There is no better feeling than getting off a plane after a long flight, especially when it means you've finally arrived in the country you'll be spending the next month, Greece. After collecting my luggage and having my passport stamped I met up with my professor and the other members of the study group. We waited at a bagel shop in the airport for everyone to arrive and wasted time getting to know one another as well as sampling the Grecian pastries the shop sold. The bagels weren't actually bagels as you might be picturing with the circular hole in the center. Rather they were long pastries more akin to a sub bun with a variety of fillings you could choose from ranging from meats and cheeses to chocolate or coconut. Once we'd collected everyone we departed for our hotel. After we arrived and were given our room keys as well as an 'allowance' to use as we saw fit we were dismissed for the day to explore Athens. A couple other students and I walked the beach nearby and had a contest skipping stones before making our way to a nearby restaurant with open air seating where we ate dinner.
The next day class began after a hotel breakfast with a visit to the agora, a mix of market and social hub overseen by a temple to the god of the forge Hephaestus. After eating lunch we walked to the aeropagus or 'Hill of Ares' where Saint Paul was said to have preached before making our way up to the acropolis and the highlight of the day the Parthenon.
Our next and final day in Athens began with a visit to the Greek Parliament where we watched the changing of the guard and then went to the National Archeological Museum. The afternoon was free but we ended our first portion of the trip by watching the sunset over the temple of Poseidon at Cape Sounion and eating dinner as a class on the beach.