But my first (and second) study abroad went to Athens, Greece where I spent a term at the Norwegian Institute at Athens, studying classics stuff; mainly archaeology, or how do build a perfect Greek temple as I think of it as. I remember travelling down there with another student from my university. She was a art history major, I was doing my bachelor in Classics. When we travelled in from the airport I remember her going all quiet in the taxi, before whispering reverently: Look, it's the Parthenon. I must admit that I didn't then, and have not still, got that reverent feeling from a building. Poetry, people, yes. Houses, no.
It was a fun period, I learnt a lot, both about old stones and about myself (the most important I think, is that despite being outgoing and extrovert, I really, really need time alone. Surprisingly often.)
Was it worth it; most definitely. After all I went again. And again. Until they didn't want to give me any more money. And now I watch my own students on their exchanges. And I am a bit envious (although, hey I could go on exchange again!), but I can also see how much the world has changed in terms of communication. I sent letters home, and only called home - from a payphone - rarely. We didn't get much news from home either. I bought the now sadly defunct Athens News, so I got the gist of what happened in the world but not much else. The only time I can remember the outside world impinged on our life what when we were travelling around, and when we were in Olympia we learnt that the famous Norwegian politician Gro Harlem Brundtland had stepped down as prime minister. that day we also got roaring drunk on ouzo. As all exchange students in Greece have to be once.
Also we didn't take many pictures. Of course pictures were expensive to develope, but now it is a bit sad. I was looking around the house for them, because I know I have some, at least one of the view of the Athena Nike-temple as seen from our balcony. When we were leaning really far out. But as always, the best pictures are in the head, now made soft and fuzzy from time.
Crossposted to http://mummimamma.dreamwidth.org/291069.h