So, to end a full-on week of activities and drinking with ESN, the Mykonos trip came around and we were promised another four days of drinking, sightseeing and bonding with our fellow Erasmus students. We set sail (on a five-hour-long ferry) to the island most famous for its windmills, on Thursday morning waking up at 4am for a departure from the ESN office at 5am. With around 200 Erasmus students we set off.
Alex and I became members of hotel 7 and hotel 6 became home to Dejan. When we finally docked in Mykonos, we were subjected to a lot of waiting around as the coaches meaning to take us were all on Greek time (meaning they’d be roughly an hour later than they had said). However, once on the coaches we soon made it to our small hotel where 19 of us were staying for the 4 days. We were quick to make friends and started asking around about what everyone was planning on doing for the day, and minds automatically turned to food. With the ferry only taking cash a lot of us hadn’t eaten since yesterday dinner time, and it was now around 2pm. Us and a group of 7 others headed off in the direction of any restaurant. To our surprise a couple of the people within the group were ones we had previously met on a clubbing night and at the Greek dinner. We found a place along the front and ordered immediately.
With food in our belly’s we looked for the nearest beach and found one that was already host to multiple other Erasmus students. We decided this would be where we would spend the rest of the day.
The evening called for pre-drinks with our new-found friends and a club night. A classic game of ‘Ring of Fire’ and a lot of laughing later and we decided it was time to head out. We ended up at ‘Scandinavian bar’ which was what was suggested by the ESN guides as we had free entry and a ‘discount’. We soon realised this would not be the best place to party. On arriving we got our free entry, however, for two drinks at the bar it was 18 euros – even with the discount. We learnt that this discount was in fact only 1 euro off. So being the smart students we are we decided best to go out to the kiosk around the corner and buy beer and mixed drinks from there for 2 euro and then go back in when we were ready to dance. (Little did we know this would become the schedule for each night out).
The next day was a group trip to ‘Super Paradise’ and being a bit hungover from the night before we didn’t pack accordingly. We forgot to pack drinks, food and therefore, became trapped in the beach club as it was in the middle of nowhere. Food cost 13 euros for a plate from a cafeteria-like setting and a soft drink (with our wristband). Alcoholic drinks were also expensive with it being 6 euros for a beer. This place we branded super paradise, but we soon relabelled it super * paradise (*expensive). However, we had a lovely time with the friends we had made, and the water was so clear as well as the beach being beautiful. This beach bar would have been a lot more fun had we not been students or even if we had been students with a lot more money. Little did we know that for 5 Euros we could have travelled back to the town centre at any point during the day. As soon as we found this out we soon travelled back to the town and got some cheap gyros to make up for the food we had in the beach club. This night was probably the most tired we were for the whole holiday; however, we refused to leave it on a bad note, and with a bit of group peer pressure we all managed to make it out to the club. The club we went to was ‘Argo’ this played better music than the other bars, but the drinks were still pretty expensive *que escape to the kiosk*. This was a good night, but we ended the night around 3am, with the other party-goers still going till 5am, as we needed our beds. Although, on our return home we sat on the rooftop by our apartments watching the stars and chatting which was an ideal end to the night. (Alea even managed to see a few shooting stars – to Alex’s annoyance he was always too late to see them).
The final full day was here, and we all felt refreshed as we hadn’t gone too hard on the previous night and got a relatively good night sleep, so we headed out to the windmills. The windmills weren’t that impressive, but the views of the little Venice and the white houses down the side towards the sea proved to be the main sight to see. The streets themselves of Mykonos were also incredibly beautiful as the alleys weave in and out. However, be careful as all the alleys look mostly the same, so it is good to gage some landmarks – like a shop or restaurant here and there, so you know you’re going along the right way. After this, another beach day was in need as we had a couple beers and watched the sunset over the sea. This evening, being the last evening on the island, we decided to party hard. This followed the same routine as the last couple of nights. However, we had all learnt not to buy drinks out apart from the kiosk, and this is what we did. This proved to be a good end to an eventful holiday.
These events – even if they don’t turn out the way you had set in your mind – are amazing ways to make friends and socialise with people who are in the same boat as you are. It definitely makes you feel more connected to the other people on Erasmus, and now we have a whole new group of friends from different backgrounds to socialise with and learn from.
Article by Elly Babe (@elly_babexxx)
Edited and Published by Elly Babe
I still can’t come to terms that I’m studying in Athens for a year. I’m mesmerized to say the least … I’m immobile like the statue at end of my dusty street. I’m broken to bits, chipped away but I’m still monumental.
I’m proud to be a resident of the ruins.
I live in the fucking acropolis; this means I’m in the centre of everything. I’m part of the unique culture, the rich history and the advanced civilization.
This was the right choice and I have no regrets whatsoever. Yet, I’m the tearless traveller who is always adjusting and adapting, I’m never happy with normality. I’m on the hunt for newness, I want my experiences to elevate me to greatness. I’m still finding myself (whatever that means), the search may last for eternity, but I have time. I got it inked on my skin just to remind me.
I did this by myself, I put in the work and now I’m living lavish. No one believed in the lunatic that’s been babbling on about an impossible trip, back home everyone thought I was delusional. I made my own destiny even when everyone doubted me. Who would have thought a boy like me would achieve his aspiration?
It was difficult for me to leave my past behind; the forgotten farewells stay stuck in my mind. People that I thought cared never even said goodbye.
I have been blessed with such a caring family; my guardians always look after me, they guide me even in my time of need. I’m the ultimate third wheel but they are glad to have me at every meal. I learned a lot from them because their relationship is very special. The Airbnb is meant to be a ‘me and you’ experience but I sleep alone. Honestly, I’m content with the fact that I don’t rely on a significant another. Loneliness is my richness. I lay in bed with a smile because I don’t need to argue, I don’t need to debate and eventually hate.
My suitcase is bigger than my accomplishments. I wanted to bring all my precious reminders with me, but I simply didn’t have any space. The excess weight cost me a fortune. My memories are made up by materialistic objects, people come and go but this stuff never loses its sentiment. I proudly hanged my paintings on the wall, along with my posters and photos. I have a stack of books that I will never read. This one has no cover, just the title ‘Astonishing Athens’ on the front. I tried tearing out the old pages in hope that I can focus on the new chapters. The meaning is lost in the various translations. My story is like the minotaur’s maze, there is no escape from the monster nor the myth.
The place where I rest is the owl’s thorn nest. I’m mighty but featherless, this flight is for the fearless.
The truth is … Eros is corrupt for he is unaware that cold hearted love to fuck up, they can’t comprehend the intensity of their lover’s devotion. They are doomed figurines that lack pure emotion. So, shoot your shot if you must, but please stop overhyping the actuality of love.
The nectar of my soul drips on Athena’s shield. Her silver spear is my rib cage, my organs are pierced but I stand straight with pride. The inner fighter in me will never die.
This city will always be alive, the archaic architecture will never fade away.
Dionysus dances on my grave tonight. I feel the ecstasy in the white wine. I’m a helpless actor in his play.
The battle between the ancient and modern is a recurring theme in the capital, the division in this new age is slowly tearing up the tranquillity. The way I see it, the Greeks are staying strong to their roots but are attempting to mimic the progress of the first world nations. Stick to what you know, cherish the traditional values that your ancestors thrived in.
Even the university campus surprised me, it was this big hollow building with graffiti on every corner. There were anarchist signs everywhere and anti-capitalism slogans on the stairs. It wasn’t as advanced as Brighton, things were old fashioned, and you accepted the slow-paced system. It all consisted on paperwork rather than doing things online.
The food is out of this world, everything is fresh and rich in taste. I don’t mind eating gyros every day, the westerns expectations have been exceeded, so just feed me anything. Drinking is obviously part of our daily routine, I enjoy saying Yamas every hour, bring the spirits to our table until I get my drunken superpowers. My confidence sprouts like a pretty flower, the way that her eyes are fixated is making me lose my will power.
I feel unworthy of the Greek glory, I’m taken back by the orange sunrise that slowly falls into the bright blue sea.
I’m like a fragile God glancing down at the scenery, the little white houses that are stacked on one another start to disappear as everything gets dimmer. I’m standing on a delightfully disintegrating landscape, resting on the late homes that are thousand years old.
The sangria is poured down into the rocks like blood.
It’s unreal at times. But this is the most that I’ve felt at home.
The Greek girl blissfully walks into the water at midnight, she slowly swims into the Aegean sea, the moonlights mouth consumes her whole, she is freed from all her sins as her body floats …
Poem By Dejan Inic (@durtday)
Published by Alex Hood (@alexjohnhood)
We are three Brighton University students who have been given the opportunity to study at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. This blog will be our way of sharing our experiences of living and studying in Greece, plus will include tips and advice for those also looking to study abroad or even just visit Athens.
Who we are:
Where we went...