A Trip to Remember: The Road to Athens and Rome | My Family Travels
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   Hello. My name is Morgan, and I'm going to briefly discuss my first trip overseas and how magnificent it was. To be honest, so many different things happened during the trip, it's become a little hard to keep track. You see, just a few weeks ago, my senior year of high school came to a close. And as part of the celebration of our graduation, each senior in our school is given the opportunity to take a week-long tour throughout a certain part of the world that contains some historical value that we all can learn from before we graduate. After much debate and several other circumstances, we decided to go on a tour that ventured through Greece and then ended at Rome. Our first stop was at Athens, Greece. This huge city was definitely much more different than the states. The streets were always filled and busy, but the temperature was mildly warm and the sites were very beautiful, like the beach by our hotel around sunset. The food there was amazing, and everything included olive oil. That was the first time I had ever tried gyro and some gelato (ice cream), which was very delicious.

  Our first official touring spot was the Acropolis and Mars Hill, which was much bigger than I had imagined. It was amazing that such an old formation could remain preserved like that for over a thousand years, not to mention the stunning architecture in the two temples. It also baffled me that those thousands of years ago, I was probably walking on the same path as the locals from the time the Acropolis was newly finished. I'd have that sort of feeling about every site we visited for the rest of the trip. Mars Hill was a fun climb, and by "fun" I mean incredibly dangerous. A few of us decided to use the old, slippery, stone stairs which made getting to the top a bit difficult. But it was worth it, because once you got there, you could see all of Athens from every angle, with the Acropolis in view just behind us.

 Our next site, and my personal favorite, was Delphi. And if whoever's reading this has seen "300", then you'll know right off the bat why that place was so significant. It was where the oracle of Apollo lived, and people from all walks of life would come to the town to get predictions from her. We got to tour the museum, look at the temples and arena, and what was left of the market. But the one thing I will never forget were the beautiful valleys and incredibly tall mountains on the way there and by the little village not too far from the ruins. I've never seen so many olive trees in my life! Then, our last stop in Greece was Mycenae, where we went to see the "honeycomb" tombs and the ruins of the stone fortress, which the best place to explore. We saw the Loin's Gate, secret passage ways, and also got to hear a few legends regarding the early inhabitants of the place. 

  After that, we had to leave Greece and sail off to Italy. Once we made it to Italian soil we then immediately headed for Olympia. Unfortunately, we didn't get a lot of time to look around, there was a ton of ground to cover and we were behind schedule. However, I got to see the well known statue of Hermes and several other interesting artifacts at the museum. Our tour guide really knew her stuff, too. She made it's history sound very interesting and it allowed me to picture in my own mind what exactly went on there back in the day. That was where I tried my first Italian pizza, and each of us got our own personal pan of it which was great! Pompeii was next to visit. I had always wanted to see Pompeii for myself, not just just on the history channel on T.V. I think that was the place where I learned the most, because I was more familiar with it. There was so much to see in what was left of that town, but again, we were on a tight schedule, so we didn't take time to browse. Or final stop was Rome, where we got to tour both the Vatican and the Colosseum. The Vatican really stunned me with all the paintings, relics, artifacts, statues, tapestries, and a whole bunch of other stuff that they have crammed in that place. It was beautiful to say the least, especially the Sistine Chapel, but the security there wouldn't let us take pictures of it. Bummer, right? Lastly was the great Colosseum, which was very impressive. It was so huge from the inside and so well preserved. Never before had I wanted to watch a gladiator movie so badly in my life! What struck me the most was that for several decades it had been abandoned and even looted. I find it odd that Roman civilians would let a wonder like the Colosseum be misused in such a way since it was right in the city and everything, but I guess I should just be thankful that I still got to see what was left of it. The next day, we flew home. It all went by so fast that I couldn't really believe that we had spend about eight days out of the country. Thankfully, I took tons of pictures, so I'll never forget the places I went to and what I learned there. It was a very new and influential experience for me, and it was worth every penny put into it. I'm really glad that I got to go and I hope I get to go back to Italy some time. And that's my travel story. Thank you for reading.

  

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