Yesterday was by far our most physically exhausting day, as we spent the morning climbing to one of Athens’s highest points, the famous Lykavitos. Towering nearly 300 meters above sea level, it was no easy feat ascending to the top, but we managed all the same. Successfully navigating Lykavitos felt like a rite of passage for our group, and the view of the city below was well worth the exerted effort. Looking across the vast cityscape, we could pick out nearly every site we had been to previously and really got a sense of how high we were. Even the mighty Acropolis looked small from our heightened vantage point.
After making our way back down the mountain, we stopped by the National Archaeological Museum to check out their newest exhibit on salvaged shipwrecks of the Aegean Sea. The museum is home to many artifacts of sites we had visited in days prior, including the famous death mask of Agamemnon, which hails from Mycenae. The museum also was host to our second photo scavenger hunt. This time it was the students’ responsibility to create their own “exhibits” and demonstrate their grasp of the artifacts within the museum. They all did a tremendous job, and I was impressed by many of their decisions.
We finished the night by heading to the rooftop for a traditional Greek dancing lesson by Program Director Emily as well as some definitely non-traditional Dominoes pizza for dinner.
The next day we slowed things down a bit and practiced the well-known art of relaxation. We spent the day lounging, swimming, and even playing a few rounds of volleyball at the Glyfada beach resort. It was a great way to unwind after all the walking we had done over the past few days and reflect on the experiences of the past week.
Unfortunately, despite our best efforts to chain ourselves to our bedposts, it was now time to say goodbye to the wonderful city that has been so kind to host our program. Athens is a truly remarkable place, and we will leave carrying not only the luggage on our backs but memories that will last a lifetime. We will board the plane with heavy hearts as we make our way to our next destination: Rome!