Spring Break in Scotland and Greece! (Week 8)

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Spring Break has truly been an experience! We began our break with an unbelievably long bus ride to Edinburgh, Scotland. It was actually very interesting to observe the different towns/city’s outside of London as we were driving through them. One of the most interesting places we stopped along the way was Leeds. I had heard about the area before but never felt intrigued enough to go. I was surprised to see the area as we were driving in. There was a lot of graffiti and broken windows. Homes did not really look that well kept and it seemed like a common thing I observed in some of the areas we drove by. When we finally did arrive to Edinburgh, it was very late so we slept in order to wake up early for the next day. We spent the next two days exploring Edinburgh and it was amazing. We visited Cramdon beach and walked a trail to a waterfall. We also had the opportunity to go visit the Edinburgh castle. I absolutely love learning about history and I was very fascinated by the history of the Scotland and especially the highlands. Visiting the Scottish National Museum was also very interesting. Although I did find myself a little overwhelmed with how much information there was. I observed that it was different to the type of museums there are in London. For example, in England there are different museums for science, natural history, etc. In Edinburgh, everything was in this one building. Although there were multiple levels and different sections everything was together and it felt like there was just far too much to see. It was nonetheless a great experience. In addition to this, we did some more exploring and went in to small shops and restaurants and overall had a great time. I enjoyed the people we interacted with and loved the food.

For the second part of our spring break, we decided to go to Athens, Greece. It was a very long journey but it was well worth it. I will say, that I did not really have any expectations for what Athens would look like but what I saw was also not what I thought it would look like. I did not know much about the city and was happy to learn more about it. The thing that surprised me the most about the area was just how much graffiti there was. It was literally everywhere. No matter what street you walked down or what part of Athens you were in, there was graffiti there. At first it was very intimidating and kind of scary. After a while of observing and reading some of them (the ones that are in english at least) it became clear that they were political. I don’t know much about the Greek government but peoples opinions about them became clear through this public display. Although it took a while to get comfortable in our area, we were still able to explore around the city centre. We visited a near by beach, went to the national gardens and tried some food from small restaurants. On the following day we decided to go on a tour of Delphi. It was very interesting to learn about the history of Delphi and of the remaining structures. I enjoyed learning more about the temple of Apollo, especially because I used to be obsessed with Greek mythology as a kid. On the second to last day in Greece we decided to visit the Acropolis. It was actually a 40 minute walk from the place we were staying in but we were nonetheless excited to go visit it. It certainly was a hike to get up there but the view from the Parthenon as beautiful. Seeing the remnants of temples and other structures is simply amazing. After, we visited the Acropolis museum which was even better than I thought it was going to be. I think my fascination with Greek mythology allowed me to enjoy this more than some of my friends did. It was a good way to end the trip. I think overall, I learned a lot about two very different cultures and was very happy to be able to experience them.