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Travel Series


The Minaret | August 28, 2009

Journey to Greece


owhere in the United States can you walk down to the movie theater or grocery store and pass a 900-year-old Greek Orthodox Church or look down a street in a big city and see a real live archeological site. This was a daily experience in Athens, Greece. I studied abroad with the Journey to Greece Program sponsored by the American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association (AHEPA). Our classes were offered by the University of Indianapolis Athens Campus

right in the heart of the old city, Plaka. For the first two and a half weeks we took classes. In my EU and Greek Foreign Policy class we discussed multiple issues that aren’t even discussed in our media. For example, while we were there the Turkish Airforce was flying planes over Greek islands. This is a major issue and a conflict whether big or small could escalate very quickly. After the time spent in classes

Photos and story by Charlie Hambos

we traveled through Greece stopping at various places before arriving in Istanbul, Turkey. Our main goal there was to meet the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, Bartholomew I. He is the head of the Orthodox Church around the world. The Orthodox Church in Turkey is under serious pressure from the government. Over 6,000 properties have been stolen from the church and we had the opportunity to visit an orphanage that was one

of these properties. Located on Büyükada, one of the Prince Islands off the coast of Istanbul, it is the largest wooden structure in Europe. It is in complete disarray and falling apart. Visiting the orphanage was one of the most heart-wrenching experiences I had. Exploring the various of issues in Greece and Turkey, and seeing them hands on was experience I will never forget.

The Temple of Poseidon at Sounio.

The Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, Turkey was once a great church and then a mosque but now is only a museum.

A picturesqu

e street on th

f Aegina

nd o reek Isla G e th n y dock o ir pistachios. the ferr e ff th o r t h fo el rig mous p a fa h c is d ll A sma e islan Gulf. Th ic n o r a S

in the

The sunset at Sounio.

e Island of A


The Minaret | August 28, 2009

Travel Series


Summer 2009

St. Stefanos Monastery in Meteora, Greece which was converted to a nunnery and has been since 1961. Meteora is home to some of the most important monasteries in Greece. They all sit on massive rocks, some are even secluded from any direct land access.

he coast of 端y端kada offtt


The Island o

Mt. Likavito

s in Athens,


Istanbul, Turk


One of the many churches on the Greek Island of Aegina. Besides this one, Aegina boasts the largest church in Greece.

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August 28 2009 Travel Series  

August 28 2009 Travel Series