Monday, May 19, 2014

We're Going Home

I wrote this from the airport yesterday but couldn't get it to upload:

        I'm officially done with college! We're in Munich about to board the plane to O'Hare. I'm sad to be leaving but excited to be on a normal schedule. I already miss all of those who aren't traveling back to Goshen with us. See all of you stateside folks soon!


Roaming Around Rome

        Yesterday Mia, Anna and I painted the town red, roaming here there and everywhere around Rome. It was. Or last day in the city and we had it all to ourselves to do whatever our little hearts desired. First we went back to the Spanish Steps to climb to the top and take in the full view. Next we were off to the Trevi Fountain again, of kicks and giggles. After that we made our way down to the Circus Maximus, where there happened to be a Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. That was cool to see! And by see I mean we were clueless tourists in the middle of this massive event. Mia went to see the Mouth of Truth while Anna and I sat on an adjacent park bench, soaking up the sunshine and beauty of the city. By the time that was through it was time to start thinking about lunch. On the way back to the metro we happened upon an enormous rose grader with hundreds of colors and varieties of roses! Upon exiting we saw a lovely bride and groom being photographed in the piazza. We made our way back toward restaurants and hit the jackpot: delicious Italian food at a good price.
        The rest of our day included souvenir shopping, selfies, gelato, The Pantheon round two, a fantastic final dinner with the group while soaking up our last moments together, cards with friends, and laughter. Lots of laughter.
        Thanks for the memories, Greece and Rome May Term 2014!

Saturday, May 17, 2014

St. Francis of Assisi

        Today we took a trip to Assisi to visit the church of St. Francis of Assisi. The countryside and the buildings are beautiful. Our itinerary included seeing two more beautiful churches, one for St. Claire and the other for St. Francis. The highlight for me was the beautiful, sunny day we had, instead of the forecasted rain, which lit up the countryside for absolutely stunning views.


Friday, May 16, 2014

The Vatican City

        These past few days in Rome have been action packed. Today some highlights were our visit to the catacombs of San Callisto and the Vatican City. There are so many amazing original articles in the Vatican Museum, the eye doesn't know where to rest. Also all the walls and floors and ceilings are so ornate that everywhere you look, it's awe inspiring. As for the Sistine Chapel, there are no words. Too bad photos are not permitted! But you should totally go visit it and experience it for yourself.


Thursday, May 15, 2014

If I Were A Pigeon...

        The title of my blog comes from the frequent phrase on the lips of Jon. There are pigeons everywhere in Rome, as there were in Greece. Jon keeps informing us of all the places he'd go and things he'd do, if he were a pigeon.
        Pigeons in Rome get to see really amazing things every day. Today we visited many things, things it don't remember the names of, but the highlight of the day was the Colosseum! Neither words nor pictures do it justice.
Leanna, Jon, Mia, Diego in front of the Colosseum. If we were pigeons, we'd live here.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

We're in Rome!

        Yesterday was a long day of travel and exploring the city, but we are in Rome!!! My level of excitement requires-count 'em-three exclamation marks. A few highlights of the day are from our walking tour of the city, including: gelato, beautiful Italian men, the Pantheon, the Fountain of Neptune, and the Spanish Steps.


Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Hill of the Muses

        Today we had a free day so Anna and I took advantage of it by exploring a bit. We hiked up to the Hill of the Muses and got an amazing panoramic view of the city, the sea, the mountains and the Parthenon. After taking in the view and the warm sun, Anna commented that it was pretty amazing that in the middle of a city of about four million people we were able to find a place that was so serene.


Sunday, May 11, 2014

All The Things (ruins and art)

        On the itinerary today were the Temple of Zeus, Hadrian's Arch, the largest marble stadium, and an archaeological museum of Athens. The Temple of Zeus was so massive! The highlight of the day was running around the track in the stadium.

Greek food is delicious

        Greek food is so good. I read an article this past year on the ranking of countries based upon their yearly consumption of cheese per capita. Greece ranked number one with a whopping fifty-five pounds per capita. I believe it. That doesn't even include how much tourists eat, and speaking from my personal experience of a tourist, that would be a LOT. Tourism is Greece's largest contributor to their industry. That's a lot of cheese. Delicious, delicious, cheese. But seriously, everything I have eaten has been delicious!


Saturday, May 10, 2014

Aegean Sea

        Saturday we took A cruise day on the Aegean Sea, which is part of the Mediterranean. We visited three islands: Poros, Hydra, and Aegina. The highlight of the day for me was cliff jumping into the Aegean Sea!


Friday, May 9, 2014


There are so many interesting sites to see! The temples of Zeus and Apollo, ancient Corinth, the Corinth Canal built in the 1800s. It is so cool to read the letters of Paul in the actual locations he was writing to. I am loving this experience!


Thursday, May 8, 2014

We're in Athens!

        Today we went to the Acropolis museum and saw the Parthenon in person. If I didn't

have a picture, I wouldn't believe it myself. What an amazing, once in a lifetime experience. The artwork and architecture are astounding in size and beauty.


Wednesday, May 7, 2014

The Oracle at Delphi

        Yesterday We arrived for a later dinner and to check into our hotel in Delphi. The next morning we visited the museum and archaeological site. The museum showcased the evolution of ancient art from simplistic forms to perfection as defined by humanism. I was amazed at the precision, especially in the latter works, which include fine details such as eyelashes and tendons.

        Like all the other locations we have visited, the views are breathtaking. I could never get tired of looking out the window if I lived here. On top of that, the food is delicious and the people are extremely warm and hospitable.


Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Icons and Monasteries

        This morning we learned how icons are made. There are still those who make them in traditional way.

        Our travels took us to Meteora where we visited a monastery. The land used to be filled with water, but due to an earthquake the water drained out of the canyon, leaving massive rock formations. This impressive landscape is the perfect reclusive and beautiful place to go for a life devoted to prayer and study. Or in our case, be be tourists and walk through a monastery and learn about the monastic movement and way of life.













Monday, May 5, 2014

Mount Olympus!

        This morning we left Thessaloniki for Barrea. We saw a former synagogue and met a Greek Jew whose relatives date back to the Diaspora Jews. After that we headed to Vergina and saw Phillip the Second's excavated tomb. Sadly no pictures were allowed, but it was truly one of the most amazing things I have ever beheld. Gold crowns, 2300 year old paint on the tomb, silver dishes, armor, and more.
        We climbed Mount Olympus today. Even as I write this I can't believe it! The view was beautiful and. The climb was refreshing after days spent traveling around by bus. Pictures do not do the scenery justice at all, but just try to imagine it being 1000x more gorgeous. We also walked to a waterfall via a Roman aqueduct. This day was awesome!


Sunday, May 4, 2014

Greek Orthodox Church

        There were so many great things about today, but I'll only name two. Our learning centered around the official and predominant religion in Greece, Greek Orthodoxy.

        This morning we visited the Greek Orthodox Church of St. Demetrius. My favorite parts were the sights and sounds, both which were incredibly beautiful.

        Afterward we visited the Rotunda of Galarius, constructed around 300 AD. An interesting fact is that the Rotunda had been used as a place of worship by Muslims, Jews and Christians. What a cool history! These structures are impressive and beautiful; pictures simply cannot capture their grandeur.






Saturday, May 3, 2014

In the Footsteps of the Apostle Paul

        What an exciting day it has been! We went to the river where Lydia was baptized and then ate at "her house". Geeks do a great version of the hamburger, by the way.

        After lunch we saw ruins where Paul would have preached the good news and walked on a road he would have taken. The sights were breathtaking and beautiful.

        We also visited the port city Kavala and talked about the visions of Paul.

        Today was filled with many beautiful and interesting things, so be sure to catch me in person see all the neat photos! Below are a couple photo highlights.






Friday, May 2, 2014

First day in Greece

Greece is a beautiful place! The people are warm and friendly, the food is delicious, and the streets are filled with charm. This afternoon we visited a museum of Byzantine art, which was incredibly beautiful. Here are a few photographic highlights.



Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Packing for Greece and Italy!

        You would think after the multiple trips overseas that packing would be a breeze. Coming off of my last finals week while in the midst of packing and working and cleaning out my old apartment and moving my stuff into storage and graduating, I am looking forward to finally getting some sleep on the plane. That's my hope at least.

        Not only am I pumped about traveling around Greece and Italy, I am really excited for the course content on the apostle Paul. There aren't any other courses on Paul offered at Goshen, the Bible & Religion major in me is ready to geek out reading these epistles.

        Each day I'll be posting a couple photos and some thoughts on what I've learned. Follow me if you would like, as our group follows Paul's journeys through Greece and Rome!