Excursion to Athens Review

March 30, 2022

On March 25th, a group of 25 students and four staff boarded a flight to Athens and enjoyed three full days of sightseeing in the ancient city, the island of Aegina and Delphi, site of Apollo’s oracle.

The first day began with a guided tour of the National Archaeological Museum—the largest museum in Greece—which houses five major permanent collections; prehistoric antiquities, sculpture, metalwork, vases and minor arts, and Egyptian antiquities.

In the late morning, students enjoyed the beautiful weather with a guided tour of the Acropolis, the ancient citadel overlooking Athens from atop a rocky hill in the center of the city. The structure features the remains of a number of ancient buildings highlighted by the Parthenon, a former temple dedicated to the goddess Athena.

Following a traditional Greek lunch in the crowded city center, the guided tour continued through the Ancient Agora, an archaeological site at the foot of the Acropolis and located in the heart of the city. Although much of the grounds are in ruins, the site features the Temple of Hephaestus, a well-preserved Doric temple from the Classical Era. Concluding the tour, students visited the Ancient Agora Museum where they viewed and learned about various artifacts of the Agora, including art dating back to the stone age and ancient everyday objects.

On the second day of the excursion, the group boarded a large ferryboat—inclusive of their bus—which transported them a little over an hour to the island of Aegina for a guided tour of the Temple of Aphaia, which was built in 480 BC and still features 25 of it’s 32 Doric columns.

On the return trip to the town of Aegina, the group stopped at the Agios Nektarios Monastery. St. Nektarios was a Greek Orthodox saint known mostly as a miracle worker and healer but was also a writer, poet, and philosopher. 

Once back in Aegina, the group enjoyed a traditional Greek lunch at the seaside. 

On the third and final day, the group was transported by bus to the town of Delphi for a guided tour of the Ancient Archaeological Site of Delphi and its museum. Students had to endure some light rain but were distracted by the stories of the many purposes of the site during ancient times, acting as a place of worship, political decision-making and athletic games, festivals, theater productions and more.

The day concluded with some free time in the beautiful ski village of Arachova and more amazing traditional Greek food before a quiet evening back at the hotel to rest up for the return trip to Salzburg in the morning. 

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