Thursday was a jour férié (day off) for the Ascension. Alors, j’a fait le pont! “Faire le pont” is an expression that refers to taking a day off to make a long weekend. In this case, I took Friday off for a long weekend! Thursday morning, I hopped on a 7 AM Swiss Air flight to Athens.
Greece is beautiful! Athens is a bustling, crowded city. I was surprised by the cleanliness and efficiency of Athen’s subway system. The weathered marble used in many of the city’s ancient structures is rather slippery. This trip also made me realize how MUCH Swiss people smoke!! It was refreshing to walk outside without having to inhale a breath of second-hand smoke every 10 m.
On Friday, I went to the Acropolis. The Parthenon is MASSIVE. Way bigger than I imagined. They’re doing a lot of reconstruction so there were quite a few cranes. This building must have been breathtaking in its heyday. I also went to the Ancient Agora. I learned that agoraphobia (fear of crowds and public places) stems from “agora,” which was the ancient Greek marketplace. In the evening, I walked up Filopappos Hill for a view of the Acropolis.
Friday morning, I went to the Temple of Olympian Zeus before hopping on a 2 hour boat trip to the island Hydra. Even though this was the only Greek isle I visited, I’m confident saying that Greek isles are where it’s at. There are no cars on this island, which was a welcome respite from the bustling city. The shimmering water of the Saronic Gulf reflects so many beautiful shades of blue, green, and everything in between. The hot sun beating down from above and from the ground below made the sea that much more inviting. In the evening, back in Athens, I visited the panathenaic stadium and walked up the limestone hill, Mount Lycabettus.
I didn’t have anything on my agenda for Saturday, so when I woke up, I went back to the Acropolis to marvel at the marble ruins. After, I went to the Acropolis museum and had a nice lunch before heading to the airport for my flight back to Switzerland.
I like airports and flying. I like that there are different possibilities behind every door. Flying gives you such a different perspective of the world. It makes everything seem so small in the grand scheme of things. Flying over Switzerland is lovely–there’s nothing like watching the mountain ranges PEAK (haha, get it? ok I’ll stop with the puns) up through the clouds. I saw the Matterhorn and tried to take a picture with my phone, but it didn’t come out that well. I love these mountains beyond belief! These mountains actually make me want to cry–I have no explanation.
On another note, I finished my first week of living with intention. It was difficult for me act with a phrase in mind because (especially during my daily routine) I forgot about the project. I don’t think I was successful in actually changing behaviors or doing anything differently. We’ll see about week 2!