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Tag: Athens (Page 2 of 3)


Athens: “Life is Beautiful”

Student guitarist Rick Carrizales is loving the city where he has lived since September and is wistful about his study abroad semester ending soon. “I can’t believe this whole thing is ending in two weeks,” he said yesterday while we walked the streets surrounding the Nakas school. An El Paso, Texas native who was lit up by music in a serious way when he first heard Stevie Ray Vaughan, Rick talks about the Athens trip as providing about a 50/50 benefit, half music and half cultural and personal.

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Going for Gusto in Athens

My choice for in-flight reading material was so pregnant with obviousness that I expected ridicule from my fellow passengers. Was I actually boarding an airbus for Athens with a copy of Kazantzakis’s Zorba the Greek in my bag? Well, I hear that Greeks embody the joy-of-life thing as well as anyone, and Zorba is viewed as one of literature’s most gusto-rich characters, so why not? I am on this journey to learn how the high-spirited Athenian life is leaving its mark on nine Berklee students; might as well have Zorba, the king of zest, in the back of my mind.

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Semester in Athens: getting acclimated

The start of a new semester abroad is such an exciting time, and I was so fortunate as to be with yet another fantastic group of Berklee students embarking on their study abroad program last week.

Semester in Athens student Zach Baldwin-Way takes in the majesty of the Acropolis by night.

Semester in Athens student Zach Baldwin-Way takes in the majesty of the Acropolis by night.

One evening, after a mouthwatering traditional “taverna” dinner, complete with the tenderest lamb and hearty quantities of tzatziki (a dip of cucumber, yogurt, and garlic) and saganaki (fried cheese, enough said), we made our way up toward the Acropolis.  As awe-inspiring as the Acropolis is during the day, I have to say that it is perhaps at its most beautiful at night.  Rising above the city lights, the monuments and the hill itself are majestically lit, and the result is breathtaking.  We kept pausing on our way up the hill to marvel at the 2500-year-old structures rising above us—it’s pretty astounding how ancient these monuments are.

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Souvlakia and bouzoukia in Athens

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!).

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Geia sas from Athens, Greece!

Geia sas from Athens, Greece!  I’m here gearing up for another semester of the Berklee Study Abroad program.  The students have been arriving the past couple days to start their semester, hosted by the Philippos Nakas Conservatory, a Berklee International Network partner school.

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