I will be spending this next semester in Freiburg, Germany, studying the sustainability of the city, as well as spending some time in the Black Forest and the Swiss Alps. I started my semester abroad with a slight detour with a quick trip to Greece. With two of my close friends, we started in Athens, spent some time on the island of Santorini, and then hopped over to Mykonos. I have never seen water so blue or so clear! I also hadn’t realized that Greece is very mountainous, and also fairly dry. It was not quite as I had pictured, or expected. The white houses with blue shutters were pristine and picturesque, but they do not cover all of the islands. We got lost so many times, and I have found that the Maps app on my iPhone is not always correct, and does not understand the twisting and turning cobblestone streets of Greece.
One thing that surprised me was the cheap price of bottled water (we didn’t drink the tap water). However, it made sense that water costs next to nothing, because I only saw one single water fountain throughout all of our travels. None existed in the airports, or along the street, just one at the top of the Acropolis (thank goodness)! There were also very few trash cans around the street, making it hard to dispose of garbage, and many empty water bottles, and there were very few, if any, recycling receptacles. In addition, the gorgeous water was dotted with plastic drifting through the rocks, side by side with the little fish that nibbled my feet. I am not complaining about my visit to Greece, just expressing some surprise! One might think that those living on islands, surrounded by water, would be a bit more cautious of polluted waters and sustainability, but that did not seem to be the case. Overall, though, Greece is gorgeous, and an amazing spot to visit!