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  • Writer's pictureHannah Bywater

Singing my Way to Greece

At the beginning of the school year I joined the choir. I would love to tell you that I joined for my love of singing but I would be lying. I joined because I learned the choir was going on a trip to Greece. We would practice every Tuesday for 2 hours and we would have a concert at least once a month. We sang songs in French, English, German, Swiss German, Greek, and Russian. So I am going to let you in on a little secret. When I was growing up I went to this acting camp in the summer. We were told that if we ever forgot the words to group songs to just repeatedly mouth the word "watermelon" and nobody would notice we weren't singing. Now, I needed to adapt the word I mouthed based on the language of the song we were singing in the choir but that is what I did. Nobody noticed and I made it to Greece. Well, I am sure that at some point someone singing beside me probably noticed but they weren't going to pick on the exchange student for not knowing the words ;) Now here I am writing to you after having spent the past week exploring Greece.

Our choir set off on this adventure the second week of spring break. We started our adventure on a Tuesday morning in Fribourg to catch our train to Zürich Airport. The plane ride from Zürich to Athens was a little over 2.5 hours. How amazing is that? In Canada it takes 4 hours just to get from Ontario to British Columbia. After getting everyone’s bags from the luggage carousel, we made our way to the busses that took us to our hotel. On the way we found some tour guides that spoke French. They accompanied us on the bus to explain what we were seeing. One of the most noticeable things about Athens is how many houses there are. The guides explained to us that 11 million people live in the country of Greece and around 4 million of those people live in Athens. Which explains the sea of white houses. The ride to the hotel was about an hour long. The hotel organized a private dinner for our group. There was a fixed meal so we just had to sit down, and wait to be served. They started with a little appetizer, half an eggplant stuffed with cooked vegetables. The main course was pork, potatoes, and more vegetables with a side salad. For dessert some delicious ice cream. After dinner we all got together to rehearse for a few hours because we had a concert the next day. There was a rooftop patio with a great view that we gathered on after rehearsal. There was a pool and a bar and we all hung out and played some card games. You could see Acropolis in the distance, it was lit up and looked as if it was glowing in the dark. It was interesting to see it at night like that as the next day we had plans to go and visit it.

In the morning we left for the metro to go to Acropolis. While we were unloading from the metro car the door closed on me. It started moving but thankfully it stopped and I was able to get out. After an eventful commute we arrived to the Acropolis. We bought our tickets and started making our way up the "high city". We saw a ton of ancient artifacts and came across an ancient concert site where we sang a quick song for our fellow tourists. We had free time to get lunch so my friend Ryan and I decided to get some good old Gyros. They exceeded my expectations. We didn't stop there, we also got Tzatziki with pita and then Baklava for dessert. After filling our bellies we visited the Acropolis museum before meeting back with the group to get ready for the concert.

Our first concert in Greece! It was actually super cool because we were preforming for the Greece-Swiss ambassador at his house for an event he was throwing. We sang a couple of songs and then he invited us to eat with him and his guests. We had a great evening and an awesome first day in Greece!


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