A Greek Getaway

Winter arrived in Delft and with it came the dreaded showers. When this happens it may be days before you can see some sunlight again. I was well into the first phase of my thesis project but the weather wasn’t exactly motivating enough to get me out of the bed. It was high time to take a break and catch some sunlight. So I and a couple of friends decided to head South, much like migratory birds. Unlike the migratory birds our journey wasn’t so arduous.

It’s all Greek to me!

We were lucky to find some cheap tickets from Eindhoven. In fact, it cost us more to get to Delft from Eindhoven than the flight back to Eindhoven! A 3-hour flight took us to Athens, a beautiful city that grew around the legacy of the Greek civilization. As soon as we reached the city we got a familiar feeling as if we had landed in Delhi. The busy streets, traffic and street-side shops looked all the same as one would encounter in Delhi. But we got a real shock when we saw only symbols like Sigma, Lambda, Gamma, Theta etc. on literally everything. Since our school days we had learned these to use as constants in Physics and mathematics, but this was the language which Greek people used every day! It felt like we had to solve an equation and find a solution everytime we wanted to read something on information screens and sign posts. We soon got the hang of it though, being smart engineers and all B)

The Acropolis behind us

The public transport is pretty cheap in Athens if you take the 5-day pass. We roamed around the city the whole day while taking in the sights. The National Archaeological museum, the Acropolis and its awesome museum transported us back through the ages to the times when Greeks were one of the mighty civilizations. We sampled some street food like souvlaki, crepes and salads all of which I would highly recommend.¬†The flea market near the Acropolis is a great place to buy souvenirs and books on the cheap (if you know your Greek). One great thing about Athens is that the whole place is awake and moving well into the night. We didn’t feel like returning back to our Airbnb place until 2 am!

Christmas decorations near Syntagma Square

Our next stop was the picturesque island of Santorini which is a 45-minute flight away from Athens. The island has a black-sand beach (Kamari) on the south side where we did a lot of experimental photography. On the north side the town of Thira is the central place from where all the public transport originates. It has a small port way down (about 700 steps) from where you can also take boats to the other smaller islands nearby. You can also ride on a mule down to the port and back. There is another town called Oia which is simply mesmerising, with its white and blue buildings in a sort of a maze around the cliff. Since it was the off-season there were very few people all around the tiny island. We heard that it becomes quite a party hub in the summers. Nevertheless we took in all the sunlight we could before returning back to Holland.

Port at Thira

Oia, Santorini Island

Long Exposure Shot, Kamari Beach (P.C.- Amitabh Yadav)

It was quite a memorable trip and well worth every penny we spent. We did miss some spots in Athens which I hope to check out on another trip to the Greek capital. As for now, I need to return back to the world of signals and circuits.

Happy Holidays!

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