Greece--Crete and Santorini

Trip Start Aug 04, 2011
Trip End Oct 27, 2011

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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

I just woke up to my second morning in Greece, and I can't begin to describe how beautiful it is here. We've said goodbye to cold weather and learning behind a classroom door. Instead, our classroom will be everything from the Palace of Knossos to the Acropolis to Hagia Sofia to the Pantheon. Internet is really scarce, but I kind of like being really disconnected from everything else that is going on. So far, a typical day has been class in the morning/afternoon with the rest of the day free to explore the island, lay out on the beach and swim in the Mediterranean. 
Day 1 of "Continent": CRETE
After spending the night on an overnight ferry to Crete, we walked off the ship at 6am and headed to the Palace of Knossos. Discovered in 1900 by Sir Arthur Evans, the Palace of Knossos was home to the oldest European civilization ever to be uncovered: The Minoans. The funny thing, however, is no one really knows if it's actually a palace or not. We spent a couple of hours exploring the ruin and deciding for ourselves what we thought its true purpose was. We also visited the Heraklion Museum where I saw the "Bull Leaping Fresco" and other artifacts. 
The minute we got to our Hotel, we dropped our stuff and went to the beach. I can't get over how clear and blue the water is. We swam in the Mediterranean and laid out for hours and passed out really early. 
PARADISE!! It took a while to get here but it was SO worth it. Our hotel, Hotel Kavalari , overlooks the caldera of the volcanic eruption that occurred. We had the day free to explore Santorini so we took a bus over to Camari Beach and swam out to different islands in the Mediterranean. We had class at our hotel as we watched the sunset and discussed Plato's story of "Atlantis" and the volcanic eruption that occurred here. A few of us got an amazing dinner and met up with the rest of the group where we stayed up trying "Ouzo" and other Greek specialties. 
We're off to the Museum in Santorini today and then Mykonos! CAN'T WAIT!!! 

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