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Sunday, December 28, 2014

Catch Up Update!

Hello again! I'm back, writing more this evening, to catch up on some events and details I have not yet been able to document on here! I did just recently add a new album of pictures to my Facebook titled "Athens: The Middle" because my first Athens album was called "Athens: The Beginning" Haha! So if we are Facebook friends, be sure to check my page often because it tends to be easier to update there before here.

But nevertheless, here goes! Just a heads up, lots of pictures coming your way!

Back on December 3rd, it was my 23rd birthday. The weather could not have been better; sunny and comfortably in the 70s. Something I have never seen for my December birthday before! To celebrate, the lovely girls I am with made me a meal for dinner that I love, treated me to a manicure by a place that will come to your home and do them, and surprised me with an apple birthday treat and gifts! I truly felt so loved and cared for, which was very nice while celebrating away from home.

Then, pretty much the rest of the time between Thanksgiving and the much-needed winter break was spent trying to stay on top of the many things going on at ACS. The counseling office got VERY busy with referrals, walk ins/crises, scheduled group/individual sessions, and meetings. There were a couple days when I was without my co-worker/counselor, so it was just me manning the office. Those days always tended to be even crazier than the rest because there was only me! It was a really great experience handling things on my own, though.

Now, to the fun stuff! For the first week of my winter break, I did some solo adventuring! The other girls either traveled home or elsewhere for the holidays, so I was by myself. I think with how busy and tiring things had been with work, I was more than alright with some down time completely to myself. I've come to realize that I really value when I can do absolutely nothing alone! So the first week was a mix of a couple days like that, and then some sight-seeing! I joined two group tours that were doing day trips to Cape Sounion (to see the Temple of Poseidon) and Delphi (to see the Temple of Apollo and much more). So the first day was spent traveling down the Southern coast outside Athens, which was absolutely gorgeous. Sadly, because it was just so sunny and beautiful out (not that I'm complaining) that pictures out the bus window simply do not do it justice. But here are just a few, plus pictures from the Temple of Poseidon!

Next up, Wednesday I went on a day trip to Delphi! The journey to this location was very different than the trip to Cape Sounion. This trip involved lots of farmland, mountains, and valleys. I learned that the location/area is called Delphi, but all the ruins remaining are called different things. So the temple is actually the Temple of Apollo, and there were old treasuries and an amphitheater. Delphi was considered the center of the entire world to the ancient world. Our tour guide explained all of its amazing history, including the fact that many ancient philosophers walked the same steps I did. Delphi was an important ancient Greek religious sanctuary sacred to the god Apollo. Located on Mt. Parnassus near the Gulf of Corinth, the sanctuary was home to the famous oracle of Apollo which gave cryptic predications and guidance to both city-states and individuals. The sights and views were absolutely stunning. See for yourself!

It's me, of course there would be at least one cat picture!

 Then we got to see the museum just down the road, with ancient artifacts found at the ruins!

Our final stop was at Arachova, a small village just outside Delphi. It was so quaint!

And finally, I did a little bit of exploring completely on my own back down the Southern coast outside Athens on Friday. I saw people swimming off the coast on the way to Cape Sounion Monday, and it made me really want to go myself. So I did some research, and Friday I found the way back down that way. I walked around and took some pictures, and then I found a place I had read about online called Vouliagmeni Lake... and I went swimming (the day after Christmas!!!) So cool to be able to say that. To wrap up, here are some pictures from this adventure.

Man, it took a VERY long time for all of these pictures to finally upload. So now it is definitely time for bed because tomorrow afternoon... MY MOM WILL BE ARRIVING! I am so excited. :)

I will be sure to update soon with New Year's and Santorini pictures!

Until then,