Much Ado About Athens

Leah Mangold Athens, Greece


June 1, 2017
By Leah Mangold, Arcadia in Greece Summer

It's been two weeks since I arrived in Athens, and I think I am finally adjusted to the laundry-on-the-clothes-line, feta-cheese-with-everything, laid back way of life. 

I absolutely love my little apartment that I share with four other girls. I have my own room, with a door that opens to a balcony and lets in lots of natural light. The best part? A bakery with amazing breakfast pastries right across the street. And every Friday, the street next to mine is turned into a market; for less than eight euros, I can buy enough fruits and vegetables for a week! 

The Greek people I've met so far have been incredibly friendly, and for the most part they speak English. They love when we try to speak Greek in conversation—even if it is just a simple 'thank you.' 

As for Athens itself, I am in awe every day. The view from the top of the hills is breathtaking—no picture can do it justice. And it’s an archaeological heaven. With our American Student IDs, we could buy a discounted package deal: access to the top seven ancient sites for only 15! 

Aside from museums and ancient ruins, the weeks have been full of other random activities. Arcadia staff provided two Greek cooking lessons—we made Greek salad, a cheese pie, and a spicy sausage sauce with rice. We visited some of the art exhibits from the Athens and Epidaurus Festival, including one theater performance. And we even visited an outdoor movie cinema which was a bit of an adventure…

The movie theater itself was really neat—set in the National Gardens at night, the well-known theater showcases one movie for an entire week. One of the Arcadia staff members recommended going because the theater plays its movies in the original language (ie: not in Greek). Of course, the weekend we decided to visit, the movie of choice was The Queen of Spain. It is a Spanish film, so we didn’t understand a word (and the subtitles were in Greek). The cashier at the food counter was surprised when she heard our American accents. She said, “You speak Spanish?” Nope.

Even though we could barely understand the plot, I am glad I went. It was neat to experience something that local Greeks do for fun. Next time, though, we will check what movie is playing before we buy tickets! 

And that's it for now. I'm looking forward to exploring more of Athens soon (and hopefully other parts of Greece too!). Stay tuned!

Leah MangoldLeah is a student at Arcadia University and is blogging from her summer abroad on the Arcadia in Greece, Summer program, in Athens, Greece


Greece Summer