Emily in Madrid

Emily, a junior Hunt Leadership Scholar majoring in corporate communications and public affairs, is studying Spanish language and culture in Madrid in Spring 2011 as part of SMU-in-Spain.

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Spring break in Greece

greece%202.jpg We used a Spanish travel agency to book our Spring Break, which I would definitely recommend to other study abroad students. The agency organized all transportation and accommodations, which included a cruise through the Greek Isle and four days in Athens.

greece%204.jpg The first part of the trip was the cruise to several Greek islands, including Mykonos, Crete, Patmos, Santorini and Kusadasi, a coastal town of Turkey.

My favorite was the charming island of Mykonos. We had great weather when visiting Mykonos, where we walked around the shops in “little Venice” and saw an incredible sunset.

When we visited Santorini, the most picturesque of the islands, it was unfortunately raining and foggy. We didn’t let that stop us from having our Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants moment by riding donkeys up to the city, or from enjoying a Souvlaki kebab at the famous Lucky’s Souvlakis.

greece%206.jpg Our stop in Turkey was probably the most interesting. It’s safe to say that female tourists were the only women roaming the bazaar, which made us a little uncomfortable as aggressive vendors hassled us to buy leather shoes and purses. As soon as they knew they were dealing with Americans, I swear the prices and sale pitch would double. We used wise advice from friends on the ship, saying that we worked for the cruise company so vendors wouldn’t bother us.

greece%201.jpg The cruise itself was a riot, as the majority of passengers were twice our age, but it was the perfect way to visit so many of the islands in only a few days.

Back in Athens, we got a great deal on our hotel, which we soon found out was because of its location in Omonia, the worst neighborhood of the city. It came to be a joke because locals would look horrified when we told them where we were staying, but in actuality it was only unsafe at night.

Athens overall isn’t the prettiest city in the world, and you can definitely see the toll the economy has taken. However, there was so much history to see that we really enjoyed our four days there. We visited the Acropolis, Ancient Agora, original Olympic stadium, and several interesting museums, all of which were almost free for students.

The best part about Greece was the delicious food and outgoing people, and we couldn’t have asked for a more memorable Spring Break.

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