Kalispara (good afternoon)!
So when we got back from Santorini we only had one day back in Athens and then they next night we left for Crete!! Crete was our absolute favorite island so far! It was absolutely amazing. Crete had a little bit of everything, it had a city like athens, then it had the country with mountains and fields, and it also had beautiful beaches! Our hotel was in Herakleion, Crete which was a city and it felt like being in Athens. Athens has become our home away from home so anywhere that feels like Athens automatically makes us feel comfortable. There was awesome restuarants, places to shop and a night life. Everywhere we visted had more of a country or beach feel which was also nice to explore. It was different and we really enjoyed it!
Wednesday: On Wednesday we left at night to go to Crete. Our boat was supposed to leave at 9 at night but because it had stormed earlier and was extremely windy, we had to wait till 3 in the morning to leave! Luckily we had cabins for the night so we were able to sleep for a majority of our trip and we were able to sleep in which was nice! Our boat was beautiful! We joked around saying we felt like we were on the Titanic because it was so beautiful inside! So for the night we just explored the ship and then went to sleep.
Our boat to go to Crete!
The lobby of the boat! Isn't it beautiful!
Thursday: We arrived in Crete around 12 so we immediately had to go to our first archaeological site because we were behind schedule because of the delay in leaving. Our first site was the palace of Knossos. It was huge! Not to mention it had a beautiful background of mountins and fields. Our professor, Michael, showed us around. It is amazing how much knowledge he has of the different sites. It was a lot of information to take in but it was very interesting and fun to see something so historical right under or feet! After our visit to this site we went to check into our hotel and had the rest of the day to ourselves. We went to this amazing restaurant for lunch! Our waitress asked if we wanted her to surprise us and try a bunch of things on the menu and we decided that would be fun! They brought out 11 dishes for us to try and share! It was absolutely delicious. We had snails, split peas with onions, lamb organs (we think haha), pork, beats, feta cheese, peppers, and a few other things! It was awesome to try some food Crete style! Then after we walked around the shops (and spent a good amount of money haha). Then we relaxed at the hotel for a while before dinner. For dinner we just got something quick because we werent too hungry after our big lunch! Then we got some gelato. I (Kerri) had some of the most amazing gelato I ever tasted! I got a chocolate strawberry one and it literally tasted like I was eating a chocolate covered strawberry. It was delicious! After dinner and gelato we went to check out the night life. We found this really cool bar that was having a salsa night! It was so awesome to see everyone dancing! We enjoyed that a lot!
Part of the Palace of Knossos
Another part to the palace of Knossos
Another part to the site. It is really hard to show all of it because it was huge, but these pictures can give you an idea!
The Harbor in Herakleion, Crete where we stayed!
Friday: On Friday we went to visit 3 archaeological sites! It was very tiring but it was a good day! The first site was Gortyn. Gortyn was much smaller than Knossos but it was still beautiful. Then we went to the palace of Phaestos. This also was not as big as Knossos but it was still a rather large site. It was also very beautiful and interesting to see. Our last stop was in Agia Triada which was another smaller site like Gortyn. At this point we were all tired but we still enjoyed the visit! After our last site we went to the beach in Malata where we had 2.5 hours to eat lunch and go to the beach. Our professors took us to this beautiful restaurant right along the water. Here they also allowed us to try and share many different dishes! We had calamari, fired feta, fried sole fish, an egg plant dish, garlic bread, shrimp, and many other things too!! Th restaurant was so nice and gave us free alcohol and dessert! After, we went down to the beach to relax before heading back to our hotel. Once we were back at our hotel we relaxed and then all of the girls in the program went out to dinner together! We also had an amazing meal there and after got free dessert and alcohol! That is one of my favorite parts about the people of Greece, everytime you go out to eat or go to the farmers market they always give you something for free. They are the nicest people! Then after we all went out together to different bars in the area. We had a great time and met a few locals too!
Site of Gortyn!
the church on the site of Gortyn!
The Palace of Phaestos!
Site of Agia Triada!
The beach in Malata! There are little caves in the mountains!
The view from our restuarant at lunch!
The girls in our program!
Saturday: Saturday was our last day in Crete. We went to two museums. The first one was the Museum of the Heraklieon. This one was very nice and we got to see a lot of pieces which made the archaeological sites we saw become more real to us. The second one was the Museum of Chania. This also was a beautiful museum that showed us even different pieces that could help us connect what we learned at the sites to something real. It was great! The rest of the day was ours and we went and go lunch and shopped around for the rest of the day. Then we were walking along the pier by the beach and saw this stadium that was full and was really loud. So we decided to check it out and it was a swim meet! I (Kerri) wa sso excited since I swim for LVC. It was exciting for me to see a swim meet in another country! I even made it in time to see my favorite event, the 100 meter butterfly! After that we went down to see the beach and then we had to head back to our bus because we had to catch our boat back to Athens. We were all tired so once we got on the ship we ate dinner and then went to bed.
The Pier at Chania!
Sunday: We returned to Athens and had the day off!
Monday: We went as a class to the University of Athens! It was really cool to see a university in a different country! The university is really old so it looked a lot different than any of ours. We went to the department of Archaeology and they showed us around. The campus has their own museum and conservation lab for archaeology so everything they learn in the classroom, they can use for real in these facilities which is awesome! We really enjoyed our visit there!
Well, that is all for this week!
~Kerri and Katherine