30 Jun | Stephanie Sutton | No Comments
While traveling through the world famous city of Rome, we really tried to adapt the mantra “When in Rome, do as the Romans.” Whether we were eating pizza at a Trattoria, throwing a coin over our shoulder at the Trevi Fountain, or pushing our way through the underground metro system, we did everything with Roman …READ MORE
29 Jun | Leslie McDaniel | No Comments
Ok, so this whirlwind class has come to a close, and this blog entry will probably be pretty short. The photo students had their final workday on Thursday to prepare for final critiques on Friday. After we all turned our work in, it seemed like everyone was out enjoying their last few hours on Paros …READ MORE
25 Jun | Leslie McDaniel | No Comments
I really enjoyed having the break over the weekend to relax, hit the beach, and explore some other parts of the island on my own time. Monday, it was back to class for one final week. The digital photography class had a critique of the images from our first photo project while the black and white class took a walking field trip. I think the black and white photography students had already had their critique on Friday of last week.
We were finally able to take the boat ride to Delos & Mykonos on Tuesday. The sea was very rough and choppy on the way over to the islands, so I can’t imagine what it would have been like on Sunday when our trip was canceled due to the high winds! Several of us arrived on Delos feeling a bit sick, but the archeological site was pretty amazing and worth the rough ride! We were on Delos just a couple of hours, but I think it would have been easy to spend more time since there were so many ruins. At one time, the island was the center of commerce, so many wealthy merchants made Delos their home. After visiting Delos, we took a short boat ride over to Mykonos where we ate lunch and had a little time to wander the streets of “Little Venice” before getting back on the boat to head back to Paros (the ride “home” was much calmer!).
We had our final “official” photography class on Wednesday. For the photography students, all that remains now is to finish our final photo projects and to have our individual critiques with the photography teachers.
I’m going to try not thinking about what I’m going to miss when I leave Paros and just focus on enjoying this place for one final week. Even though we’ll only have been here for a month, I’ve found myself getting very used to the way things are done here. About the only thing on this island that feels rushed are the cars and motorbikes that drive haphazardly and according to their own set of road rules. Everything else feels laid back, easy going, and simple. When you eat out here, they expect you to sit and stay and enjoy your time for as long as you like. This is just one of the many things I’ve learned that is different in Greece than in America. In Greece, they don’t bring the ticket until you ask for it; in America, they often bring the check before you even finish eating, and then glance nervously your way if you linger much beyond the clearing of your plate.
After I got past the initial “toilet” issue in Greece (if you’ve been here, you know, if you haven’t…I won’t spoil the surprise for you!), I have learned to enjoy and embrace the differences in this beautiful country.
22 Jun | Leslie McDaniel | No Comments
Hot! So hot! I suppose the fact that I live in Montana has made it feel exceptionally hot to me…I’m guess I’m not used to this kind of heat. It was still pretty chilly in Bozeman when I left at the beginning of June. I think I could get used to the idea of a “siesta time” that many Greeks seem to follow. Many shops just shut down between the hours of 2-6 pm (or 14:00-18:00 as the Greek clock would say). It’s just too hot so they all just go inside to hibernate until the cooler evening temperatures arrive.
On Thursday this week, we visited the extremely close island of Antiparos. There doesn’t seem to be a whole lot on this island, but we were able to see the cave on the island (apparently the main attraction). They seem to be trying to protect the cave now, but I think the protection efforts must not have existed in the past. The cave was interesting, but damage from past vandalism was evident. I even saw some graffiti from as far back as the 1800s. Previous explorers also “harvested” some of the stalactites and stalagmites.
After lunch on Antiparos, we took a boat ride to an archeological dig site on the tiny island of Despotiko. None of the archeologists seemed to be working that day, but it was still an interesting site. On the boat ride back over to Antiparos, the drivers of the boat took us over to see a couple of small sea caves. The water looked so inviting that we wanted to jump out and swim, but we had to make it back for the 3:00 bus back to the Antiparos port (the last one of the day!)
A few of the students from the photo class visited the town of Marpissa of Paros on Friday. Since our current assignment is to shoot environmental portraits, one of our instructors asked us to all wear white so we could use each other as subjects to practice this type of photography with the beautiful buildings of Marpissa as the backdrop. We had fun trying to work ourselves into the environment…shooting both goofy and serious portraits. We pretty much had the whole town to ourselves since we must have arrived during siesta time. We saw a total of two people while we walked through the tiny alley-streets (one was a tourist eating and one was the person who worked at the restaurant). As we finished up and headed back to the bus stop, the town woke up and started to come alive again.
We were able to enjoy a couple of free days on Saturday and Sunday. A ferry trip to the Cycladic islands Mykonos and Delos originally scheduled for Sunday has been rescheduled to Tuesday due to high winds. Oh yah…remember what I said about the heat? Well the wind speed really kicked up Friday night and it’s been much cooler ever since. We didn’t realize the wind would affect the large ferry boats, but I guess it must.
Now…to enjoy the remaining week we have left on Paros. We all knew our time on the island would pass much too quickly!
18 Jun | Leslie McDaniel | No Comments
Monday morning was back to the classroom after the Santorini field trip. Wow! It was hot! The days seem to be getting hotter and more people are arriving on the island everyday. I think we’ll only see more and more tourists as June progresses. I can understand why they are coming here, but I wish things could stay as quiet as they were when we arrived, although I’m sure there were already a lot of tourists here at that time.
As part of a car trip to visit other parts of the island, we were able to see the ancient marble quarry Monday afternoon. This is the site that the marble came from for great works of art such as the Venus de Milo. After the quarry stop, we piled back into the cars, made a short stop at Kolymbithres beach for a quick swim, and then headed to the town of Naoussa.
We visited my favorite island thus far on Tuesday: Naxos! Although it neighbors Paros and you can even see the island from some parts of Paros, it’s about a 45 minute ferry ride from Parikia to the Naxos port. I loved this island because much of it seemed less touristy. When we visited an archaeological site, I could almost forget I was on an island since I could only see a tiny strip of water in one direction.
In the classroom on Wednesday, we submitted our photos for the critique of the first assignment. Since this summer course is so short, we’ll only have two projects. As we were working on the final edits of the images we were going to submit, our photo teacher met with each student individually to offer direction and constructive criticism. After we submitted our photos, we had a free afternoon!
It was on Wednesday afternoon that I realized that we are exactly half way through the course. I can’t believe there’s only a week and a half left to live on the island of Paros. It’s so beautiful here … but it is getting hotter and hotter. I’m so glad huge bottles of water are very cheap here. Even though I’m not a landscape photographer, I have found myself constantly trying to capture the incredible scenery on this island and the other islands we’ve visited in the Cyclades. Ahh … what a life!
15 Jun | Leslie McDaniel | No Comments
Thursday morning was an early one for the HISA photography students! We had a choice of a 7:30 am or a 10:00 am bus to Lefkes, but being photographers, we decided that the light would be much better the earlier we could get ourselves up. Also, we didn’t want to experience the mid-afternoon heat on the Byzantine trail hike on the way back. When we broke up into smaller groups to wander around to photograph Lefkes, the faculty members encouraged us to continue to push ourselves to develop a deep sense of space in our images, and to try to consider spatial relationships in every shot.
Upon returning to Parikia, we had the afternoon free until our next class meeting at 4 pm. This was the perfect opportunity to rest…or hit the beach! As if I hadn’t already been in the sun enough today, I chose the beach!
We had the chance to experience the Renbetiko style of Greek folk music at a local restaurant on Thursday evening. As we dined on Greek appetizers, we sat in the cool night air, chatting, and listening to the folk band with their lead female singer.
After Thursday’s early start, it was nice to have a relaxing Friday morning before departing on the 12:10 ferry to Santorini. We checked in, had some free time, and then met for dinner at one of the more affordable restaurants (which basically means one that was away from the fabulous views over the caldera!).
On Saturday, we had the option to hike to Oia, take a boat ride out to the volcano with a few other stops, or to go to the beach and have free time. I chose the hike to Oia, and although it was very long and very hot…I wouldn’t trade the experience! We hiked along the ridge from Fira to Oia the entire way. We snapped photo after photo and stopped often to enjoy the amazing views.
On Sunday morning, the Cycladic Art & Culture class visited the Cycladic culture museum in Fira. The rest of us had the option of also going to the museum, or enjoying Fira for a while longer before we took the ferry back to our home on Paros.