.journey of a wanderlust heart.

Posts Tagged: Athens

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With all of the photos I have taken here in Greece, I didn’t want just another photo album of crappy CVS printed photos. So thankfully I discovered blurb.com, where you can actually make a book for free (you pay for the final product, obviously.) I am super excited and have been working nonstop on my for over a week now. And I’m finally done. So here is the final product and if you are so inclined, you could purchase a copy as well (although I don’t really think anyone else would do that.) But I do hope you enjoy viewing it.

So here is the link to view the entire book, if anyone is interested: 

http://www.blurb.com/my/book/detail/3218825

Peace, Love, and Wanderlust

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Well, it has been forever since I posted, even though I said I would try and post the week after my trip to Nafplio. I think when I have a lot to write, I put it off even more. Because now I have too much to talk about and I can’t possibly write about it all. 

So, first my week in Nafplio was great. The house we stayed in was a cute house in the midst of an orange orchard. Perfect, right? So we were able to go to a couple of towns, see some ruins, experience several Easter traditions, and eat absolutely amazing (although some strange) foods. I tried clams and cuttlefish. We also roasted a whole lamb for the Easter. And at midnight before Easter, after coming home from church, we ate soup with liver in it. All incredibly hard to eat, when knowing what they were. But oh, so very good. I don’t want to burden you with all of the details so here are some pictures to explain the beauty of Easter in Nafplio.

Then, only 3 days after our vacation, my friend Chelsea came to visit. After living in Africa, mainly a village, for 1 year it was a fun culture shock for her. We were able to visit a lot of ruins (even the Acropolis!) that I tried to go to, eat lots of amazing food, and shop, shop, shop. It was so nice to have her here. I was finally able to be with someone my age, have someone to vent to (besides my mother over skype), and just relax and catch up with someone who I became really good friends with my senior year in college. So, again too much to say, so here are the pictures. 

This pot is dated at 3200-2800 B.C. That’s freaking old. Both Chelsea and I were mesmerized by all of the dates. 

I will post more photos of our week, which included Mayday at Lake Vouliagmeni and my day at the National Archaeological Museum (which is massive, by the way.)

Hope everyone has a good week. Peace, Love, and Wanderlust

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So, it has been a while since my last post and this one isn’t going to very detailed. We have been having amazing weather, which means the kids and I have been playing outside everyday. I have had some time to walk around the take the buses into town. I was also able to go to a grocery store that has american brands. So, I scooped up 2 cans of Campbell’s cream of chicken soup. I made chicken pot pie one day and today I made chicken and rice casserole ( which was a huge hit.) One the same day to the grocery store I excitedly went to a Starbuck’s and got my usual coffee frappaccino. It was sooo good. 

So, while the past few weeks and have been rather boring, but incredibly relaxing…it is the next 2 weeks I am really looking forward to. Tomorrow, the Debbie, the kids, and I are headed to Nafplio, which is on the Peloponnesian peninsula. Greek Orthodox Easter is a week after the one in the States and the kids here get out of school for two weeks break. So, we are headed down for a nice vacation and to celebrate Easter. I am so excited. Nafplio was on my to see list, as well as ancient Mycenae which is very close.  I will also be able to see some of the traditional Greek Orthodox services. I already am preparing you with what is sure to be a long photo post next week. 

Then, in even more exciting news, my friend Chelsea from college is coming to visit me next Thursday. She has been in the Peace Corps, serving in Mali, for almost a year. And sadly the coup there has caused the Peace Corps to withdraw. She has decided that instead of going back to the states immediately, she will come visit me for a week and then head to Madrid for a previously planned trip. I am so excited to see her. We haven’t seen each other since my birthday in 2010, before I left for AmeriCorps. By the time I got back, she had left for Mali. I honestly can’t state how excited I am to catch up with her and to have someone come visit me here. 

Well, I will be able to post about my adventures next week. And I already know my camera will be packed full of amazing photos from Nafplio and adventures with Chelsea. 

So, lets all hope for continuing the sunny and warm streak and safe travels for us to Nafplio and Chelsea to Athens (especially what is to be an interesting layover in Cairo). 

Peace, Love, and Wanderlust

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Be warned of a long post, but it’s mostly pictures!     

    So, last week I unfortunately came down with some kind of stomach bug. I had an unpleasant few days and yesterday was the first day in a week that I really felt alright. But I mustered all of my strength and pretended like I wasn’t nauseous all the time to go hang out with my Dimitri and Elizabeth, my cousins. They invited me to stay with them in the apartment they own in downtown Athens. 

    They picked me up on Friday night and took me out for dinner (my first real meal in 3 days, which I barely ate.) Then on Saturday, we had a full day. We went to Ancient Corinth and visited the Temple of Apollo and saw the museum there. It was amazing. The weather was perfect and I had a field day with my camera. Here are a few pictures. 

I realized that I needed more pictures of myself, so I can actually prove I have been to Greece. So I got one shot the whole weekend, but look I’m here!

    So, after Ancient Corinth we went into Loutraki to grab some lunch (another meal I could barely eat. all this food looked amazing, but I just couldn’t get my stomach to want it.) Then we went back to the Sanctuary of Hera. This is where Dimitri tried to bring me last time, but the weather was bad. So glad we made it.

    The sight consists of a Lighthouse that is modern and used for travel through the Corinth Canal, some ruins from dining halls, cisterns, and the such, and a cute little church that has recently been renovated after a fire. All of this is on cliffs overlooking the sea. You can walk right down to the water to a little pier. This was an amazing place and has definitely some of the best views I have ever seen. 

All of that in one day was an overwhelming amount of amazingness, but i definitely wasn’t complaining. So, Sunday was spent with just Elizabeth. We tried to go to many different ruins in Athens, but they were all closed due to the Independence Day. (I don’t really understand the whole close your national landmarks and treasures on a national holiday, but oh well) Thankfully, I could see many of the ruins from afar and my handy-dandy telephoto lens got some good shots that will have to do until I can get back to see them open. We were able to go to the museum (which was open surprisingly) and a couple of churches. We also walked around the markets of Monastiraki and Ermou.

All in all it was an amazing weekend. We walked a lot and between that and not really eating for 4 days I lost 6 pounds, which was only an added plus. I was able to check off several things from my To See list. I am very grateful to Dimitri and Elizabeth, who were amazing tour guides. It has been quite nice to have family who visit Greece once a month from Rome. This week as gone by fast and I’m hoping for another sunny weekend.  

    Also, these were just a small bit of the photos I took this weekend. I have a photography blog I started after AmeriCorps and I will be posting more photos from Greece there. So, hop on over there if you want to see more photos. www.lifeonthetripod.tumblr.com

Peace, Love, and Wanderlust

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So, yesterday I was able to take a nice long walk into Marousi, grab a much missed iced cappuccino, and enjoy the beautiful weather we have been having. So I decided instead of my long posts, I would make a video and show you my walk home. I used my crappy camera, but oh well. 

I am hoping the weather stays nice, because this weekend Debbie and the kids are going away and so I am going to stay in the city with my cousin Dimitri and his daughter Elizabeth (who just happen to be in town the same weekend). I am excited about a weekend away, even if it is just 30 minutes away. So, send good vibes for sun and warmth so that I can play outside and finally go see the Acropolis. 

Peace, Love, and Wanderlust

*Song in the video is Here and Heaven from the Goat Rodeo Sessions

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   So, after a long two weeks of not posting anything, I thought I should probably write an update.  In my last post, I wrote that the boys were staying home all week from school so they could build up their immune systems. Well, they didn’t go to school, but they went to their grandmother’s house instead. But, F stayed home with me. It was nice to only have one child to take care of. There was no screaming and fighting and it was quite relaxing. 

    We have only had one sickness since my last post as well. F got a 24 hour stomach bug. It was filled with lots of throwing up, but she was off to school the next day. The children have been quite well other than that, which has been such a relief. 

    I still never gave an update on what I did for Clean Monday with my family member Dimitri.  He took me about 1 1/2 hours away to a small fishing village called Loutraki.  On the way we stopped to look at the Corinth Canal, which connects the Gulf of Corinth with the Saronic Gulf in the Aegean Sea.  

We went down an amusing back road to get to some ruins of an old church, a lighthouse, and some other things. Unfortunately, the path to it was under construction and since it was raining, it was too muddy to walk down to them. I got a couple of pictures from afar, but he said next time he is in town we will try to go again.

     We also went to another small village (can’t remember the name) and had lunch at his friend’s tavern.  We sat outside in the freezing cold, because there wasn’t room inside. One thing I have learned about Greeks is that instead of each ordering a main dish with their own sides, everything is shared.  So, the two of us shared octopus bites, taramosalata (fish egg dip), lagana ( a flatbread with sesame seeds only eaten on Clean Monday), maroulosalata (salad with light oil and vinegar), and our main dish was Christfish. Christfish is named so, because it has a hole in it’s side and thorns across it’s back, so it’s supposed to symbolize Jesus’ crucifixion. Dimitri said not many people order it because it’s not well known, but it was delicious.  Overall, it was a great Clean Monday and it was nice to get out a bit. I’m looking forward to when he comes back with his daughter, who is my age, later this month. 

     Since then not much has happened. I have been able to got to the local farmers market, walk into downtown Kifissia a couple of times and grab a koulouri (looks like a soft pretzel that hasn’t been twisted, but is a circle and covered in sesame seeds. only .50 euros and huge. great for a snack while walking), and finally got to a coffee shop to grab a much needed mocha.  

    Other random news:  The weather here has been on and off and I am really looking for some nice spring weather. I was able to to skype with two of my friends Nina and Nicole the other day and it made me miss home, but also made my week to talk to them. Today is P’s 10th birthday and yesterday he got a Playstation 3, which was the activity of the day. 

Well, this week I don’t have much planned and I’m thinking about doing some organizational things, like lists of things I need to go see first.  I have a massive list on my computer of things to see, but I think I need to prioritize. Here’s another week of hoping for good weather and that I can do some more exploring. 

Peace, Love, and Wanderlust.

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Written on Sunday, February 27th  

  So, I have been putting off writing a post, because I feel like all my posts are the same. Sick kids and snow. And if I had written last week I would have talked more about sick kids (seriously, getting ridiculous.) We didn’t have any snow. Knock on wood.

      Since my last post, both boys got sick again. I am dumbfounded at this point. These kids have been sick since the 3rd week of January. And another amazing story, they both got sick again yesterday. At this point, whenever I find out one of them is sick, I just laugh and then want to cry. I am so ready for wellness in this house. 

     In good news,  I was able to go into downtown Kifissia last week. We had a beautiful day and I walked the 30 minutes into town. I walked around for about 1 1/2 hours and then walked back. It was relaxing and a nice break from the house, though I wore a new pair of shoes and got a blister. 

    We also had an amazing day on Saturday. It got up to 70 degrees. Perfect! The kids, Loukia, and I played outside for hours. It was so nice. I am definitely hoping for more days like this coming soon. 

*Soooo excited for warmth!! Photo courtesy of one of the children. 

     Today was a more interesting day. Monday is Clean Monday here and the beginning of Lent, which means traditional food and no meat products except seafood. Easter here is a huge event and even families who aren’t religious still participate in many of the traditional meals and festivities. So, obviously today we cooked octopus. Ha. I said it was interesting. 

     So, just like the fish incident, today I opened up a bag to find 2 whole octopuses (and yes that is the plural form.)

      Debbie told me to wash them and then reach inside the hole and pull out their beak. Sounds just as gross as it was.

*Definitely felt like I was back at Shades Valley High School, in either my Marine Biology or Anatomy and Physiology classes. 

Then we boiled one of them and the other put in a pot by itself until it turned bright red. They were both chopped up into bite size pieces with one being used in a pasta dish and the other on its own with white wine and oil. 

     I was definitely a bit hesitant to try this, but I can honestly say…that octopus is amazing. It has almost the same consistency as scallops except for the suckers and it has a similar but saltier taste as scallops, as well. Debbie also made a dip with fish eggs called taramosalata, that could rival my obsession with hummus.

      So, I have a cousin who is from Greece and currently lives in Italy. He comes into Athens one week every month and tomorrow we are meeting up. I am pretty excited to talk to someone outside of the kids and their friends. Not sure what we are doing yet, but I’m sure it will be fun.

    I also finally decorated my room. Usually when I move in somewhere I do this immediately. But it’s done and I’m glad.

    So, the boys will be staying home all week so they can hopefully stay well this time. Unfortunately, this means I won’t be going anywhere again. So, send good vibes our way that they get well and the three of us don’t kill each other while being stuck in the house all week.

Peace, Love, and Wanderlust       

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Here’s some things I’ve learned during my one month here. 

About Greece/Greeks:

  1. Olive Oil goes in everything. And a lot of it. I just made lentil soup out of a greek cookbook and I had to put a whole cup of oil in it. Not to cook anything, just straight into the soup. 
  2. When answering the phone, at least the people I’ve been around, say “ναί" or yes, instead of hello. Not a big deal, but something I noticed immediately. 
  3. Also, on top of the oil in food, cheese is eaten with everything as well.  Oh, you’ve got some pasta or soup just add a chunk of feta cheese with it. 
  4. Halloween is celebrated in February. 
  5. Lunch is eaten around 2 or 3 in the afternoon.

Also, here is a quick Greek lesson for you. 

     Colors: 

  1. orange - πορτοκαλέα - which sounds like portokalee, with an emphasis on the lee
  2. red - κόκκινος - which sounds like cokeeno, with an emphasis on the co
  3. blue - μπλε - which sounds like bleh
  4. green - πράσινος - which sounds like braseeno ,with an emphasis on the bra
  5. yellow -κίτρινος - which sounds like kitreeno, with an emphasis on the ka

    Numbers: These will be in order 1-5

  1. ένας - sounds like ena, with an emphasis on the en
  2. δυο- sounds like theeoh
  3. τρία -sounds like treea, with an emphasis on the tree
  4. τέσσερα - sounds like tessera, with an emphasis on the tess
  5. πέντε - sounds like penday, with an emphasis on the pen

     Some general words and phrases:

  1. yes- ναί- sounds like neh
  2. no - όχι - sounds like ohee, with an emphasis on the o
  3. How are you? - τι κάνεισ- sounds like tee kanaise
  4. hello -γειά σας - sounds like ya sas

So, now that you have the vocabulary of a 2 year old, you’re good to go! Not really and unfortunately I only know a total of about 30 words, but my knowledge is definitely growing. 

So, I honestly feel like this could be a repeat post of last week.  We had snow again,

but just for one day this time and Y got sick again and was home from school for 3 days last week. So, I once again was stuck in the house all week.  

The one deviation from last week is this new addition to the family. 

Meet Loukia! She is 2 1/2 months old and adorable. We got her on Tuesday and it has been an interesting week of potty training and the like. Between the new puppy and kids home because of snow and sickness, I am exhausted and have a little cabin fever. 

Also, while writing this P has gotten a fever…..ridiculous. So now instead of hoping and wishing for no snow, I am hoping for a few days off from the kids being home. I need to get out of the house. Today, we finally had some sun and decent weather and I’m hoping it stays with us. So, keep good weather and well children in your thoughts….I need it. 

Peace, Love, and Wanderlust

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Today, is my official 3 week mark. And I am currently sitting in the house alone, because Debbie took the kids to see the Muppet Show. I chose to stay back to have a little “me” time.  This week has been another interesting one. After last weeks sick week, I thought that everything would be back to normal. 

    The kids were out of school on Monday and on Tuesday I was hoping and wishing for no snow and we only got a little bit. 

and so the kids went in at 10am. Which was fine, I got a couple of hours in the house to do some things. It was too cold for me to go anywhere though. Then I wake up on Wednesday morning to this…

And it kept on coming all day.  We ended up with about 4 or 5 inches of snow.  Which I don’t think is terrible after being in Tahoe with 8 feet of snow in July, but I still don’t have to like it.  So of course the kids stayed home. We had a snowball fight and a fire and played games. Debbie was off as well, so it ended up quite nice. 

   Thursday, because of the threat of snow the kids didn’t go in again until 10. But thankfully, No Snow! So now it has all melted and is getting warmer and I am oh so very grateful. I mean it was cold. And we had 25 mph winds to make it that much colder. The kids finally had a full day on Friday and I had the house back. 

    So, I wanted to post a few pictures of the dinosaur exhibit we went to last Sunday.  I was expecting skeletons, but this was full on animated dinosaurs.  

It was amazing.  I mean dinosaurs are awesome and I was pleasantly surprised at how realistic it all was. 

    So, obviously I didn’t talk about going to the Acropolis or any other sight-seeing adventures.  The past two week have been crazy and even though I said this last week, I am hoping next week is better and I can get out on my own.  Debbie mentioned maybe all of us going to the Acropolis tomorrow, but we’ll see.

     Also, unfortunately today Tara, the dog, died in the hospital. Debbie was planning on bringing her home today when she got the call.  I have never been more heartbroken than when I had to see Debbie and all three children crying over the loss of their dog. It was so sad. 

     While they are gone tonight I am going to make some cookies for the kids. I feel so bad.  So once again, here’s to hoping for a better week coming up. And here’s an amazing night shot of the city. 

P.S. We have a mandarin tree. And soon Debbie is going to teach me how to make mandarin jam. Super excited!

Peace, Love, and Wanderlust

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      So, this week I was supposed to go off into Athens to visit the Acropolis.  Well….not going to happen.  Monday morning I wake up after sleeping in a bit to find F and P still at home.  They inform me they are sick and didn’t go to school, because they both have fevers and have been throwing up. Yay! 

     So after spending Monday and Tuesday all day in the house with two sick children, I was incredibly excited to wake up today to know that F was going to school. One sick child sounded much better than two.  Even that wasn’t going to happen.  Y is sick as well now. So, once again I was home with two sick children.  

      Hopefully, tomorrow Y will be the only one sick. I am ready for my mornings alone and a day off.  I was very excited about finally going to see some ruins, but unfortunately it didn’t happen. But on the good side of things, even after all of these germ-filled days, I haven’t gotten sick. 

     So, here’s to wishing for a better, sick-free week next week. 

Peace, Love, and Wanderlust

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