First Greece post.

Well, there’s no shortage of things to write about with my trip to Greece and although I planned to write during the trip, I really didn’t make even one blog post.  What I did do, though, was take notes of the activities and I’ve written a few things about some experiences so now I am going to start making some stories and talking about things here and there.

This trip was slightly different than the previous two trips I have taken with the Honors Institute at Hillsborough Community College, led by Dr. Lyons.  The two previous trips in the past three years were to Spain and Vietnam/Cambodia and although two separate parts of the world, both trips had many things in common that differentiated from this year’s trip to Greece.  To begin with, Greece uses the EURO and it’s no surprise that we heard a lot about the economy while traveling around.  Prices haven’t gone up because of the economy, but it’s a shame to watch what is happening because they rely so heavily on tourism (whole story and perspective to write on this later).  So, in one sense we got lucky that the conversion rate has dropped from around $1.70 dollars per one EURO to approximately 1.20 to 1.25, but things were still rather expensive.  And because things were expensive, I know that Dr. Lyons was pushing the budget to include as much as she did, and it wasn’t really possible to include any meals (other than breakfast provided by the hotels) and we had a lot of free time.

Having a lot of free time meant that we got to explore cities on our own, but it also meant that all activities we choose to do would come out of our pocket.  I had budgeted approximately 50 euros per day to spend and was hoping to spend around $700USD total which I think I accomplished without a penny to spare.  It was great to have as much free time as we did because there was so much to see and do, and it was nice to do it on our own time and at our own pace.  It was also nice to be able to rest and relax and not feel overly tired.


Athens and The Acropolis

We arrived in Athens on May 13th at 10:00am and started the trip by hopping on a bus and driving into Athens to begin our tour.  We picked up the tour guide somewhere along the way and drove around the city with her pointing out some of the sites to see.  After about ninety minutes, we stopped at the base of the Acropolis and the tour guide took us on the short hike up and explained things in great detail.  While I’d love to go into great detail about the history and you know, all the fun stuff that I definitely learned while paying close attention to every word she said, I think it’s be better to just show a few pictures and keep it a high level summary.

After spending some time at the Acropolis we checked into our hotel and had the rest of the day to ourselves.  I’m not real sure what most of the group got themselves into, but my roommate Dustin and I went to the (new) Acropolis Museum and spent a few hours walking around.  The new Acropolis Museum was just recently opened in June 2009 to replace the old museum that was built on top of the Acropolis which was in operation from 1854 – 2007.  All throughout Athens, there are layers of old ruins and at the entrance of the new museum they excavated an area and made a walk way that allows one to look down into the excavated area.  After spending an hour or so walking around the museum, we had a small bite to eat on the patio that overlooks the Acropolis but we didn’t want to eat too much so that we could enjoy a good dinner later on as well.


Acropolis of Athens info

New Acropolis Museum info

Old Acropolis Museum info

New Acropolis Museum official site

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