Tag Archives: Photography

AmsterDAMN

(sorry, really. sorry.)

Last week I skipped school and flew up to Amsterdam to see Caitlin for a few days. I was only there for three days, but I absolutely fell in love. I think it’s the one place I am really passionate about visiting again. I loved everything about it. Amsterdam is a BEAUTIFUL city. It’s also incredibly clean, which was a nice change from what I’m used to in Thessaloniki (not that I MIND having to look down while I walk, of course). There are also a TON of bikes. Seriously, bikes everywhere (the internet tells me bikes are 60% of transportation in the city. I believe it.)

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Here’s a church, please note all the bikes

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I was not exaggerating.

The first day we explored downtown. We ate lunch right by the canal and went to the Anne Frank museum. I did NOT bring the right shoes for three days of standing up/walking, but I could have walked through the city all day (you know, with periodic coffeeshop stops).

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should I be smiling?

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Speaking of coffeeshops, we found some cool ones. Here’s the first one we went to:

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 My photos don’t do the city justice by ANY means, so trust me when I say it looks better in person.

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Okay, this picture is more about the randomly leaning building than the beauty of the city. But really, what the heck?

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Wednesday morning we set out to find the I Amsterdam sign. Unfortunately, we were less than a minute away on Tuesday but we didn’t notice, so we had to basically walk the same way we walked the day before.

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And Wednesday night was, of course, the Drake concert. Absolutely, incredibly amazing does not even begin to cover it. The Weeknd opened for him and they sang Crew Love together, I absolutely could have DIED.

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“I know there are smokers in the building… get your lighters up”

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You see that tiny little silhouette? DRAKE.

 

This seems to be the recurring theme, but my pictures don’t do it justice. We were far away but it was still one of the most amazing experiences of my life. I mean, damn. I saw Drake in Amsterdam.

It was hard for me to leave on Thursday. It’s Sunday and I’m STILL wishing I were back there. No matter how many times I say it was amazing it won’t be enough.

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Here’s me being a good college student representing the 38655. Hey Oxford, I see you.

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Street Art

I absolutely LOVE street art. Thankfully (well, depending on who you ask), Thessaloniki has a LOT of graffiti. This isn’t always a good thing, as sometimes people run out of walls and take to using statues:

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How fitting that PAOK is graffitied on this statue of Alexander the Great

But to me, the street art is what gives Thessaloniki so much of its charm. I’ve always had a soft spot for well-done graffiti. Here are some of the pieces I managed to remember to photograph:

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 This last one is a commissioned piece in downtown Thessaloniki done by two traveling street artists. It’s probably one of the most popular murals in the city and definitely my favorite.

As a bonus, have some Amsterdam street art (expect a full Amsterdam blog post soon!). There wasn’t much graffiti in the city, but we did stumble upon a street full of it when we were exploring downtown.

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I’ve been making a more concentrated effort to photograph my surroundings. I haven’t been doing much as far as traveling goes, but I’ve realized that there’s so much going on in Thessaloniki that I need to take the time to appreciate. I’m not about to waste my last three months here (cue major tears) by not taking in all it has to offer.

Don’t tell me my city isn’t beautiful

I overheard a girl the other day say she thought Thessaloniki was ugly. I can only assume she had it in her mind that Thessaloniki looked like every stereotypical Greece picture. If that’s what you’re thinking when you come to Thessaloniki, you’re going to be sorely disappointed. This city has over a million people AND it’s in Europe. What else were you expecting besides lots of tall buildings right next to one another? Anyway, I’m incredibly biased, but I can find beauty in Thessaloniki anywhere. Here’s a sneak-peak, more to come when the weather is actually nice.

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Timing and patience, my friends, timing and patience.

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Doesn’t that just speak to you?

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Of course, the city would be nothing without its graffiti.

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Say you don’t like the city, say you aren’t happy here, but don’t tell me it isn’t beautiful.

I saw a sunset

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The sunsets here are all beautiful, and each one is completely different from the last.

I know I’ve been slacking on my blogging. In my defense, I’ve been very busy, very ill and I’m writing for my University study abroad blog this semester. However, I have been brainstorming a photo project for my Honor’s College thesis and I will be putting that together here. More info later (read: more info if it actually happens). I’m pretty excited about it, but I don’t want to commit until I know I’ve got the time and energy to follow through.

Other than trying to get over this illness, not much is happening for me here. Still, I’d rather be sick here than healthy back home, at least for the next four months.

More as it happens and, as always, χαλαρά

γνῶθι σεαυτόν (know thyself)

I am really, really awful at blogging. I was hoping this would help me improve my writing, but instead I’ve just been ignoring the obligation altogether. 

Really, though, not much has changed since I last wrote. I haven’t been doing a lot of traveling since I’m coming back in spring (hopefully that will change next semester! I really do want to see as much of Europe as I possibly can) and I’ve been trying to save money.

Some important things have happened since I last wrote, though, so get ready.

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This is me at a wine tasting. This picture has nothing to do with wine except for that you can see where they grow the grapes in the background. 

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One of the professors at my school has this incredibly cool rock-ish cover band. Seriously, I’ve been twice and those are two of the best nights I’ve had. Also, forever RIP to Caitlin’s lost iPhone and the pictures that will never be seen from this past week’s concert.

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And here is photographed proof of PAOK’s beatdown of Aris a few weeks ago. I can not stress the importance of seeing a European football game if you ever get this chance to visit. They get RIDICULOUS. I’m talking fire, smoke, constant yelling/singing, and the most hilarious smack-talk chants you’ll ever hear. Lots of “your mom’s a whore” type stuff. 

And finally, last weekend I did go to Athens with my school, and it was pretty awesome. I didn’t go out (as per the norm) but I got to see a lot of amazing things while I was there. Stand by for the best pictures.

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This is Delphi. Here’s me sitting on some ruins like the baddass bitch I am. In retrospect, this was probably not the best way to help preserve this place. Oh well, it was worth it. Look at this picture. 

We were really lucky with the tour guide we had in Delphi. It was actually really interesting because she talked about the ancient gods and myths but put them in a totally secular perspective. And to me, that didn’t diminish their meaning, but instead made it make so much more sense in my mind. 

“Think Well. Nothing in Excess. Know Thyself.”

 

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And here is probably the most important thing I’ve seen since I came to Greece, the Parthenon. The Acropolis was AH-mazing. I hate hate HATE museums, but I am a total geek for ancient ruins. And, of course, it’s the Parthenon. At this point in the trip I was all listened out though, so I can’t really speak a lot about this in general.

 

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This was a really bad picture day for me, but here’s Caitlin and I.

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And here is a view from the Acropolis. Can you think of anything more Greek than this picture? I didn’t think so. Maybe I could shop a photo of ouzo and a gyro in there, but this is pretty close. 

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And here is my awesome, super-cool RA Faidon (you better be reading this). I bet this was the happiest he was all day.

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And finally, the group photo. We’re a good looking bunch, yessir.

 

Anyway, my first semester is coming to a speedy close, and with it I’ve been turning a lot more sentimental. I KNOW I’m coming back in the spring, and I’m totally excited to see my friends and family and my boyfriend, but just about half of my time here is over. How am I going to adjust to a new group of people? What am I going to do when I have to go back home for real? I know nothing is going to be the same when I get back home. Will I ever be content to live in the US? What am I going to do when I want to walk down the street for a gyro and can’t? And how in the world am I supposed to adjust to my “nights out” ending at 1 am? I know this country has its problems, but in some ways they really have it all figured out. Don’t be surprised if I find a way to stay here forever.