By Margaret Markham, Berkshire Center Academic Dean
On March 14, The Berkshire Center’s Academic Dean Margaret Markham, Residential staff member Jan Petrides and Michelle Plushanski, a students mother, departed JFK airport with 16 CIP students for Greece. Every one of the 19 individuals who experienced this trip agree that it was amazing!
Highlights of the trip included sightseeing at the Acropolis, the Parthenon, Delphi, Three Greek Islands, shopping in the Plaka, eating out at several fabulous restaurants, and attending a floor show at a typical Greek tavern which included Greek folk dancing, singing and musical instruments.
Our stay at the Athens gate hotel was wonderful, especially the breathtaking view of the Acropolis we viewed from our spots at the breakfast table every morning through the windowed restaurant on the top of our hotel. During their free time some of the students rode funiculars, an inclined railway, up to the top of Lykavittos Hill to visit the Chapel of Agios Georgios.
Other students took cabs to visit the modern Olympic Stadium. Dimitri, one of the cab drivers was determined to get the students inside one of the gates of the stadium, and he wasn’t to be daunted by trying gate number one and finding it locked. He talked to the other cab driver and they both turned off their meters and said that they would only charge us what they had originally estimated!
Taking us to several other gates allowed students to sneak a peak at the swimming pools and the tennis courts which excited Charlie Jacobs and Jane Muserlian to no end being the tennis buffs that they are. Dimitri gave us a mini guided tour and seeing the students’ interest in Greek life, he explained the educational system and family living. We all found the Greek people to be very friendly and helpful towards Americans. By the end of the week Zach Zeller was even beginning to read some of the Greek words written in characters!
One of the funniest things that happened, according to Margaret Markham, was when residential staff member Jan Petrides woke up in the middle of the night on the first night and asked Margaret what time it was. Margaret looked at her watch upside down and said that the time was 6:50 AM. Jan hopped out of bed, showered, and blew dry her hair. After calling the desk to ask why we hadn’t received our wake-up calls yet, the man explained that it was the middle of the night! Margaret had read her watch upside down with her glasses off. Luckily she is still here to tell the tale.
All joking aside, it was one of the best times of all of our lives I think all of us would agree.
“Greece was wonderful! It was everything I hoped it would be” (Eric Sundman). “I loved seeing the land of my heritage! (Stevanne Decker). “It was a once in a lifetime experience, a very beautiful place to visit” (Jane Muserlian).