it's hard to believe that yesterday, i was sitting in my room in bloomfield. now, i'm sitting in a hotel room in athens. yesterday was surprisingly calm. i just hung out with mom and straightened my hair before going to the airport.
once there, my family had a bon voyage lunch at chilis. it was delightful. then, it was time to say goodbye. i tried not to cry but couldn't help myself. how could i not see my parents for four months? it seems unthinkable. i can't possibly say how much i'll miss them -- walks and talks with my mom and tight bear hugs from pop. but i know that this is a step i have to take for myself, so sam and i turned and walked away.
to brussels, sam and i flew jet airways india. i'm not gonna lie, i was a little worried, especially because of the food. but im happy to say that my worries were for nothing. jet airways india was delightful! they had a good movie selection; i watched the full monty and the ghost writer. also, the food was really good. it was some sort of chicken in mushroom sauce. i don't know but i liked it! further, there was ample leg room and everyone was super nice. if ever you have the option, jet airways india is the way to go.
six hours later, 12:30ish NYC time and 7:30ish Brussels time, we landed. we had to wait in line for a while, but after that, i got the first stamp in my new passport. sam and i wanted to see brussels, since we had an eight hour layover, and figured out that the train was easiest. so we got on and it left -- only it wasn't going to brussels. we had ended up on the wrong train, on our way to leuven, a belgian town that sam and i agreed was the New Jersey of Belgium. Luckily, we recovered quickly and were in Brussels by 9:30. I said before the trip that I was super excited for our time in Brussels because I had no idea what to expect. Well, Brussels is wonderful! It had great architecture and a rich culture. sam and i decided to walk around and just chill when we could. so, we went to grand place (pronounced graaaaaand plaaa-se), a sort of piazza surrounded my beautiful buildings.
then, we strolled down a small cobblestone road and found what we'd always been looking for -- waffles! we got them from this hole in the wall type place that had all different types. I chose one with strawberries and powdered sugar. sam opted for strawberries, whipped cream, and chocolate sauce. they were so so so so good. i wish i could have one every day! then, we walked a little more and saw mannequin pis. finally, we found a coffee shop. we had to go in, and for the next forty five minutes, we sat, drinking coffee and watching people. it was great! from there we walked to through this cool park, sat at the palace for a while, then sat in Brussels Park for a bit. by that time, we were pooped and headed back to the airport.
our flight to athens was less comfy than our flight to belgium, but it was much shorter. to greece, we flew brussels airways. it was average in leisure and legroom. we slept through the food. then, it seemed unbelieveable -- and it still does, but we landed in greece. finally the place we had been thinking about all summer! we made our way to our hotel, which was actually much further than we expected. the hotel is adorable. its tiny, but very cute. in spite of our exhaustion, sam and i went to the roof top bar for a glass of wine. i had a glass of prosecco, a very tasty fruity white. she had a traditional greek white wine. and we sat marveling at the view. the view from the roof of the hotel is unspeakable. we tried to take pictures but they did it no justice. from the roof, one can look straight on the Parthenon, all lit up at night. it's the absolute most amazing sight i have ever seen.
tomorrow, we see it up close....