Spring break brings back memories of my first trip to Europe. My AP Calculus teacher in high school took a group of students to Greece and Italy over Spring Break to walk in the footsteps of Pythagoras. Really, we just wanted to eat pizza and to see the Coliseum. And what an experience we had!
We started our trip in Rome and everything was so new and exciting. I actually bought a book about Rome in Spanish because I wasn’t savvy enough to know that another vendor would have the same book in English. I packed a HUGE duffle bag that was next to impossible to carry up and down hotel stairs. Embarrassingly enough, I had dinner at Planet Hollywood Rome. Oh, to be young and inexperienced…
We had a busy week. We stopped to see Pompeii after leaving Rome, and then caught a ferry to Greece. We visited Paul’s old stomping grounds in Corinth and the Kings’ Beehive Tomb in ancient Mycenae. Delphi’s location as the “bellybutton” of the world made sense when I stood among the ruins and viewed the world’s largest olive grove below, with the sea off in the distance. Athens offered a little taste of heaven, in spite of the dirt and pollution.
I had never even heard of a gyro before, but it was love at first sight when I saw and smelled that stack of lamb on the rotisserie. I will never forget that experience when I sat in a public square in Athens and savored the roasted meat and tzatziki on pita with fries and a Fanta. My mouth is watering as I write this. To this day, I am always searching for an Athenian-style gyro.
That week opened my eyes to differences in language, culture, and lifestyle. I found that mine were a pair of itchy feet, eager to experience new adventures.