On the weekend of October 27th, some CYA provided the opportunity for students to join an adventure that many have dreamed of but few have had the chance to actually do – hike up Mount Olympus. After 3 hours of hiking, an overnight stay in a shelter halfway up the mountain, and another 3 hours of hiking the next morning, these students experienced the famed home of the ancient Greek gods firsthand. From avid hikers to first-timers, everyone got a taste of what Greek mythological landscape looks like in reality. Here are a few highlights about the experience students had on their hike of the renowned mountain.
For CYA student Nia Pappas, signing up for the Mount Olympus trip was taking a step outside of her usual comfort zone. Though she had heard about the famous mountain from mythology, she had never done any serious hiking before. Nevertheless, when the email about the trip was sent out this summer to the soon-to-be CYA students, Nia knew she had to go. She wanted to witness the mountain and felt that going with a group of other students and a trained guide would be helpful for her first major hike. She signed up immediately and never looked back. Her determination and willingness to try a new experience turned out to be well worth it. Nia loved the trip, especially when they “were able to see a crazy amount of stars, so many more than in Athens” from their shelter spot halfway up the mountain.
CYA student Eileen Fey‘s decision to go on the journey came in a much different fashion than Nia’s. She enjoys hiking and has gone on multiple hikes before, but attends school in Chicago, so she doesn’t have the chance often. Eileen came to Greece with no intention of hiking Mount Olympus, but the CYA field trip to Crete changed that. On the last day of the field trip, students went on a hike through a gorge in the south of the island. “I loved the hike so much that when they sent out the email a few days later saying there was an open spot, I replied right away,” Eileen said. To her, the best part was waking up early on their second morning in order to catch the sunrise over the mountains. With views like that, she had no doubt that her last-minute decision to attend was the right one.
With experiences like these, it is no surprise that CYA Executive Director of Student Affairs Nadia Meliniotis is such a huge fan of the Mount Olympus trip. She said that “when you come to Greece, there are two things you must do – climb Mount Olympus and run the Marathon.” She believes that the experience isn’t just for experienced hikers, but anyone who loves the mountains, the outdoors, and gorgeous views. The mountain is not only the most famous in Greece, but also the tallest in the country, giving students both a glimpse into the rich history of ancient Greece and a view of the stunning natural geography the country has to offer. Nadia herself has completed both of the items on her top two must-do list, having hiked the mountain to the second peak and running the full marathon! With the marathon coming up in early November, the students will have the chance to check another item off their Greek bucket list!
(Cover Photo: current CYA Student Kadin Kightlinger)