Monday, December 1, 2008

Greek Thanksgiving & THIS IS SPARTA

This past week America celebrated its pride and glory holiday..the Native Americans and Pilgrims shared a feast and the world was at peace...or at least that was the case in history class until middle school. Spending my first Thanksgiving outside the confines of the States was interesting. My fellow students were annoyed that we had class. Eh I was impartial. It was the first and only time I will be in school on Thanksgiving but it was not like I was missing out on the preparation of the feast. It is not as if my family was down the street waiting for me to get done with school. Anyway CYA had a Thanksgiving "lunch" feast for us, complete with sub par pumpkin pie, a GIANT American flag, and Coca Cola (which I am still baffled by). They did a nice job of decorating and making it festive but its just not the same as sitting around the dining room table in Downingtown and solving the world's issues :). My family was appalled when I told them that we did not have mashed potatoes. In fact, I think every Irish person in America cried a little for me over that. Other then our Thanksgiving lunch the day was uneventful. I got to Skype with everyone at my house for the festivities and Kaitlyn (who since it had been so long since we heard each others voice we talked forever...much needed). We went to the Irish pub that night and Tom, a self described "pure blooded" Irish man who owns the pub, wished us and I quote "a happy Thanksgiving, whatever that is."

The next morning I left for my last CYA field trip and sadly my last traveling I will do while I am abroad. When I told Chris I was going to Sparta I could almost see his face light up, reminiscing on the movie and the classic line 'THIS IS SPARTA'. No worries Chris, it was repeated numerous times throughout the weekend. Probably every time we disembarked from the bus. The area of ancient Corinth (think St. Paul's letters to the Corinthians) was our first stop. It was the commercial hub to Sparta's military dominance. They made money and led sinful lives (according to Paul) while the Spartans waged war. The Acropolis of Corinth was this really cool castle like structure built in to a mountain. Virtually unconquerable unless the opposing army just starved out the population, yikes!

That night we went to dinner in a town outside of modern day Sparta, which you would interested to know was rebuilt right on top of ancient Sparta post-Ottoman empire. Saturday we climbed to the top the fortification that was Mystra. It was occupied by so many different groups that there are numerous different style of architecture represented. The one Church was visited was still an active nunnery. I think this is the reason that all the cats we saw were well groomed and looked healthy. Nuns love cats. Then the rain started...pouring buckets. Needless to say no one was happy. Our 3 hour on site tour got cut short and the history lessons got shorter and shorter as we moved throughout the site. Like the Acropolis of Corinth, Mystra was built in to a mountain side and literally expanded down the hill. The view from the top was my favorite part because it overlooked all of Sparta.

Tonight I getting an introduction to Lebanese food..I'm intrigued.

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