A Magical Mount Olympus Hike

There is no mountain range comparable to the awe-striking Mount Olympus in Greece.

This trip, organized by CYA, was a memorable experience for every student who participated. From the sunset breaks on the first day, to stargazing at the overnight lodge, to celebrating at the peak and dipping our toes into the waterfalls at the bottom, every moment was special and unique.

Fall 2020 CYA student Jennifer Frank says that hiking up Mount Olympus was truly unforgettable: “With such historical significance and interesting mythology surrounding it, I was so glad CYA proposed this trip.” She mentions some of her favorite parts of the hike being the view of the milky way at night, hearing everyone’s voices echo through the valleys, and the incredible bonding experience that students shared with each other.

Dima Rentel, another Fall 2020 CYAer, speaks of the stunning and vibrant color palette of the mountain: “We got our three primary colors on the trip – the deepest greens from all the trees and foliage around us, the most stunning blue from the clearest sky, and a vibrant red when we woke up for the sunrise!” For him, the highlight of the hike, along with the beautiful scenery, was being able to spend quality time with his CYA friends.

Two more students agree that it was a great opportunity to grow closer to other CYA students. Spending a night together in a shelter on top of a mountain after a steady day of hiking creates a special connection. Speaking of connections, Gwyn Stith adds: “The mountain’s deep connection with Ancient Greek religion adds a spiritual significance to the experience, and the view at the top took my breath away.”

Another perspective relating to the difference between life in the mountains and life back in Athens was added by CYAer Elliot Rydell, who mentions that the contrast between the stillness of nature and the typically bustling city sounds students are accustomed to is very noteworthy. For him, “The times when one is able to hear only bird calls echoing off of forested cliff-sides are, in a way, just as important for our individual education as our classwork.”

Like all my fellow CYAers who participated in this excursion, I too appreciated having the opportunity to unleash my inner mountain-climber and conquer the terrain of Mount Olympus. It was a profound, once-in-a-lifetime experience that we all value both collectively as well as personally.

To summit up, Mount Olympus was spectacular!

Theo Karplus
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Written by Theo Karplus
Theo is a junior at Knox College. She is double majoring in Business and Political Science, and she is also interested in creativity and entrepreneurship. She started her own lifestyle/travel blog on Instagram (@theo.karplus) and YouTube to share her experiences and express her passions. She is thankful for the opportunity to work with CYA and go behind the scenes exploring Greece.