Souvlaki is always a hit with the students on their arrival in Athens. If you’re familiar with a gyro sandwich, then you have the basic concept: a thick grilled pita with shaved chicken, pork, or kebab, with tomato, lettuce, sauce, and deliciously seasoned french fries (yes, fries in a sandwich – genius!).
It usually costs less than two euros and is extremely satisfying. On our first trip to the souvlaki joint directly across the street from Nakas (the Berklee partner school where the students will study this semester), the students were also amazed by the freshness of all the food, from the Greek salad to the combo meat plate to the hot grilled pitas. Also, the portions are refreshingly normal – enough to leave you contentedly full, not stuffed to the point of illness as in some restaurants.
In our wanderings that same afternoon, naturally at one point we found ourselves a bouzouki shop, where we learned about the different sizes (the smallest bouzouki is pitched an octave higher) and the D-A-D tuning.
All the students will get to familiarize themselves with concepts of Greek traditional music in their required Greek Rhythm and Sound course; and in addition, a few of them have registered for a course where they can select a traditional Greek instrument (typically bouzouki) to learn. More on the students’ first week discovering Athens to follow!
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