On the Trail of the Ancient Greeks

Very early on the Tuesday morning in the first week of the Long Exeat, 24 pupils from the Fourth to the Upper Six Forms travelled to Athens on the Classics trip to Greece for an action-packed six days, travelling around mainland Greece.

To read about the history of Athens, or Greece in general, is incredible. To experience it at first-hand is a life-changing experience.

The mere description or image of the Parthenon is deeply interesting, but to stand before it, looking over the rooftops of Athens bathed in a golden sunset, is to realise why the ancients believed in gods. Seeing such splendour on only the first day, I did wonder if the trip might have peaked early, however this could not have been further from the truth: each new site sparked a different thrill, be it the awe-inspiring acoustics of the ancient theatre at Epidauros, the water in Corinthian bath-houses still running after millennia, or being able to run in the same stadium as did the athletes of antiquity (though in this case, clothed, not naked).

Our packed itinerary included several locations from Parthenon to Pnyx, and despite the forecasts, Ms McDonnell, we joked, had arranged with Zeus that the rains should fall only whilst we were inside the museums.

The local gyros went down well, with some people suggesting that our very own dining rooms might like to include this on their menu. It was very powerful to stand near the Stoa where Socrates had discussed philosophy. Who knows, perhaps his “corruption” has rubbed off on us.

Henry Sleight (L)