Saturday, March 29, 2014

Saints in Greece: Marathon, Lake Vougliameni, and Cape Sounio

March 29th
After sleeping in until 8am and enjoying a leisurely breakfast, we took a bus to Marathon to see the site of the ancient battle.  A museum, timed perfectly with the heavy rainfall, allowed students a chance to see a few more artifacts.  We enjoyed a wonderful lunch at Alonia, at which a plate full of assorted, grilled meats was served to each person.  We went to Lake Vougliameni where all the kids swam and enjoyed snap-chatting photos as they were nibbled on by fish. Cape Sounio, the southern-most point of Attica and possibly continental Greece, was our last visit of the day and of our trip.  We quite literally watched the sun set on our trip to Greece; we will be leaving tomorrow morning before the sun rises.  What an incredible trip this has been!   The kids are quite aware of how great it has been.  Here are more thoughts about the trip.

My favorite experience or what I liked best...
One of the things that struck me most about this trip is the fact that every place we went and every ruin we saw was once a thriving place full of life. In a place where nothing but rocks were left, once was a place where people gathered together to converse and worship. It's hard to imagine sometimes that in the places where I stood so did famous people who I've only read about in history books. It was also nice to see where a lot of our culture and politics originated from.
-Sarah Wilton

This trip has given a great deal of perspective for all of the history that I have learned over the years. I finally got the chance to see all the things that we have discussed in either history or Latin class. I keep wanting to pinch myself overlooking the views from high hills because of the intense beauty of the landscape. Exploring the towns is a valuable experience, a chance to explore the modern Greek culture, and we have plenty of time to roam and explore around town. I think because of this everyone has found their home away from home, a restaurant or cafe that will drive them to come back. The food and culinary culture is delicious and organic. We got the chance to visit an orange grove and see how a Greek farmer actually goes through the growing process which is a unique, fascinating experience and is exemplary of the inherent community kindness in Greece. 
-Dokken Shapero 

This trip has been an amazing experience and was definitely the best trip I could have gone in for my first time in Europe. It is amazing to think that every place we visited, although now ruins were once thriving with life. The views on the drives to all of the different locations never bored me and every mountain and site truly amazed me. I am so glad to be able to spend time with my friends, get to know people better, and meet new people as well. I can't wait to come back and visit Greece again someday.
-Julia DeVico 

During our trip to Greece, the birthplace of democracy, we have visited countless sites that contain a plethora of information concerning not only the Greek culture but also our own culture that is heavily influenced by the Greeks. No matter where we visited, the Parthenon, Acrocorinth, or Delphi (just to name a few) we have been exposed to a culture rich with ancient myths and history that has captivated the minds and hearts of our entire group.
-Zachary Tilch 

From the imposing Urban sprawl of Athens to the very small and quiet town of Delphi, this trip has been fantastic. We saw the ruins of great ancient cities buried beneath the structures of the new modern age. The ruins ranged from the enormous Parthenon to the wild flower adorned hill of the Athenian tumulus at marathon. While I learned a great deal from these places and I was amazed at being in the cradle of western civilization, my favorite part of this trip has been wandering around the three cities in which we stayed. I've always felt that one of the best ways to really understand a place is to just get a little bit lost and try to find your way back. In doing this you can truly get a feeling for the atmosphere and culture of an area. I did my best to lose myself in Greece's rich culture and history and I feel like I have learned a whole lot not only about about the country, but also my friends and myself.
-Rice Tyler

Greece is unlike any place I have been before. The cities contain both modern and ancient architecture, which is integrated into the lives of its people. In Athens the people try to maintain as much of their ancient traditions as possible. The construction of modern-looking buildings is frowned upon and nothing can exceed the height of the Acropolis, the sacred crown of the city. The cities in Greece are also interesting in that they stretch for as far as the eye can see. Even from the Acropolis in Athens, I could not see an end to the city limits. The sea of buildings just kept going. However, we did not confine ourselves to the urban areas for the entirety of the trip. We traveled a long way to Delphi, a small town in the mountains. The views were breathtaking. However, the views in Delphi paled in comparison to those of Acrocorinth. The ancient acropolis of Corinth sat on a tall mountain. From the top, it seemed as though we could see all of Greece. From the snow-capped mountains to the Peloponnesus and the cities in between, that view was truly extraordinary. The birthplace of Western Civilization has provided me with experiences that I will never forget.  
-Matthew Ray

This entire trip has been amazing. The cities we've visited and things we have seen have all been wonderful. But if I had to pick the thing that has been my favorite it would be Ares' rock. It's a huge rock that is located by the acropolis in Athens and at night when you go up on it the view is just breath taking. I've been up there every single night we've been in Athens. I found a natural slide that is so much fun. (Don't worry it's not by the edge.) I will always remember the rock (except I'm not supposed to call it the rock because Dr. Grissom said it would upset Ares.)  I love it up there and always will. 
-Cleo Potter

I love so much in Greece, and I find the country absolutely amazing, whether we are eating the delicious food or seeing the stunning views. But what I appreciate the most is seeing the sights, ruins, and pieces of art we have studied in art history. We spend so much time talking about these extremely influential works, from the Parthenon to a classical sculpture by Polykleitos, that having the pieces in front of me was overwhelming. 
-Maggie Hughes

Wow this trip has flown by! It feels like just yesterday we got off the plane to arrive here in Greece. From hiking up 895 steps to reach the Palamedes or simply exploring the shops of Athens, I have been amazed at all Greece has to offer. Personally I have enjoyed the picnic we had at the top of Acrocorinth. After a steep hike up the mountain we were rewarded with a amazing view and a picnic of traditional Greek food. Everything we have done on this trip has made for one amazing trip that I know I will never forget!
-Katie Henshaw

Students in front of the Temple of Poseidon at Cape Sounio before a final sunset on the Greece Trip

Temple of Poseidon at Cape Sounio

Sunset at Cape Sounio

Students in front of the Temple of Poseidon

Seniors at Lake Vougliameni

Enjoying the fleeting sun at Lake Vougliameni

Fish nibbling toes at Lake Vougliameni

Alex can't handle the fish!

Marathon museum

Marathon in front of the tumulus, a mound containing the burial of the dead soldiers

Cape Sounio from a distance (photo taken from the moving bus)

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