I have made it to Greece! Since I last checked in here I spent a few days running around London, flew to Thessaloniki, and have been extremely busy here the past three days. I rounded up London by seeing all the big tourist sites such as Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace, and St. Paul’s Cathedral. Also, I took a day trip out to Rochester, UK which was a little different than Rochester, MN. This Rochester had a 700 year old castle and a nice more relaxing environment compared to London. Overall, I had a great time in the UK but I was ready to move on to Greece by the end of my stay.My flight took off from London Gatwick early Friday morning and this time I did not make the mistake of taking a taxi. Instead I got an Uber at 4:30 am and it was less than $15 total which was pretty good compared to my taxi experience. The flight to Thessaloniki was about three hours and I was with mostly other students from Cardiff Metropolitan University in Wales. They were coming to the American Farm School as well for a week-long program. I would end up spending a lot of time with them this past weekend. Friday, we walked around Thessaloniki and got a little better grasp of the city. It is very beautiful and is nothing like what I’ve seen in America. I guess to describe it, it has a mix of Turkish and Baltic influences. I’m looking for a photo now, but I guess I forgot to take any pictures of the city! I will add some soon. On Saturday, we took a bus out to Mt. Olympus and climbed in the foothills. It was a really cool hiking trail, but also pretty rough with ice and snow. My study abroad director here has said that we will take a 2 day hiking trip all the way to the top later in the year when the weather is nicer. We also visited a few traditional Greek villages. From the villages we had a fantastic view of the Aegean Sea. Sunday, we visited two different vinery’s. The first was a wine producing vinery and made different Greek varieties of wine. The second made everything but wine from the plants. The primary product was the grape leaves. They used the grape leaves to make traditional Mediterranean foods that were very different than American foods. That night I went to Aigli, which is this 500+ year old Turkish bath house that was converted into a Cafe/Club and the inside was absolutely amazing. It was a fantastic venue and it was really cool to see the ancient architecture on the inside mixed with more modern aspects of a Cafe. So far this week I have had a tour of campus, orientation, and my first class. The classes are very different than at Iowa State. My first class (Livestock Management and Production) there were only two students! It is going to be a little different than the 300+ lecture halls at ISU.
Next week, I should be able to tell more about campus and the classes in general. I also know I will be in the city a bit more, so stay tuned!