Syros

Syros Travel Blog

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We had Sunday morning off, I woke up at 630am, just naturally my body woke up (I guess that’s what happens when you go to bed so early) but slept in a little longer. One of my roommates had just got home from the bars at 6, when I was waking up….Around 8am I went to the beach with my friend Cassie and laid out and did some reading. It was so perfect, we had the beach to ourselves, it was warm and sunny but not too hot, just perfectly serene. We spent the whole morning there, and then the group checked out of our hotel at 1pm, and went to the ferry, which we took to Syros.

someone's back yard
someone's back yard

Syros is the capital of the Cycladic Islands, where all the administrative centers are. It is completely different from Mykonos. Instead of the square white washed buildings that are typical of Mykonian architecture, the buildings of Syros tend to look more neoclassical. And the town is sandy brown, not bright white. It is a darling city and we’re staying in a great hotel, right by the pier. I went out with a couple of my classmates and wandered around looking for a gyro for dinner. Everything is closed since it’s a Sunday, but we finally found a place.

my friend Cassie
my friend Cassie

On Monday we had a tour of the city by a local who was certifiably crazy. Liz, you would have loved her, she was ALL about Greek theater, she even converted the basement of her house into a museum about theater, which of course, we visited. She also fed us these sweets (if you wait around long enough I’ve found, someone always gives you a cookie or something good) that were made from this mystical sap (she referred to it as ‘tears from a tree’) from the island of Chios. The sap is really fragrant, and everyone wanted it for perfume and to use as an aphrodisiac. It literally tasted like sap, but I didn’t tell her that. She carried a music box with her and when she would go off on tangents and recite poems, she would play music. Haha she was pretty entertaining.

town hall
town hall

We had the afternoon off to explore Syros. Most of the girls went shopping – girls on this trip drop cash like it’s going out of style. But the rest of us that have several years of grad school ahead of us engaged in the less expensive activity of people watching and window shopping. Just as entertaining. Our super long ferry back to Athens went pretty quickly which was nice. Pulling in to the Port at Piraeus you could smell the pollution and just feel it sticking to your skin. I hadn’t noticed it the first time I arrived in Athens, but after the fresh island air, I definitely noticed it.

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Most of the girls took cabs back to the apartments, spending 10Euro apiece instead of just 80cents to take the much more exciting subway. Making your way around Athens can be so stressful! You always have to dodge out of someone’s way and try not to get lost. It is not a relaxing city at all. But I love it anyway.

On Tuesday we had a guest speaker who took us on a walking tour of a nearby neighborhood. We visited a memorial of the Nazi shooting range, where they would execute any resistors (which was everyone Greek basically) The Nazis were so cruel to the Greeks, which you never learn about in school when you study the Holocaust. I guess that isn’t surprising, my grade school history teachers conveniently forgot to mention A LOT of history like that…During WWII Greece was also occupied by the Italians, I’m reading a book about that right now called Corelli’s Mandolin. It’s a great book, everyone should read it.

Anyway, I got Tuesday afternoon off to have some down time. We have class again at 17:00. I’m trying to use the European time system instead of converting it just to make life easier. It’s simple to do this with time, not so much with Celsius and Fahrenheit conversions, so I’ve completely given up any interest on knowing the temperature and am satisfied with knowing that it’s hot. It’s always hot.

Homework time for Vivi, hope you are having a great summers.

Vv

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Syros
photo by: sylviandavid