This was my second time visiting Athens, but considering that I had previously only spent one day in Athens, I got to see a side of the city that I didn't get to see last time.
As the first and likely only Mediterranean country that I will visit this semester, Greece felt very different from the other European countries that I have visited over the course of the last few months. Athens reminded me a lot of Hong Kong, likely the result of both cities being coastal ones. Walking around Athens' flea market also felt like I was walking around Hong Kong's Stanley Market. But in other ways, the two cities also significantly differ. Perhaps the biggest difference is that Athens has no skyscrapers; my tour guide explained that this was to prevent the Acropolis from being overshadowed by other buildings.
The lectures that we attended were varied in topic; the three lectures we had were on environmental initiatives, Greek-Turkey relations, and the refugee crisis in Greece. As an Environmental Studies major, I was glad that a lecture on climate change policy was included, and I appreciated the chance to learn about green initiatives in Athens. The second lecture was equally interestingly. Given that I have visited both Greece and Turkey and am currently taking a class on the Black Sea, I left the lecture feeling as if my knowledge of both countries had significantly deepened. Our last lecture took place at METAdrasi, a nonprofit that did work for refugee children. Considering that we have been learning about the refugee crisis all semester, I really enjoyed the chance to go beyond the facts and figures and learn about what was actually being done to help refugees.
Visiting the Parthenon, despite it being my second time doing so, was nonetheless an experience unlike any other. Walking around the hill the Acropolis was located on exposed me to a number of different ancient sites and brought about some jaw-dropping views of the city.
The food in Athens was fantastic to the point that my friends and I had Greek food every night. I especially enjoyed the chance to eat seafood again. I also really liked the Greek salad that I had, although I do wish that it had more olives in it.
We had spent the entire semester learning about the European Union and the state of democracy in Europe. I thought it only fitting that we visited the world's oldest democracy.
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<p>I was born and lived in Hong Kong my entire life before coming to the United States for college. My three favorite things in life are currently politics, comic books, and Kpop, although not necessarily in that order. I like to write, read, draw, and work out in my free time.</p>