My name is Demetrios Kiriopoulos. In case you haven’t already deciphered that I’m Greek by the name… I’m fully Greek. However, I’ve never been to Greece; the land of my people, the culture that inspires and motivates. I have never been to Greece… until last August. The plane ride there was not very fun. I’ve never taken a plane ride that far before so I did not know what to expect.
Hours passed and the last movie on the flight ended. All that “non-fun” changed course when I peered out the window, down below. I saw vast planes, mountains, animals! I had an overwhelming feeling that I was home. Greece looked so peaceful, so glorious, from up above. The lights shimmered from all the different villages and cities. I could not wait to go “home”.
After landing at their major airport and exiting the plane, a huge, happy grin found a place of my face. In my mind, I was not expecting to see such an advanced airport such that I observed. My father who comes from the “old country” told me stories, all of things he saw as a child. It is evident that Greece did have a modern age and that as time went on, so did technological advancements.
I found my family members waiting to receive me from my trip. All at once, I gathered feelings of need: The need to see the museums, the villages, the people, that made up this beautiful place called Greece.
Day 1 through 5 consisted mostly of adapting to the time change and getting used to their idea of tomatoes, olive oil, and bread for “breakfast”. Everyone sipped on either a hot coffee or an iced one. There really wasn’t any lunch served, but I made my way around town to scavenger for places to eat. I found a burger joint by the name of Goodies. Their burgers were not “goodie” at all. Of course, coming from America, their versions of burgers did not live up to my standards. However, their salads, wraps, and French fries were by far the best. Dinner was the most impressive part of the day. It did not matter whether it was a holiday or not, dinner would present itself with a quarter-lamb dinner and all the fixin’s. Economically, this size of dinner would provide enough leftovers to produce 6 future dinners. Meats were not that expensive as they were raised and butchered by their owners.
Day 6 through 20 consisted of my family taking me on mini-trips throughout the lower parts of Greece. Trips to the Caves of Dirou, my uncle’s village, and many other interesting mini-vacations made their way into our day. Seeing these unique places has given me a new perspective on life. I’ve learned to respect what I have and what I can do to make the most of everything.
Day 21 through 30 allowed me to basically sit on my butt and watch TV. This was a new experience all together. Television programming in Greece, compared to what we see on TV in America come from two different worlds! They don’t have MTV or ESPN, but they squeeze many shows into one. For example, the News would broadcast the country’s news, play music, feature home goods, and have cooking shows all in the same 3 hours.
Day 31-35 Visited the last museums and saw artifacts from the world. It was the end of my trip. I was seriously contemplating on “accidently” missing my flight back home. I really did not want to leave all this behind. I went to sleep, mid-afternoon, for the last few days to try and revert back to the American time. Greece’s days are seven hours ahead of the United States.
This trip, by far, had opened up my eyes to different cultures, different people, and gave me a sense of adulthoodness. I vacationed in Greece for about 5 weeks. I traveled mostly in The Peloponnesus area of Greece, none the less, it was an experience of a lifetime! I would not change it for anything less!
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