Throwback Story 2014: Travel in Sketches!
Throwback to the CYA experience of alum ’14, Alexis Fineman, via her sketches of Athens, Prague and Budapest!
On an academic field trip to the Peloponnesos (the motherland!), we spent a few nights in Nafplio, which is absolutely lovely (the first capital city of the modern Greek nation). From there, we toured the sites of Mycenae, Epidaurus, Lerna, Teryns, and Palamidi. Mycenae (bronze aged Mycenean fortress), Epidaurus (ancient healing and medicinal sanctuary), and Palamidi (Venetian fortress overlooking Nafplio and the sea, unbelievable views) were the most memorable. We then headed south, to Sparta, where we toured the site of Mystras, the capital of a large Byzantine province in southern Greece. It is mostly in ruins, but there is still an active nunnery on site. Mystras was hauntingly beautiful, built into a mountainside and overlooking lush green valleys.
My mom came to visit and we spent a whirlwind couple of days touring my favorite spots in the city. She even tagged along to my archaeology class, which was on-site at some of the ancient demoi (city districts). I finished my classes on Thursday, and by Friday morning we were off to Prague for my fall break!
Prague was absolutely amazing—I had the best time. We checked off most of the big sites (the castle, the astronomical clock, old town, the Jewish quarter, the Charles Bridge, etc). St Vitus Cathedral (in the castle complex) and the Spanish Synagogue were absolutely stunning. We saw a couple of kooky sculptures by Czech artist David Cerny that were on some “to-see” lists—they are very funny but hard to describe, so here’s a link if you’re curious. We saw the last three on the list. We also did a communism and nuclear bunker tour which was extremely interesting.
⇐ This sketch is of the Tyn Towers in Old Town – I sat in the square after dark as they were lighting the trees and getting ready for the Christmas markets and did a quick sketch with gloved fingers, which I had to finish up indoors.
My mom went back home and I took an overnight train to Budapest, where I met up with my friend Maya from Wes. Budapest is a beautiful and really cool city, especially for students, and it was so much fun exploring with Maya—a return trip is definitely on my travel bucket list.
The final sketch is from a photo I took on the Buda side of the Chain Bridge, looking over to the banks of the Pest side (the Parliament building is all the way to the left).
By Alexis Fineman CYA Fall 14′ Anthropology, Wesleyan University.