30 Mar | Margaret Decker | No Comments

Our Weekend in Naxos

Saturday morning we all met Cameron at the windmill to pick up our tickets and wait for the ferry to Naxos. This time on the ferry we fixed the mistake we made last time and sat on top of the boat, so we could watch the scenery as we sailed by it. It was loud and windy, but the view was so worth it. Plus, it was sunny and beautiful, so a little wind couldn’t hurt us. Plenty of us were reading The Lover by Marguerite Duras, which was our Film Studies assignment, while others were chatting, taking pictures, and even sleeping. We had an itinerary for the trip, but even with that, we didn’t know what to expect from Naxos, because it’s the first island we’ve been to other than Paros.

Once we got there, we walked around for a while, winding through streets and finding ourselves surprised when we saw doors that weren’t blue. Then we went to the Naxos Archaeological Museum, which was similar to the one in Paros, but still very exciting. They had an ancient mosaic floor in middle of the roof, and a beautiful view of the town below.

Inside, they had smaller figurines, pots with stories and designs painted on, iridescent vases, and plenty of big statues. My favorite statue was a woman standing straight up, mostly because of the painstaking attention to detail when it came to her outfit. It still amazes me how an artist can make stone look like fabric, like it would move in the wind if it were outside.

After that we briefly adjourned for lunch, going back down to the main street along the water. We all split up, but I went with a decent sized group to a taverna decorated in pink and pastel green like a little girl’s bedroom. It was truly adorable. They had sandwiches and salads and pretty good gelato. I ordered the oreo cookies and cream gelato, and was satisfied from the first bite on. I was tempted to lick my cup clean.

We met back up with Cameron and the rest of the group and walked up to the top of the hill where we found the Temple of Apollo, also known as Apollo’s Gate because it’s not an enclosed temple but really more like a proscenium. There were small pieces of broken pottery and erosion-smoothed marble scattered all over the hill amidst the poppies and an array of other flowers. I feel like I’m repeating myself every time I saw something in Greece is beautiful, but it really is.

Finally, we went to the hotel where we were spending the night, and soaked our walked-out feet in the pool in our courtyard. I shared a room with Coral and Hannah. We hung out for a while, leaving to explore a bit and check out a used book store (which was great, because I got two good books for two euros total) before dinner with the whole group. We went out to Escoba for some much needed Mexican food, and it was fine that it took a while, because we played a bunch of tic-tac-toe and “turn this scribble into a drawing” which it turned out Cameron was really great at. I drew an octopus, Coral drew a teenage mutant ninja turtle, and Cameron busts out a fully rendered and historically accurate Doric column.

Sunday was a bus and walking tour of the island, but plenty of us were so exhausted that we took advantage of the bus. We went to the Temple of Demeter and walked around for a while as Cam lectured, but then we went to the town of Apiranthos and sat in a café reading and doing our art homework over coffee and crepes. About half the group went hiking with Cam, and it might seem like a wasted opportunity to not go on every single hike offered, but just being in the company of the other students and relaxing was such a nice break in the hectic (though awesome) nature of the program. After several hours of chilling out, we got back on the bus to go look at the Kouros statues.

Then we got back to the town and dropped the bus off, and I realized I had forgotten my purse on the bus! You can imagine how panicked I was, but I informed Cam and he brought me to the travel agent and I sat there while the bus driver came back around and delivered it back to me. I couldn’t thank him enough for being so nice and bringing it to me, and told him I’d be more careful next time, but I’m just glad it was so easy of a mistake to fix. After that, we had some dinner, got back on the ferry and made our way back to Paros. It was a really exciting weekend.

Anyway, I have Philosophy to get to, but don’t you forget about me.

TTFN, Ta Ta For Now!



28 Mar | Shayla Holloway | No Comments

Week 4…..( ROMA ROMA ROMA)

This is WEEK 4 of classes and I still feel the same way…LOVE my classes..LOVE my teacher…AND LOVE THE ISLAND. PAUSE I have to admit that I did want to go home, but I’m too blessed to be wanting to me back home instead of in GREECE.  It’s taking me some time to get used to the other HISA students since we hardly  know each other, but I must say it’s going pretty well.

Last weekend, we visited Naxos island and it was great, food not tot great but the museums and cafe’s we sweet. Hmmm, let me see what else I could talk about….. Well this Friday (March 30 – April 5) me and my homie Hannah will be traveling to Rome to enjoy our time away from Paros then coming back and traveling to Turkey. This April (my birthday month) will probably be the best month ever for me…..ENJOY!! Until next time 🙂 


25 Mar | Gabrielle Reiter | No Comments

St. Patty’s Day 2012, Dublin!


St. Patty’s Day in Ireland is CRAZY.

to say the least….

Anyway, we started off the festivities with getting ready and dressing in all green, obviously… and then we headed down down for the Parade! Which was impossible to navigate, there were SO MANY people!! It was unbelievable, I thought that St. Patty’s day in Chicago was wild, the one in Dublin makes that look like a tea party. But I mean, this is Ireland so what can I say?

The parade itself wasn’t that great, actually it was pretty Americanized which was disappointing; I was expecting something a bit more traditional. The crowds were awful too, full of obnoxious rowdy people, which kind of was a buzz kill at times… be prepare to be shoved, multiple times… If you’re trying to find a pub, find one and stay there! Otherwise through out the day it’s going to be harder to find one that’s not completely full, some pubs were up to a three hour wait to get in!  And the streets are packed the entire day, so like I said before just find a pub and stay there. It was a pretty fun day though, all part of the experience! and definitely something that should be on the bucket list; it was a long, incredibly fun, and an exhausting day!  



25 Mar | Gabrielle Reiter | No Comments

Edinburgh, Scotland

Scotland by far is one of my favorite places I have visited so far, Edinburgh is like a city lost in time. It’s so beautiful and historic, all of the buildings are from another time, centuries ago. That’s what I loved most about Edinburgh, unlike all of the other cities trying to keep up with …


25 Mar | Gabrielle Reiter | No Comments

London, England

London was quite the experience, but a wonderful one to say the least.  Definitely some place to put on your bucket list, but I don’t think I could ever live in the UK, the currency over there is awful! Dollars to Pounds is worth nothing, so I ended up spending so much more money than I planned…

London is a HUGE city, it’s so big it’s split up into zones. There was so much I wanted to see and I just didn’t have enough time to get it all done. A lot of the time is spent getting from one place to another, everything is so spread out in London! The places that I did have a chance at seeing was The House of Parliament, Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, the Tower of London, the Tower Bridge, The Eye (although we didn’t have time to go on it), Abbey Road, Harry Potter’s Platform 9 3/4 at King’s Cross Station, Millennium Bridge (one of the many places where they filmed Harry Potter), Buckingham Palace, and so much more that I can’t think of at the moment! It truly is a wonderful and beautiful city, I had such a fun time and learned so much about England’s history. I would love to return someday to finish seeing all of the places I didn’t have a chance to see the first time.

The Buckingham Palace

Standing in front of the Palace

The Tower of London

The House of Parliament  

Big Ben

Westminster Abbey

Tower Bridge

The famous Abbey Road crosswalk 

Off to Hogwarts!



25 Mar | Gabrielle Reiter | No Comments

Out and about in Dublin

While my Mother was visiting we did a lot of the tours around Dublin, for example the Guinness Factory and the Jameson Distillery, both very interesting, just not my cup of tea I guess… but a must see when you visit!  We also had the chance to visit St. Patrick’s Cathedral, which was stunning!  Although I thought it was a bit odd that there was an entrance fee to get into a church, but what do I know?  It was very interesting, but if you’ve seen once church, you have seen them all…

Taste like dirt…

Certified at pouring the perfect pint of Guinness! 




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