Malleable Musings

November 8, 2009

A spot of tourism

Filed under: International Student Recruitment — Brendan @ 10:43 am


Education UK Exhibition in Athens

Our stand at the Education UK Exhibition in Athens

As predicted yesterday was a long but enjoyable day.  I had a few emails to send in the morning and then I was down at the exhibition from around noon.  The exhibition started slowly but it got busy by about 3pm and then we had a fairly constant flow of people all the way through until 7.30pm.  At the exhibition I got to meet our partners here in Athens, who support about 500 or so of the university’s students.  After the exhibition finished we were taken out for a lovely meal on the seafront in South Attica.  Over dinner we were chatting about various things.  Predictably I was lightly grilled about who was I, what was my experience, where did I think the university was headed strategically etc. (of which I’m sure there will be more today and tomorrow.   However we also ended up in a wide ranging conversation involving politics, international relations, the differences between the genders, Greek life and culture, approaches to education and the role of bodies like the QAA.  It was a really fascinating conversation.

After dinner my colleague and I took a taxi back to the hotel, getting back just before midnight.  He was shattered and went straight off to bed but I decided I had to go up and see the bar at the top of my hotel from which there are fabulous view across to the Acropolis.  The bar was heaving and there were hundreds of people crammed in trying to get a drink and something to eat.  There was also thumping music.  I took one look and decided I probably wouldn’t stay.

Instead I decided to get up early in the morning as I knew that this might be my only chance to get some sightseeing done.  So in the rain I set off up to the Acropolis.  I got there early, before the gates were opened, and took in some of the sights of Athens on the way.  There were a couple of Americans and a Greek who were there early.  The Greek guy explained that all of the archaeological sites in Athens seem to be free on Sundays (at least at this time of the year).    The three of us rushed in and made our way up to the top.  The Greek guy was talking photos of Athens on the way up.  Whilst the Americans were also sauntering a little, taking in the views.  This meant that I arrived up at the Parthenon well before them and had the entire hilltop more or less to myself.  It was humbling standing in the rain on the top of the hill admiring the amazing structures that were built nearly two and a half thousand years ago.

In the distance you could hear bells ringing.  There were all sorts of different tunes.  Unfortunately the only camera I had was my iPhone so the pictures I took aren’t that great (I still need to sort and tag these properly), nor is the recording (M4A download) I made of one of the bell chimes.

Anyway must go – nearly time to be a stand bunny again.


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