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A Mid-Semester Escape to Naxos, Greece

Nov 14, 2018 12:26:00 PM / by Casey Rhode

In this week's post, Casey heads to Naxos, Greece with her roommate to enjoy a weeklong break filled with food, relaxation, sun, and time by the ocean. Read on as she shares about unwinding in between classes and feeling refreshed before heading back to Dublin!

Lacking Vitamin D and in desperate need of relaxation, going to Greece for assignment week was possibly the best decision I could have made. I walked off the plane and immediately felt refreshed and energized even though I had been up since 3am and on a plane for over 4 hours.

Most people chose to go to London and Paris or even Italy. Nope, not me. I wanted to lay on a beach and let my worries fall away just for a little bit, so Naxos, Greece was the place to go. My roommate and I joked that it was like we were on our honeymoon because of how beautiful the location was.

Casey By the beach in GreeceBy the water in Greece.

We had a long day of travel the first day in Greece though, after a 4-hour flight, we took a 5-hour ferry so we could get to Naxos from Athens. Now, you might be like, “Casey, why didn’t you stay in Athens longer???” Here’s why: It’s crowded and very touristy, and this wasn’t that type of vacation. Naxos felt like we had the entire island to ourselves, while Athens would have probably stressed me out. Now that that’s out of the way, back to my trip.

We got off the ferry around 11:30pm and had to walk to Joanna’s grandma’s condo, which was where we were staying. Luckily it wasn’t far at all and we got there in no time at all. We did have some trouble with the key and thought we were going to be locked out (because that’s kinda our luck), but the neighbor downstairs was thankfully still awake and came up to help us open the door. This would not be the only time we struggled with keys on this vacation. We very poorly made the bed and crashed for the night.

Breakfast in Naxos, GreeceEggs with bacon and a bread basket for breakfast in Naxos, Greece.

I took the coldest of cold showers in the morning because we had no idea the hot water was not working, but it’s fine! I just kept telling myself that cold showers are good for your hair. We decided then to go take a walk by the port and grab some breakfast. Joanna is a vegan, so she had a fruit salad. Meanwhile, I decided to treat myself a little and get eggs with bacon and a bread basket. It was glorious to stare into the ocean and eat a fulfilling meal.

Houses in Naxos, GreeceOverlooking the houses in Naxos, Greece.

Afterwards we took a walk to the beach near the condo. It’s called Saint George Beach. It was completely empty, but the view was so beautiful that we came back to this beach multiple times. It was here we watched the sun set, laid on the beach to get a little tan, and dipped our feet into the fresh water. There was this abandoned building that was right at the end of the beach where we got some amazing pictures of the ocean and the thousands of buildings that occupy Naxos.

Lunch in Naxos, GreeceAn oven baked potato filled with cheese, mushrooms, and bacons for lunch at Maro's Taverna in Naxos, Greece.

For lunch we went to a place called Maro’s Taverna. I had Saganaki and an Oven Baked Potato. I’ve already told my family that I want them to somehow make this baked potato for our Christmas dinner because it was so good. It was basically a bowl of potatoes, mushrooms, cheese, and bacon...I mean how good does that sound???

After wandering around the island for a few hours and relaxing on the beach, we went to dinner. Dinner consisted of a pork pita gyro with tomatoes, fries, and garlic bread on the side with a nice cold Coca-Cola. We turned in for the night pretty early to get ready for our next early morning. Do you see the pattern of walking, eating, and sleeping?

Stairs in an Orthodox Church in Naxos, GreeceLooking up at the stairs in an Orthodox Church in Naxos, Greece.

So as college students we don’t usually like to get up early, but to have breakfast while watching the sun rise at the Temple of Apollo, it’s well worth it. At the crack of dawn, we got up, grabbed some food and made the short hike up to Temple of Apollo. It looks like a giant window or door, but just thinking about the history of it is fantastic. The waves were crashing on one side and yet calm on the other. It was so windy it felt like I was going to blow over, but the colors of the sky were unbelievable. We sat there and ate some bread and honey and all was good. The rest of the day consisted of wandering around from the Orthodox Church, to some pretty cool stairs and then all the way back to the Temple of Apollo for sunset.

Temple of Apollo in Naxos GreeceThe Temple of Apollo in Naxos, Greece.

Greece has stolen a part of my heart, and I will miss the warm air on my skin as winter approaches. It’s good to be back in Dublin though, it sort of feels like a second home at this point.

Much love to my family and friends!

Thanks, Casey!

Casey Rhode

Casey Rhode is an official CAPA blogger for fall 2018, sharing her story in weekly posts on CAPA World. An Interdisciplinary Studies major at Arizona State University, she is studying abroad in Dublin this semester.

Casey's journey continues every Wednesday so stay tuned.

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Topics: Dublin, Ireland, Why Study Abroad