.  After I finished making my grilled cheese I brought it out onto the deck and enjoyed the food on the roof top deck.  Getting use to not having a roof top deck back at home is going to be very hard because that roof top was one of my favorite places to sit and enjoy the sun or moonlight.  After I enjoyed my grilled cheeses I sat out on the deck for a while.  It was such a beautiful day that I said that I wanted to go to mount Lycabettus and Pat agreed with me.  We decided that we were going to go get some gyros for dinner and then climb up to the top of Lycabettus for the sunset. 
            Walking about Lycabettus brought back memories for the first time we walked up to Lycabettus as a class one of the first weeks in Athens.  Being here for only 3 months really did fly bye.  Sitting at the top I could only think that this would be one of the last times that I am going to have the view of Athens from the top of the mountain.  Walking down is the only part that I truly hated.  The reason why is walking around Athens I noticed that my knees started to become shot.  When walking down stairs or any sort of downhill walking made my knees throb.  I am not going to miss having to walk everywhere in town but I noticed that walking around I got to enjoy the views and experience much more than if I was sitting in the back of a car.  After getting back from mount Lycabettus I came back to the apartment and had to end up reading the last part of Corelli’s for class tomorrow.

Coming to an End

Ashley Bruce
Blog #8
16 April 2013
Coming to an End

            It is bitter sweet sitting here writing this blog knowing that this is my last week in Athens. This 3 month journey is finally coming two an end with only one week in Athens which I call home, and one week on the beautiful islands of Santorini and Naxos. I am extremely privileged for being able to come here and this trip has made me realize who I really am.
On Tuesday April 16th, we had class at ten am. I sure am going to miss sleeping in every morning and getting to walk in the beautiful Athens spring weather. I have decided to stop at a bakery every morning this week because I will not be able to do that every morning when I am back in Rindge for my senior year. This morning I got Bougatsa. I chose this because it was in one of our short stories, and I never got the chance to get one on the island of Crete. Bougatsa is a pastry filled with creamy milk custard with cinnamon sugar poured on top of it. Right when you take a bite your mouth is in heaven and you just can’t get enough of it. You can find it in pretty much every bakery in Greece!
After class I decided to do more work on our final paper. Hayley and I decided to partner up and write the paper together. We researched on what to write for a few hours and began writing the paper. We got off to a pretty good start until our GA walked down the stairs to serve us dinner. He made breakfast for dinner. You can never go wrong with that! He made us scrambled eggs with the choice of peppers, onions, or plain, home fries, toast, and bacon served with you choice of juice or milk. The aroma off all the food hit my nose senses and I couldn’t help to wait to dig in. it was so mouthwatering I ate it like I was a vacuum. I ended up having 2 servings!
After dinner, the girls and I decided to hike Mt. Lycabettus one final time to watch the sunset. We took a different way up the mountain than usual. Personally I thought that the new way we went was a lot harder. Instead of going up the front of the mountain we headed up the back. There was a lot more stairs and it was a lot steeper.  My breathing got heavier and deeper the higher I got. I took a couple breaks to take in the view, but kept going knowing once I was at the top the sun would finally be setting and I would be able to see everything.
I finally reached the top. Since we went up the back of the mountain we had to walk through the outdoor café. It was a little awkward walking through the café because there were people standing outside of it having drinks. The ladies were wearing dresses and had heals on, and the men were in dress pants with shirts and ties. Then there we were us, in sweat pants and sweatshirts! We walked through them and they all stared. It didn’t bother me though because I would rather be comfy walking up that mountain while taking the beautiful view in than riding up in a taxi looking at the beautiful views through a window.  It was cold on top of the mountain and the winds were blowing, but it was worth the watch. We made it just in time. The sky was a bit cloudy, but I thought that it made the sunset ten times better. The brightness of the sun would peak through the clouds shining on certain parts of the city. As it was getting lower and to the mountain level the sun fully popped out from behind the clouds. The sun was a bright shade of red. The sailor’s sky made the perfect sunset. I was catching one of the prettiest sunsets I’ve seen through my lenses. It brought me so much peace sitting there and taking it all in. It’s moments like these that make me want to stay here forever.