This past spring break I took a trip to Greece with my high school’s art department. We traveled with the tour company EF tours and although I had booked my spot thirteen months in advance, the trip was worth the wait. Our tour, Grecian Odyssey, included stops in Athens, Delphi, Olympia, Epidaurus and the islands of Hydra, Aegina, and Poros. I had travelled before, but never without my family so this trip left me with a completely new perspective. Touring a European country for the first time scores about a nine on my excitement chart, but doing it with your friends goes off the charts.
Every day we woke up to a new experience, one day we would be cruising through the Aegean sea and the next we would be standing atop the mountains of Delphi listening to the story of Oedipus. When most people think of Greece, they picture the white-washed buildings with blue roofs found in Santorini, however eighty percent of Greece is made up of mountains. We toured several historic sites such as the Acropolis, the Temple of Athena Nike, the original Olympic stadium and the Temple of Poseidon. Although rich in knowledge, the trip included a lot of fun outings that gave us a true sign of Greek culture. In fact one of my most vivid memories from the trip is riding a donkey through the narrow alleys on the island of Hydra. I made it my mission to learn a little bit of Greek while on the trip so I could attempt to blend in with the locals a little easier (I don’t think I had anyone fooled considering I was walking around with a bright orange and blue backpack with the tour company’s name printed on it). We also had plenty of time to shop; our last day of the trip was a free day where we were allowed to explore the city of Athens at our leisure. Although I am not much of a shopper myself, I enjoyed spending my free day eating.
Ahh Greek food, from spanikopita to mousaka I had it all. I am the type of person who needs to eat every three hours and I don’t have a problem trying new foods. However I must admit that I put my foot down with the rabbit at dinner the first night. I had my first baklava and my first gyro in Greece, and although I had to wait almost an hour for the gyro, fifteen minutes after it came there was not a crumb to be found on the plate.
Other than eating some new foods and taking pictures of architecture that is thousands of years old, I became closer than ever with the people I travelled with, after all spending ten consecutive days with the same people can bring you together. Now I am tied to Greece and the people I travelled with forever.
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