Athens and Karpathos Greece

Our time in downtown Athens was very stimulating. Athens is the lively historical capital of Greece and has incredible tourist sites. Fortunately, we came to Greece during election time and had the opportunity to see how elections functioned in a foreign country. One day we were at lunch and one of the candidates stopped by with his campaign committee to interact with residents and fish for votes. We even had the chance to talk with him shortly and share why us American students were in the country. Our teacher also took us to a community event hosted by another candidate in a nearby neighborhood. We were able to meet and interact with Greek students from local Universities and get their different perspectives on the elections and hear about their experiences. Downtown Athens has a plethora of street performers, street vendors, and retail stores. The city was bustling and full of tourists and locals when we were there, and apparently later in the summer it gets even busier. Since our hotel was located a little bit outside of downtown Athens, we had the chance to learn how to use Athens metro system and cab service which actually wasn’t too difficult and reminded me of the New York City Metro system. My time in the mainland of Greece was amazing, now the final stop of our trip is our teacher’s hometown; the island of Karpathos. Our program was front-loaded meaning that it was structured in a way that scheduled most of the coursework at the beginning of the trip so we could relax and finish up everything on the island at the end of the trip. The island of Karpathos is culturally rich and very scenic, we had the opportunity to see traditional Karpathian villages and homes and also eat Karpathian food. One of the best gyros I had in Greece was one with Karpathian sausage and the rest of the fixins, absolutely delicious. During this time we were also tasked with completing a SWOT analysis on a specific area in Greece, my group chose the Itea, Delphi, and Patras areas. Like many other popular areas in Greece the places we chose had many historical tourist sites, shopping districts, and hotels which gives opportunity to potential business owners. Some of the weaknesses revolved around the absence of certain resources and the lack of diversity in viable industries. As one could probably guess, our time in Karpathos wasn’t all work, we visited a number of beautiful beaches, relaxed, swam and saw some amazing sights as well.