When you think of the words “Spring Break” the last thing you associate them with is school… but not in my case! Last week, I had the opportunity to travel to Greece with Emmanuel’s “In the Footsteps of Thucydides” course, a poli-sci based class which explores the actions of political leaders during the time of the Peloponnesian war. Throughout our experience in Greece, we had the opportunity to visit PLENTY of historical sites, and I can honestly say it was one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been. So, follow me on my spring break in Greece!
Our first day was spent learning as much as we could about the Acropolis and Parthenon in Athens, because our hotel was right at the base of them! Literally. It was amazing. We also got to take a quick tour of Lavrio to visit an ancient abandoned theater, as well as the temple of Poseidon, God of the ocean… And let me tell you, he was out with a vengeance that day. The Temple was beautiful, but the wind was outrageous!
A picture at the Acropolis, overlooking Athens. Photo courtesy of Alyssa Dundas.
Temple of Poseidon
On day two, we visited the spiritual sanctuaries of Delphi, which in the time of 4th century BC Greece, was considered to be the center of the world! There were 5 levels to this amazing place, each with its own unique attributions. At the bottom, you have the Temple of Apollo, God of knowledge, music, poetry, and more, as well as the Athenian treasury that housed offerings made by Athenians to the God Apollo. The middle levels housed archeological dig sites, and another ancient theater. The fifth level of the sanctuary was a huge arena used by ancient Greek athletes. It was incredible!
On day three, we went island hopping! We still got to visit and learn about ancient temples and fortresses and sanctuaries, but it we had a little more fun than usual! Our first stop at the island of Hydra, didn’t go so well… unfortunately the crazy winds made it impossible for our boat to pull into port, so we moved onto the island of Poros. Poros was one of the most beautiful places I’d ever seen! The water was so blue, and the weather was absolutely perfect! We spent our time in Poros exploring the old lighthouse at the tip of the island, bartering with Greek jewelers, and obviously taking glamour shots! Then we moved onto the island of Aegina which housed the Temple of Aphaia, and is popular for being the perfect island to grow pistachios! The more you know…
Overlooking the island of Poros. Photo courtesy of Alyssa Dundas.
The temple of Aphaea.
On day four, we visited the Agora of Athens, a beautiful outdoor space which is now an archeological site and museum. Then we had an amazing opportunity to meet none other than the President of Greece, Prokopis Pavlopoulos! That’s right, a bunch of Emmanuel kids got to meet the president and we loved every second of it, it was amazing! Then, we spent some time at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center, where we got to learn about the National Opera, Ballet school, and Library of Greece. It was absolutely stunning!
On our final day in Greece, we got to visit an incredible fortress on the outside of the city of Corinth, and lounge around in the gorgeous coastal village of Nafplio. We ate lunch on the water and did some more shopping (of course!). Then we had the opportunity to visit the ancient theater of Epidural, which was surreal for a performing arts major! We also got to visit the sanctuary of Asclepius, God of Medicine. It was a beautiful day full of amazing sites, a great end to a wonderful adventure!
If you have yet to study abroad, I highly suggest you do so, even if its only for a week! Traveling to Greece was one of the greatest experiences of my life, and I can’t wait to do it again on my own one day. There’s nothing like immersing yourself in an entirely different culture, and having the opportunity to learn about the country’s history whilst abroad was unlike any other. Do yourself a favor, and check out the travel courses offered here, trust me when I tell you, you wont regret it!