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Greece: Karakoy Gulluoglu

Despite being on vacation abroad, my family spent NYE as we usually bed.  My parents were asleep well before the clock struck midnight, while my sister and I were watching sports fights on Youtube (Chinese basketball teams need to calm down, yo) when we heard the fireworks.  We caught a bit of the show from our Airbnb balcony, but quickly lost interest and turned in for the night.

Most everything was closed in Athens on New Year's Day, which made it the perfect day to do a quick hike up Mount Lycabettus.  Or so we thought.  Halfway up, I lost track of the main trail.  Spotting what seemed like a path, we started a steep ascent through the shrubbery.  Then out of nowhere, a deafening explosion-like sound ripped through the air above our heads.  We all froze.

My first thought was that the city was under attack.  I strained my ears to listen for sirens.  My mother later told me she initially thought it was a warning shot telling us to get back on the trail.

When the explosio…

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