By Mr. Robert Burke, Upper School History Teacher

Over spring break, 23 MVA students, two parents, and four teachers traveled to Greece! The adventure began in Athens, featuring a hotel rooftop view of the Parthenon at night. We had dinner with live music and dancing where several students were brought to the dance floor to learn some new steps.

The next morning, we traveled by bus to the Corinth Canal, then the ancient site of Mycenae, the Greeks who fought in the Trojan War over 3,000 years ago. We continued to the Ancient Theatre at the Asclepieion of Epidaurus, one of the greatest theatres in all of Greece. After a brief stop in Nafplion, we traveled to the far west side of the Peloponnesian Peninsula to Olympia. 

Waking up in Olympia, we toured the location of the original Olympic games, dating back to 776 B.C. Several students joined me in a lap around the stadium. We toured the museum, and then traveled to Delphi, the ancient site of the Oracle and Temple of Apollo. That evening, we toured the city on our own and viewed a stunning sunset over the mountains and the Gulf of Corinth.

“My favorite part would be the architecture of the historic churches,” said freshman Evan Willis.

“The best part of our trip to Greece was definitely the long drive to Delphi as we got to see all the beautiful scenery of the ocean and the mountains and small coastal towns along the way, as well,” said junior Zac Knight.

After Delphi, we journeyed back to Athens and took a short flight to the gorgeous island of Santorini. The crescent shape of Santorini was formed by a volcanic eruption in 1600 B.C. This makes Santorini one of the most unique island structures in the world. The next day, we had time to explore the cities of Oia and Fira. Students had lunch overlooking the crater side with stunning blue waters. 

“The best part about the Greece trip was the amazing views of the islands and ruins because you don’t see these views anywhere else in the world,” said sophomore Colby Reish. “These memories will never be forgotten, and I’m so glad I went on this trip.”

“The best part of the trip was the cliffside view on the island of Santorini!” said junior Rocco Provenzano.

After spending two nights in Santorini, we returned to Athens again. Upon arrival, we went directly to the Cape of Sounion and the Temple of Poseidon. Later that night, the group attended a cooking class where we learned how to make (and eat) traditional tzatziki sauce and spanakopita.  

The final day included the highlight of climbing the Acropolis of Athens to the Parthenon where students could see the structure up close and a panorama of the city. We finished with a brief visit to Plaka for lunch and shopping, then a final dinner at a neighborhood restaurant where we celebrated the birthdays of Tatiana and Giana!

Through five hotel transitions, connecting flights in Frankfurt and Zurich, scenic (and tense) bus rides, hopping the metro in Athens, small planes over the Aegean Sea, and a few bumps along the way, students conducted themselves extremely well. They adapted to changing situations and sought out new adventures at every turn. Students embraced the historical and cultural adventure reminding them we are all global citizens. Dr. Arghyrou, Ms. Nederveen, Ms. Hoyle, and I are all immensely proud of this group and the experience they helped to create. I lost count of how many times we all said, “We have great students — we really do.”

Perhaps the most frequently spoken quote could be heard from Dr. A at any given restaurant: “Here, try this. You will like it.”


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