CARNIVAL!

I know it has been about a month since I have written to y’all. It’s not so much that I have been super busy, which I have been, it’s that I have been recuperating. A LOT LOT LOT of things (both good and bad) have happened to me since I last wrote here.

Lets start from the third week and work our way forward shall we.

The third week of school I went to classes and hung out. That week it
was my roommates 21st birthday so I went out to celebrate with her
that Friday. The first night we went out to a couple of bars, had hookah,
and stayed out till about 6 am. The next night about 15 of us including the
birthday girl decided on going on the Athens Bar Crawl. This event takes
you to three bars in the Monasiraki, Psiri and Plaka area and you end at a
club in Syntagma. We went to a bar in the Manasiraki area first. It had
about 4 levels, each one different. One has chess, another dance music,
one a lounge area. The next bar was in Psiri and it was a live music bar. On
our way to the third bar I got electrocuted.  Yes, you read that right, electrocuted. That was an interesting
and not enjoyable experience. It was raining out and as we crossed the street my legs
spazed a little bit. I walked a little more and then my legs spazed again.
I though they were asleep because they had that tingling feeling you get when you get up from sitting position and your legs as asleep. I shook them out and then went to go and lean against something a light pole. At that moment they
shook again, I reached out for something to steady myself, unluckily for me, it was a metal pole. This caused the charge to be grounded and I fell to the sidewalk seizing. As I lay on the ground, my fingers were tingling so I thew off my rings. Our tour guide ran over to see if I was OK. I told him that I was electrocuted but I was OK. He helped me up and the group
walked to the next bar. There I got a free beer and sat on a bag of ice because I re-broke my tailbone when I fell. The last place we went to was a club in Syntagma where we danced the night away. Yes, I did stay
out till about 4 after I got electrocuted and re-broke my tailbone. (How I broke it the first time is an unhappy story and am not yet ready to talk about it, just say mugged for now.)

The next week we had only 1 day of class and then we went off to the Peloponnese. You remember, the place where the Spartans lived. On the trip we started off going to the Corinth Canal, then we went to Ismea and Nemea and ended up at Napflio, the first capital of ancient Greece. We went to the temples of Zeus and Posidon and got to walk on the temple of Posidon. The town of Napflio was very cute and had the best gelato outside of Italy. That night we went to a taverna and then went to bed. The next day our group went to Mycene where we were able to go down inside the bedrock to the underground spring. We then went to the Argive Herion and ate lunch there. That night was also stayed in Napflio and had a nice pizza dinner. I then went to get a new green nose ring and sleep.

The next day we went to ancient Sparta (where there was nothing but an ancient Persian agora and a Roman theatre). It was disappointing after about the stories of Spartans. where is Gerard Butler when you need him? Our first stop was the sanctuary of Artemis which was fenced off. We were there for hours walking around in the rain and cold and only had twenty minutes to visit Mistra right on the hillside. It was an absolutely beautiful old city and monastery. Right after we went to Kalamata (famous for their olives) and had a delicious dinner at a taverna. I had SWORDFISH!!! It was soooo amazing. Again i am falling in love with Greek cuisine, so fresh and delicious. After we went to a cute little bar and then back to bed. The hotel was a beautiful five start hotel. The next day we went to Messene on the hillsides. It was stunningly beautiful and had the sanctuary of Artemis. There, I gave a lock of my blue hair in offering. We then headed to Olympia. That morning, there was a widely covered and daring robbery at the Olympic museum at Olympia as we were heading out that day. When we got there at night, a group of us walked around the deserted town and went into a small Greek Orthodox church. There we meet the priest and his wife and son. They were extremely nice. What I found interesting about the people here in Greece is that when you tell them you are from America they then ask where your forefathers are from. They don’t accept you are American, they want to know what your ethnicity is. It’s perhaps a euro-centric thing. white Americans are mostly from Europe, right? So, I have to say my ancestors were from Ireland and Sweden and that seems to satisfy everyone here. The next day we stayed at Olympia and walked around the museum and site which was beautiful. (Am i using that word too much? perhaps. but it’s truly beautiful, visually stunning, gorgeous, grand, exquisite, prepossessing, handsome, alluring. there, i’ve pretty much summed up the place.

The next week we started our full school schedule. It was also the last week of Carnival. Carnival lasts for three weeks and it leads up to Greek Easter which uses the orthodox calendar and not the roman calendar. During this time there are street parties, parties at clubs and bar and people dress up like it is Halloween. When we were at Sparta we saw school children dancing the Macarena and dressed up with decorations everywhere. For this last Carnival weekend a group of us headed to the Dodhekanisos island of Rhodes off the coast of Turkey.

Rhodes was so beautiful (there we go again). After we took our hour plane ride we caught a taxi to Old Town where we were staying in a hostel. When we were dropped off by the taxi, we were standing in front of an old castle fortress. We were unsure why we were at an site and he told us this was Old Town. Our friends who had come a night before greeted us and told us that we were staying IN THE FORTRESS WITH A MOAT AND TOWERS because our hostel, tavernas, bars, clubs, shops and houses were inside the fortress!!!!

Even though it was not tourist season and hardly anything was open and
people were confused why we were there this early in the season, it was
amazing and we had so much fun. The first day we got there we walked
around the Old and New Towns of Rhodes. In one of the squares there
were parrots which we got to hold. We played around in one of the
fortess areas and walked around New Town. We went to the beach which
had small rocks instead of sand and we went to a small aquarium to look
at the sea creatures that would be found around the island. The next day
we took a two hour bus ride to the town of Lindos which has a fantastic
Acropolis and beautiful beaches. When we got there we decided that we
were going to swim no matter how cold it was (and it was freezing) after
about 30 minutes we laid to get warm (which didn’t work because it
was cold and windy.) By that time it was the afternoon and we were
starving. We walked around the town for about an hour, but NOTHING
WAS OPEN. Finally, I found the cutest couple and asked for their help.
They walked around with us and asked the rest of the locals for any
restaurants open. However, they were all closed so we sat on a dock,
drank some beers, and ate what little snacks from the super market we
could find. After, we caught the bus ride back to Rhodes Town and ate
at a nice taverna there. It was owned by a Greek man who had moved to
America, married an American women, had a child with her and after four
years moved back to Greece and opened a taverna. Now, his son is the
waiter and his wife is the chef. The rest of the night, we decided to go to
the bars and danced the night away for the end of Carnival. The next day
we were so tired so we just walked around New Town, and went to the
archaeological sites. We saw the Acropolis, the Temple of Apollo, the
Temple of Apollo, Sanctuary of Artemis, and the theatre and stadium.
That night we were so tired from walking around all day that we crashed.
The next day was our last and we stayed in a taverna for 5 hours, eating
delicious food and keeping out of the rain. After we hoped on our flight
back to Athens. That lovely four day weekend there was sun everyday
and the weather was mostly warm. However, arriving in Athens it was 5
degrees Celsius, raining, and windy.  So long wonderful weather.

It’s Thursday night, having having somewhat of an eventful week. I didn’t have my pottery conservation class but I did have my marble carving class. In my marble carving class I am making a mermaid with a bow and arrow and snakes in her hair (a mermaid/Artemis/Medusa figure). Tuesday we had a spaghetti dinner with my delicious sauce and I got the teacher and his assistant to have interviews with me for my capstone data collection. I also fell and hurt my tailbone again, but I’m OK.

So, I am excited to relax and do all of my chores for this weekend.

Sorry for my lateness but have a wonderful Lent!
-MLe

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