This week was both action-packed and relaxing! We made the most of our time in Athens by touring the Acropolis and the adjoining museum, exploring the Plaka district, and having a traditional Greek dinner together.
The following day, we all immediately fell in love with Naxos and its lovely beach vibes: the relaxed attitude of the island put us all at ease. Layla reflects, “The town had so much to do and the beaches were beautiful – it was awesome!” Our days were filled with sun and trying new things, such as scuba diving. Gillian loved the scuba adventure and happily said, “I got into the water and started seeing all the cool things – it was awesome and I never wanted it to end.” We also had the opportunity to hop on bikes and explore the island! Joe L. commented, “It was definitely a highlight of the trip!” Our nights in Naxos were spent exploring the town, sampling Greek cuisine, and enjoying ice cream poolside with friends.
We were all awestruck upon arriving in Santorini. We stayed in Kamari, which is one of the only neighborhoods in Santorini that sits directly on the beach. Our group was fortunate to have a gorgeous pool and the black sand beach was only a few steps away from our hotel. Our group had a great time exploring the old port in Fira town before boarding a boat that resembled a pirate ship to start our island hopping adventure. Our first stop on the Aegean Sea was to hike and tour the volcano. The view at the top was incredible; overlooking the sea and all the white towns nestled in the mountains. Our next stop was at a hot spring where we all happily went into the blue waters before swimming to the shore to put the oxidized iron mud all over ourselves. Our final stop was a small island called Thirassia where we docked for lunch. Afterwards, we all boarded cable cars that took us to the top of the beautiful mountain!
The next day, the water was the perfect place to be: the group tried sea kayaking, paddle boarding and snorkeling! We spent our last night on the island in the small town of Oia. We walked around the narrow streets before gathering as a group to sip smoothies while marveling at the perfect sunset. We then had a lovely group dinner on a rooftop terrace.
At night, we all sat together on the beach as we shared our favorite memories from the trip while passing around a ball of yarn. As more trip members shared their memories, and the ball of yarn made its way around, it became clear, quite literally, how intertwined all of our experiences are and how connected we are by our time spent together. Afterwards, the leaders provided everyone with a handmade, unique, leather bracelet to represent the time we spent together and to carry with us after we leave. We concluded the night by playing our morning song, Mountain Sounds, one more time and reflecting on A summer of a lifetime filled with lasting friendships!
The Westcoast Blogger
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