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Souvlaki and ancient ruins: GSS group take on Greece

A group of 46 people travelled to Greece for quite the adventure last month. The trip, arranged by GSS teacher Ms. Depretto, comprised of a long flight to Athens, a few days of sightseeing in the ancient city and a five-day cruise through Greek islands and the coast of Turkey.

The trip took over a year to finalize and included GSS students, their parents and even some grandparents. Ms. Depretto organized the trip, as she has many others, so her students and their families have the opportunity to explore the world, while at the same time discovering things about themselves. She believes people learn valuable skills from travelling; skills like time management, organization and how to keep safe and healthy in a foreign environment.

According to Luke Chambers, a 17-year-old GSS student, the year of saving and planning was well worth it.

“We were there with friends, and there really wasn’t much to worry about. There was always someone there to help you,” said Chambers. The group’s cruise ship was small compared to some popular cruise ship lines, but the vessel still held over 1,500 people and included amenities like a pool, work-out room and even a doctor.

In Athens the group visited the Acropolis, saw the changing of the guard, and explored the outdoor market places.  They then journeyed to the island of Mykonos — famous for its windmills and picture perfect scenery. The group even popped into Turkey for a day to visit Ephesus, an ancient Greek city that contains the famous temple of Artemis, which is one of the seven wonders of the ancient world.

The group visited the island of Rhodes and Santorini where they toured the Palace of the Grand Master and rode on the backs of donkeys up a number of switchback stairs. This, according to Ms. Depretto, was the highlight of the trip for many students.

Upon the return to Athens, the group immersed themselves in the street life of the city —the hustle and bustle of crowds, food vendors, merchants, musicians and traffic.

Chambers, who had never been on a plane before the trip, said that it was “really cool” to actually see the history you read about in books at school.

“These are things I never thought I would have the chance to see,” he said.

Cheryl Beech, a GSS parent, said she was happy for the opportunity to go on this trip as she would  never have planned it for herself. Except for one time when a small group got lost and had to struggle with language and directions to find the rest of the travellers, she said the whole trip went smoothly. It was really positive for both herself and her daughter, Brooke.

One thing both Chambers and Beech — and no doubt most of the other trip participants—agreed on is the quality of the food: honey, yogurt, and even souvlaki with french fries stuffed inside.

How can you go wrong with that?