By Avery Van Reeth & Ross Wirthman
On our last day of the trip before heading home, we had a free day to explore some areas in Athens that we either didn’t get to see but wanted to, or saw and wanted to revisit. We met up with Dr. Turner and a group in the lobby in the morning because we all wanted to go see Acropolis, since it is known as the must-see sight in Athens, and we hadn’t gotten a chance to go up and see it from up close. We were going to start at the museum, but we didn’t think it was worth it; we just wanted to go up the hill to the real Acropolis. It was a little journey up the hills to get up to the top, but it was incredible to see. The amphitheater was really cool on the way up, because it used the original walls and new seating, but they still use it for concerts and events. After seeing it from a distance during our time in Athens, it was massive in person. The size of the columns and ruins were incredible, and we were greatly impressed on how intact it was, especially being an ancient citadel build on top of a huge hill. The Parthenon, dedicated to the goddess Athena whom the city is named after, was the biggest and most impressive building on top of the hill. We were very glad we had a chance to go see it. Acropolis was an important meeting place in ancient Athens. At its peak, it was the philosophical and cultural center of the ancient world. Today its monuments and structures stand as a tribute to the birthplace of democracy.
After that, we walked around the shopping area, just browsing to see if there was anything we wanted to take home with us. After browsing around and getting a couple items, we started heading back towards the hotel. We stopped for lunch at Atitapos, the same restaurant that some of us ate at on the first night in Athens. After our meal, we just hung out at the hotel until it was time for our big group dinner.
The group dinner was a great time, and it was great to get everyone together for one last meal before we headed home in the morning. They kept bringing out different types of starters for everyone to pass around and sample. It was almost like a full meal in the U.S, and we hadn’t even gotten to the main course yet! There was another large group of girls sitting in the same room who were from the U.S, so it got pretty loud, but it was still a great time. They had a DJ playing some music, and someone requested “Old Town Road”, which they played and everyone danced in their seat to. We took a group photo outside the restaurant before walking back to the hotel. After going back, some of us hung out on the rooftop patio for a while, soaking up the city lights and relaxing before having to get packed and going in a few hours. It was amazing to see the Acropolis buildings in the distance all lit up at night.
Then it was time for the longest day of the trip. Getting up at 3 AM in Greece and not getting to bed until close to 1 AM in the U.S. was quite the challenge, especially if you find it hard to sleep on flights. The first flight from Athens to Amsterdam was fairly easy. At the Amsterdam airport, some of us had the greatest breakfast of the trip at a market-type place, where they had things like eggs, sausage, bacon and toast. Even though it wasn’t free like the hotels we stayed at, it was great to eat things we had been used to before leaving. Then, when we landed in Minneapolis, it was time for the eight hour layover.
Some of us started it by enjoying a meal at Chili’s, to get back into the American food culture. Then, we just had to find other random things to do to help make the time go by quicker. One group went of to the Mall of America, since it was real close to the airport. Then it was finally time to get on the last flight to Columbus. We were all very excited to get home and sleep in our own beds. After an amazing trip, its safe to say that everyone was very tired and anxious to get back to Ohio.