08.05.2017 - 08.05.2017 32 °C
Well, after a mostly restful night we were ready for a full day in Athens.
Some of the group were up early, and some struggled with some jet lag, which is understandable. Those up early had some free time to wander our hotel neighbourhood. We are right across from the water so the walk was easy. There is something about Europe that is conducive to walking. It is hard to explain. Europeans embrace their surroundings. Elderly gents are meeting by the water for a morning swim. They congregate on the beach for conversation and strong coffee and, in Greece, greet you with a warm Kalimera or good morning.
Our first stop this morning was to visit the Greek National Tourist Office. A host of staff from the department were there to greet us. Funny story - one of the ladies introduced herself and told us we were only the second Canadians she had met. She wanted to know if we knew Scott
Thompson, the only other Canadian she knew. Thankfully Steph was able to indentfy him from his time on the Canadian comedy show, Kids in the Hall. Seems he spent some time on Mykonos!
The GNTO provided the students with an opportunity to learn about the marketing strategies of the organization, including how digital marketing is allowing them to have the customers tell the story in a way that doesn't cost as much as traditional media. One focus the GNTO has is 'gastronomy tourism', as a way to 'sustain the mind and body'. This is a country that provides food as 'medicine for the mind'. More on Greek food another day!
They concluded with a powerful GNTO produced video. If you have time, Paste and open the video. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did!
Our day continued with a city tour and was capped off with a visit to the Acropolis and the Parthenon. The Greeks have proof of their impact in civilization as we saw Ancient Greek Temples, the Academy with statues of Socrates and Plato and marvelled at the engineering of the Acropolis and temples atop the Acropolis. Now this may sound like a quote from the father in 'My Big Fat Greek Wedding' - the word Acropolis is derived from ákros (highest point) and pólis (meaning city).
We also stopped for a quick visit to the Olympic Stadium which was the finish line for the Olympics in Athens. It doesn't look like it, but it holds about 55,000 people.
Well, it is time for another fabulous and delicious breakfast. Another reason to thank Greeks is for their yogurt!
And one final funnny sign of the day....enjoy!