September 16 – 18
As you know, I am still on study abroad in Italy, but for a weekend (Sept 16-18), my friends and I decided to fly out of the country to visit Athens, Greece. It was very quick, but we spent our time wisely and saw everything we wanted to see. This was my second time in Athens, the first time was in 2004 for the Olympic Ceremonies and I was nine years old, so revisiting was definitely a new experience for me.
Also, I got to celebrate my Name Day, which is a Greek Orthodox tradition of celebrating the feast day of the Saint you are named after. Since my name is Sophia, there is a day dedicated to her on September 17. On that day, I went to the Saint Sophia church in the morning for a quick service. Afterwards, my friends and I toured the Acropolis, Ancient Agora, and the new Acropolis museum. We spent the evening shopping around the tourist shops and having dinner in a little restaurant called Smile. When the owner found out it was my name day, she brought out a free little cake and the whole restaurant sang me ‘Happy Name Day.’ It was truly special to have spent my day with my best friends in Greece, all that was missing was my family.
I was so happy to be back in Greece, the atmosphere and climate is different from that of Italy. I felt at home. The food was amazing everywhere we ate, I definitely recommend eating at Smile. It is family owned and operated and the food is authentic, plus the loukoumades are amazing!!! We booked an Airbnb a few streets down from the Acropolis, probably the best location ever! The host was incredibly kind and the apartment was adorable. I love the idea of staying in an apartment in a foreign city because it feels like home. I recommend 10/10 booking an Airbnb, just be smart about location, fees, and photographs.
I cannot wait to be back with my family in the future!
Photography by Sophia Kountakis.