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The Westcoast Connection Blog

Life Changing Experiences

A Quick Piece on Greece – ON TOUR Backpack Greece, The Islands & Italy

Well parents and friends, Greece has been more than good to us. Syvota won us all over getting our feet wet to the wonderful water activities of this exquisite country. We started out at a great pace with a morning of sea kayaking and swimming on the Mediterranean. Later that day, we kicked it up a notch with water tubing. While our trip members had a blast riding the standard single person tubes, the fun truly began with the double tubes and the “couch” which provided many laughs for five trip members at a time. A few even enjoyed some time on a boat feeling the wind and watching their friends bounce along the waves.

On route to Monodendri, we made a pit stop in Ioannina to continue our trend of bathing suits and wind-blown hair. A lazy river tubing venture floated us along just to the brink of Albania where we stopped just shy of stamping our passports. A quick tea and biscuit later, we continued on our way.

On we go. Olympia for the night. Short, but oh so sweet. Our TM’s learned all about the origins of the Olympics – an astounding tour, especially for our athletes. We discovered the tale of one of the seven wonders of the Ancient world – the Statue of Zeus. We were all blown away by the story of the 40 foot statue appearing Godlike as its gold and silver sparkled off reflective olive oil pools below.

OT BP Greece, The Islands & Italy Tubing

We spent some time with Hermes observing his facial expression change from the varied standpoints. Finally, the Olympic training area, gymnasium and of course, the track. Jonathan and Samantha even went for a quick run. We came up short on gold medals, but the rewards came in the form of a delicious classic Greek dinner – Moussaka, Greek Salad, Saganaki.

Nafplio provided the beauty of the water with the pace of a city. We enjoyed “family meals” (as we call our group dinners) overlooking the town square, hiked to the Palamidi Fortress and learned classical Greek dances under the moonlight on our hotel rooftop. A noteworthy day had us all wetsuited up and paddles in hand for some white water rafting. A true fan favorite was the team challenge of balancing on the brim with a little spin action. The team that sways together, stays together!

OT BP Greece, The Islands & Italy in Greece

Onto the ancient Epidavros Theatre for Molly, our resident theater maven, to have her moment on the impressive stage. Once thought a part of holistic treatment, the theatre was part of an ancient healing center. Today, the 10,000 seats are filled by show-goers taking in Greek celebrity performances of the classic comedies and tragedies. You couldn’t even imagine the impressive acoustics in this amphitheatre! We made a quick jaunt over to Mycenae to uncover some ancient caves and a mountain shaped like a man.

And now, for the Acropolis. Athens surprised many of our Trip Members with its funny urban vibe pairing rather dramatically against the backdrop of the ancient world. That takes us to today where we head to Naxos for lovely beaches and more fun stories to come. As our ferry inches ever closer to its destination, we see the island up ahead. Time to get those toes in the sand!

Αντίο (bye) from all of us

The Westcoast Blogger

Do you want to join us on this adventure? Check out our Greece trips for students that includes visiting the Acropolis, Santorini & more.