I can’t believe this is my life! Today, I went with the three American interns at AFS (Micah, Ashley and Carrie) and three of the AFS college students from Albania to the region of Greece known as Halkidiki.
It’s a region famous for beaches, as it’s three “fingers” of land that stick out into the Mediterranean. Everyone has their theory of which finger is best and which specific beach is the most beautiful. Today, we went to the first finger, to a place called Kallithea (meaning “beautiful view”).
And was it ever!! We rounded the corner to walk down to the beach, and for once, even I couldn’t take a picture for a few moments. The water is so blue and clear; with the palm trees from the top of the hill where we were at, it was almost ridiculous. It almost felt like a parody of something that was supposed to be beautiful; as if someone had taken every picturesque thing they could think of and put it in one spot.
We spent the whole day playing in the sea, lying in the sun, talking and exploring together. I really like the whole group I went with; I’m getting to know & like the other Americans more and more, and the Albanian students were so nice to us. They were so helpful today; without them, we would have struggled with getting bus tickets, knowing where to go and finding good food for lunch. They all speak very good Greek and good English, as well as Albanian (of course) and some Italian. Being multi-lingual is much more common here than in the States, much to my delight! I really think foreign language education in the States is dangerously limited, to the detriment of Americans and everyone else.
One thing I really love about Greece is how diverse the landscapes are and how easy it is to travel within the country. I can get to breathtaking beaches or gorgeous mountains or massive, sprawling city very easily from where I live. Next week is Athens and Aegina!! After that, I’ll settle into a regular teaching routine.
However, I just decided to return to Athens in late October again for the 5K at the Athens marathon!! This is a big deal because this is the marathon that all other marathons are named after. I wish I was in better shape to run a longer distance, but I just want to be a part of it! It’s also the 2,500th anniversary. It continually strikes me how young America is compared to this country.
Well, faithful blog readers, this traveler is pooped. Whole day in the sun + run upon return = tired (but not sunburnt!! Hallelujah!) Kate. Goodnight world! Thanks for a great day.