Friday, May 15, 2015

Time to Say Goodbye

I hate goodbyes.

I hate them so much that I didn't attend the farewell dinner - it just is too much for me. I have a hard time with transitions, anyway...but saying goodbye knowing I will never be in this place again with these beautiful souls is emotional overload. I will miss so much.

I will miss strolling Thissio and looking for my favorite wheelchair buddy. I will miss people watching, the tourists, and shopping handmade treasures. I will miss feeding the taverna cats and the special treat at the end of the meal. I will miss the honey, the wine, and the incredible olive oil...and, of course, the lamb.

I will miss my favorite teacher, Despina, and I will miss my fellow students. I will miss the constant presence of ancient ruins and the chaos of broken sidewalks, taxis and motorcycles. I will miss the opportunity to just go sit in an incense-tinged church and walk through the National Gardens with my love. I will miss hearing the buskers along Ermou, and the sweet, welcoming smile of the waitress at Poco Poco. I will miss the Greek people - both the strangers on the street and the ones we have befriended. I will miss the clang of the church bells and the wave of the crane operator across the street. I will miss breakfast on the balcony in the morning sunshine.

The only one I have really said goodbye to has been Emma, but only because she was leaving this morning for an early flight. But, just because I don't have the strength to say goodbye doesn't mean I don't care. I care deeply and will miss all who have come across my path during this adventure in Greece. They will never know how much.

I hate goodbyes. Truly.
But I will always treasure all that I have seen, heard, learned, 
experienced, and embraced while here in beautiful and amazing Greece. 

Until we meet again.

No Regrets.

What do you do on your last day in Athens?
The one thing that I didn't do when I was there the first two times...

take pictures of the beautiful statues that graced the Erechtheion, 
the Caryatids that now reside in the Acropolis Museum.

Aren't they amazing? There were six of then originally, and all individual. 

Thursday, May 14, 2015

So Much to Remember...

Last Final!!

Last final on the last day of finals week...

time to celebrate!

My favorite tuna salad and Chuck's spaghetti...and two glasses of wine, parakalo!
Only at Ciao's in Pangrati

And, one of my favorite flowers - the bougainvillea - are celebrating, too.
How lovely.

An Evening Stroll Home

It was a lovely evening for a stroll...

On Syntagma Square, this periptero, aka kiosk, is open for business (as usual)

I really like these color changing fountains on either side of the Square

and the lovely fountain

and, then through the National Gardens

a short stop to cross the busy avenue in front of the Kalimarmaro, the Marble Stadium

and, finally back to campus where we can see folks studying for finals

One More Day

Our Favorite Hangout

Emma and Katerina at Kekko's - our place of comfort, coffee, and friendship
We are so sad to say good-bye.

Unforgettable Postcards from Athens

view from the balcony

in the apartment

the best gyros from Quick Pitta

this little guy is the pet of one of the kiosk owners - how funny!

morning coffee on the balcony
selfies in the park

catchin' the sunlight

while they all catch the sunset from Mars Hill, we enjoy the last of our time in Greece

view from the rooftop garden restaurant

Monday, May 11, 2015

Loved This Class!!

What a fabulous class on a memorable day - I wish all my university classes could be this awesome!
Many thanks to all these special souls for making this class so special!

The Politics of Traffic

In front of our apartment - yep, lots of construction!

U-turns, double parking, and pedestrians - oh yeah!

no, this is not a one-way street - but bikes use both lanes when clear as well as the center line when not...
also, there is a helmet law in Athens, however, only about 1/2 comply...
"If Americans drove as Athenians, there would be gridlock just from  the fender-benders alone. They do the most amazing dance of weaving cars, bikes, and even trucks and buses. Motorbikes use the center-lines as bike lanes and will pass at any given moment in the face of on-coming traffic with the expectation they can get back into the lane before they hit or get hit. One must be careful even at lighted cross-walks because some bikes almost disregard the  lights. People will even park with a portion of their vehicle still in the traffic lane. There is also little regard for actual speed limits in the main streets or in the residential areas. With all these hazards, I have not observed many accidents. I know minor ones must happen all the time, because the vast majority of vehicles have dents, scratches and obvious damage. Perhaps people tolerate incidents more because they know they are always pushing the envelope, too. I am so much more appreciative of traffic law enforcement now in America!"

More for the Scrapbook

Everyday view

for the record

We love these guys at Maiandros, our favorite taverna!

reflection of Greece

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Don't wanna forget...

Demitrios, the best hairstylist in Pangrati.

The sound of the church bells.

Slippery marble and yellow sidewalks.

The conversations of moms in our apartment building fussing with their children on the weekends.

That they found Roman remains dated to 500 BCE right in front of our apartment.

I could probably forget the early morning jackhammer, though.

Chuck taking pictures of construction sites.

The tour buses of eager tourists flooding the platia in front of the stadium.

Religious icons sold right next to the phallic-bottle-openers.

Selfie-sticks and not-so-free roses.

That when you see someone taking a photo, you may want to, as well.

The sound of the front door of our apartment building slamming.

The standing-room-only public transit.

The fact that siesta is only kept by the businesses you want to be open.

The crazy locks on everything.

Buskers and street performers everywhere people gather.

Strolling Thissio.

Frappes, espresso freddos, and the best yogurt and honey in the known world.

Standing on the hillside in Delphi, looking out towards the sea.

Watching the store owners coming to life with the sunshine.

Every taverna featuring live music.

Taverna recruiters wanting us to stay as long as possible 
because I smile at everyone.

Pronouncing lamb as 'lamp'

The Greek-style-kiss-greeting of friends,
and the firm handshake of someone who was really glad we were there.

Dancing by the Cathedral in the waning afternoon sunlight
to our own private music.

And, we don't want to forget having the privilege of gazing upward and seeing the Acropolis, 
whether in the sunshine, or lit up in the night sky - 
it is this glorious past that is the true glory of Greece.