Tuesday, December 8, 2009

from London to Athens

Friday in London: I got up early Friday morning and rode the train into London for one last day of sightseeing there. I toured Westminster Abbey in the morning and absolutely loved Poets Corner (graves/monuments to Chaucer, Shakespeare, Wordsworth, and Austen, just to name a few that I’ve studied!). I then hopped on the tube for the ride over to Hyde Park for the Winter Wonderland- a giant Christmas market stuffed with carnival rides, Christmas gifts and food! I had a delicious lunch there and then I rode across to the Tower of London. I spend the afternoon at the Tower and saw the crown jewels. Then I headed over to the hotel that Accent had booked for my night and dropped off my stuff. Then I met the other WashU kids for a four-course meal at Pizza Express which was a lot of fun. Everything was starting to close but I managed to get a peak in the British Museum (without seeing any exhibits though) before calling it a night.
Saturday: I got up super early sothat I could walk to the tube to get to the train to get to the airport to catch my plane to Athens. My trip was successful and I arrived in Athens in the early afternoon where I took the metro to meet Jena and Amy who had arrived the day before. After dropping my stuff off at the hostel we went and saw the 1896 Olympic Stadium and were followed by some of the stray dogs that are all over Athens. Then we met Jena’s friend who is studying in Athens, and she took us out to a traditional Greek meal. I had a voracious appetite so we got crepes after dinner and then went back to the hostel. It had rained all day and by this time, we, and all of our belongings were soaked. Jena, Amy and I played MASH and took way too many pictures of ourselves before falling asleep.
Sunday: We greeted the morning on our balcony overlooking the streets of Athens (some more cheerfully than others) and bought breakfast in the hostel. It was a gorgeous, sunny day and we all wore sundresses. We walked up the hill toward the Acropolis and got some great views of the city and saw the Parthenon and the ancient amphitheatre. Then it was time for a midmorning snack of ice cream before seeing an ancient temple at the bottom of the Acropolis. We had our Greek lunch of gyros in a crowded market area and were hit upon by way too many creepy Greek men. Then we went hiking up another hill to see more ancient ruins. We may have eaten a lot this trip but the shear amount of walking and hiking we did easily negated it. We hit up a few tourist shops and walked through a really nice garden before picking up our things at the hostel. Because it was the anniversary of riots that had occurred in Athens the year before, we thought it best to get out of the city before dark, so off to the airport we went. We played some more MASH in the airport and I dozed off on the plane and woke up cranky, just in time for a train to Brighton and a bus to Falmer. It was a fantastic trip, but we were all ready to be “home.”

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