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The Westcoast Connection Blog

Life Changing Experiences

The Other Side of The Ionian Sea – Backpack Greece, the Islands & Italy

Backpack Greece

Dear Parents,

We’ve said our “arrivedercis” to Italy for now, but we had such a lovely time in Perugia that it won’t be forgotten. Situated in the mountains, it looked over the entire Umbria region and offered breathtaking views from every angle.

Inspired by the beauty when we arrived, Dylan gave everyone an impromptu acoustic guitar performance in front of the hotel and we all swayed along. After checking in and exploring the town for lunch, we headed to the Perugina factory for Baci chocolates! While we didn’t find any Oompa Loompas, Lauren was able to sample over 10 varieties and nobody left without their sweet tooth satisfied. That night, we all celebrated Gab’s birthday with a big group dinner and cake from a local bakery (HAPPY BIRTHDAY GAB!!).

We biked around Lake Trasimeno  the next day and caught a view of a nearby castle. Alex and Jake took the lead for the scenic 7 mile ride. Our relaxing day continued when some opted to watch an Italian comedy in the park at night. Others found a small crepe shop, and Eli managed to get a mascarpone and Nutella crepe from the woman who spoke no English. Quite impressive (and delicious).

One of the highlights of our Perugian stay was the authentic Italian cooking class. Rachel was diligently recording the recipes we used to assemble fresh tomato and pepper bruschetta, homemade tagliatelle and decadent tiramisu. Bon appetit! Trip members had a chance to explore the open air market back in town and Kalee found a peak that overlooked all of the neighboring villages. That night, a war began- Battle of the Sexes. It was a heated yet hilarious competition and Casey, a trivia guru, led the girls to a big victory.

The games continued the next day with some of the trip favorites, Contact and Animal, which were the perfect way to spend our travel day getting to Greece! We boarded the overnight ferry in Ancona, and some found the top deck a perfect place to catch some fresh air as the boat embarked. They even gathered for a group work-out and push-ups on the open sea.  At night we had an original 360 Student Travel activity–a version of the Dating Game–that brought laughs to the whole group in the midst of a colorful sunset. The remoteness of the boat in the middle of the sea offered the perfect star-gazing opportunity, which most of us don’t often get back home.

When we woke up, we had arrived in Greece. While Italy is complete, we all look forward to what awaits us on the other side of the Ionian Sea.


The Westcoast Blogger