In October 2017, Bristol Grammar School took a group of 17 students and 2 staff to Greece. It was a fantastic trip, and here are some of the highlights. There will be a fuller report to follow from one of our brilliant students who has volunteered to write it, but this is just my own recollections and pictures!
We started out from Athens airport, and took a long journey across to Delphi, via an unsatisfactory side-of-the-road establishment which turned out to be by far the worst meal we ate on the trip. Once in Delphi, in the dark, we gazed out of the windows at the lights dotted across the hillsides to either side. It was late, and we’d been travelling for 15 hours, so it was time for bed.
At daylight, we looked at the same view as before, but now lit up by the morning sun; we then ate breakfast and headed out to the wonders of the ‘navel of the world’, Delphi.
The first part is lower down the road at the Sanctuary of Athena, which led to some interesting conversations and questions about types of temple and the purposes of the site.
Then on to climb up the main site of Delphi, which can be seen in the background of the second of those photos.
Highlights included the impressive treasuries, the rock of the Sibyl, the temple of Apollo, the theatre and then finally up to the stadium, rebuilt by Herodes Atticus, who also built the Roman theatre on the way up the Athenian Acropolis.
Next, on to the museum, after reminders not to take any disrespectful selfies, and some great sights including the charioteer!
Back to the coach, and on to our beachside hotel at Tolo, via the Corinth Canal, always deeper than initiates expect!
The next day, we had on the itinerary: Epidavros, Tiryns (not Tirana, as Autocorrect would insist!) and Mycenae.
This site has two main attractions – the sanctuary of Asclepius, with a museum housing many of the finds there, and the incredible theatre.
We added Tiryns to the itinerary because it had been included on the GCSE Classical Civilisation syllabus. It was quite a nice site although it suffers from its proximity to the much more impressive site of Mycenae.
The Lion Gate, the oldest piece of monumental sculpture in Europe, has to be one of the highlights of any tour, and Mycenae didn’t disappoint. A couple of hours spent here, and then on to Athens…
On arrival, after some settling in at the hotel, we went to a brilliant and entertaining Greek dancing display (which led to much participation from our gregarious group!) and then got a late night. The next day, we visited the Acropolis museum, Theatre of Dionysus, the Acropolis itself, the Areopagus, Agora, Temple of Hephaestus, Pnyx and Hill of the Muses, before a well-deserved ice-cream and the coach to the airport. What a trip!
Many thanks to all the students and their parents, and especially to Lois Ray, who was such a fantastic colleague to have on the trip, and without whom it would have been much more difficult and much less enjoyable.