My Greek Travels

Hi everyone!  I’m on my last location for my Pitt in Greece program, Karpathos!  My time here has been a great adventure, and I’d love to share with you where I have been living and how we have been moving around this month.

This is our fifth hotel and ninth city location.  Unlike most study abroad opportunities with a home base, our home has become the bus that we use to travel, and each hotel has been a unique stop along the way.  Our first stop was in Tolo, a beautiful small town on the Aegean.  This stop offered us amazing views and luxury, however, was a quiet area as the summer season hadn’t begun.  There was a pool, and the sea was a short walk away with plenty of sunshine.  During the day, we would take trips to Nafplio, a booming and wealthy port city.  This was a great tourist spot with lots of restaurants and shopping.

Our second location was Kaiafas where we stayed three nights.  This was a very rural area, unlike the first location.  There were mountains and many herds of goats and sheep.  This hotel focused more on creating personal relationships with their guests since the last one offered more in scenery and food services.  Dinners were events with special Greek dancing and singing.  Though we felt secluded, there was still a pool and a pleasant family feel.  It was sad to leave.  During the days, we would travel to Olympia.  Olympia is a destination for many tourists with gift shops and restaurants.  The town was smaller than Nafplio but had a stronger Greek style.  Further, its ancient Olympic ruins and modern stadiums are large attractions. 

Our third location was Itea.  Similar to Tolo, the town was not in its full season but had great water views and many restaurants right on the beach.  However, this town seemed to show more signs from Greek’s economic crisis as many businesses seemed untouched and almost lonely.  Our hotel, though, was very fancy (decorated in cheetah prints) unlike our other stays.  During the day, we would visit Delphi, a town rich in history.  It was beautiful on top of the mountain.  I felt as though I was back during ancient Greek times going up to meet the oracle to ask for guidance.  The sites were amazing, and the combination of these two sites were my favorite.

Our fourth stop was Glyfada, a wealthier and beach neighborhood of Athens.  This location was unlike the others in that it had many amenities with popular shops and cafes.  This hotel was probably our worst ones in terms of luxury, but this was a tradeoff in what the location offered.  We stayed six nights and often took trams into the major city center of Athens.  In downtown Athens we went to places like the parliament and the acropolis, which can be seen from the major squares.  There were many flea markets and street food places as well as major shopping centers.  I wish we could have stayed longer as there are so many more neighborhoods and activities to explore.  However, it was also clear from graffiti and the incoming election campaigns that the city is stressed from its economic decline.  There were many abandoned homes and store fronts that couldn’t be finished.  This location was the busiest and most exciting.

Our last stop is the capital city of Karpathos, Pigadia.  This is our longest stay at nine days and a more relaxing stay with more free days.  The hotel is across from the ocean and very close to central town.  The WIFI isn’t very good but my roommate and I were lucky and got a double room with a long balcony and separate connected rooms.  It is a great room to end the trip with!  So far, we have visited Olympos, a traditional town untouched by modernization.  This town is known for its matriarchal ways and beautiful mountaintop views.  We are also visiting a beach town called Lefkos today.

I’m very excited to continue to explore Karpathos island but am sad that my trip is coming to a close soon.  Through all the traveling around Greece and many stops, I was able to explore the different possibilities of Greek living, beach, rural and urban towns, and I am so grateful for that.