Greece continues to amaze Freshmen and Sophomores . . .

Hill ’17, Greece
Vikos Gorge
Today we took a hike through the deepest gorge in the world. It is over 3,000ft deep. In the gorge there is the cleanest river in all of Europe and possibly in the world. When we were hiking, we could see the bottom of a 2 meters deep river from 500 meters away. That was one of the most amazing things I have ever seen. Where we left the river there was a fresh water spring. The spring was so big it was like a river coming out of the rock. We all drank from it. It was the best water I have ever had.
As we were hiking on the path there were so many rocks and plants and they were all covered in 3 inches of moss, all of the moss was green and very soft. The hike was about 12 miles long or 18 kilometers. The whole time we were hiking through very beautiful places, whether it was the water, the view of the valley, or the small bugs and plants beneath our feet.

Silas ’18, Greece
Mikro Papigo
There are many things to say about Mikro Papigo and the experiences that we had there. . .The drive there was really breath-taking; seeing the jagged mountains and the tiny, stone villages was something totally new to me. Once we arrived in Mikro Papigo we had a rest and then embarked on a hike through the village and out to an overlook of the gorge. The hike took about an hour, but the view was definitely worth it. Looking out onto the mountains and down into the gorge was awesome. One of the best parts of our trip to the village was the two dinners we had. The dinners were family-style where food is placed in the center of the table and we all share off of those plates. There was some of the best beef and chicken I have ever eaten, and the yogurt with choke cherries on it made all the ice cream in the world taste like dirt in comparison.
The best part of this section of the trip was the gorge and all of the things in it. The best part of the gorge was definitely the views such as: the mountains with their cool, cubic rock, the forrest area that our group walked through, and the beautiful water which is the cleanest, purest water in Europe.

Jacob ’18, Greece
Travel and the Gorge
The past two days we have had a lot of memorable experiences. On the 14th we drove from Meteora to Mikro Papigo. We drove for about five hours including stops. We drive through ten or more tunnels and finally stopped for lunch in a town called Ionnina, our guide’s old college town. We could actually see a part of Albania from our where we parked the bus. Tanner, Silas, Colton, and I went to get gyros and the people inside the restaurant laughed at us when we tried to speak English to them, but the gyros were really good.
When we finally arrived in Mikro Papigo we got all settled and took a short hike. The trail we took had lots of obsidian on it, which was really cool; I found some that looked pretty awesome. On a different note, the guesthouse we stayed in was really nice and the beds were far more comfortable than the beds in the Quality Inn in Denver.
On the 15th, we took a 40 minute car ride to the beginning of our 12-mile hike that went through the deepest gorge in the world. The trail started off with a lot of down hill walking to get to the bottom of the gorge. The river water in the bottom of the gorge was SO clear. Max spent a lot of the hike working on riddles and getting most of them right.
I noticed that most of the rocks were covered in moss and everything was a cool shade of green. The guesthouse had packed us lunches for the hike. The lunches consisted of two pieces of bread, one block of feta, an egg, and an apple. The gorge and the river were probably the coolest things I have ever seen.

Mariana ’17, Greece
We started the day with a really sketchy hike down; it seemed like there was no path. We were wearing the wet suits and harnesses which protected us from all the branches and pointy rocks, but they were also way too hot. On the way down Thomas, who was behind me, fell and I wanted to start laughing but all the dirt got into my mouth! When we first saw the water, Elle and I jumped into it right away — we didn’t even care how cold it was! . . . The trip was made up of slides, jumping tiny water falls, and rappelling. Many people made the trip awesome, like Antonino always making us laugh with random stuff, Hill always leading the trip (he was supposed to give the chocolate away and he ate a ton of it!), Meg overcoming her fears and rappelling, Tanner who, after a rough bus ride, had a great attitude, and Max with his random comments. Everyone was great. On our way down it was so slippery and everyone fell. My personal favorite fall was Colton’s, but also Jacob’s when he tried to slide and got stuck! Everything was so much fun and #gorge [Mariana speak for ‘gorgeous’].

Max ’18, Greece
Canyoning 2.0
Yesterday was by far one of the greatest days of the trip as of yet. We embarked on a canyoneering adventure for three hours in the “most fun canyon” in Volos, Greece. . . As we got closer to the river, I became more and more uncertain about what activities lay ahead: were we going to jump off cliffs or were we going to just take a lazy walk by a stream? All of those questions continued cycling through my head as we walked downward. As we reached the bottom we were asked to jump into the river. As I hit the water, I felt a shock as cold as ice envelop me.
We continued trekking down the river while doing all of the activities that I had hoped. These activities included: climbing, jumping, rappelling, and sliding over rocks, crevices, and waterfalls. About halfway through the canyon we arrived at the biggest slide in the canyon. . . sliding down the slide is definitely one of the coolest things that I’ve done. The canyon continued on with bunches of small slides and drops until we reached the end. Overall, I think that this was the coolest part of the trip so far.

Antoine ’18, Greece
Biking around Kala Nera
Today was a pretty nice day. We woke up in our campground after a very windy nights when all of the boys slept outside except for Max. After a breakfast with the REAL Greek yogurt and OJ we started to walk on the beach to a bike rental shop where we were fitted for bikes and helmets. We started off biking through different towns along the coast and then went deeper inland where we stopped at a farm with horses and really big roosters. The horses, Volos horses, are much skinnier and smaller than regular horses.
The roads where we biked were rocky and fun to try to ride without hands. No worries, it all turned out all right. After the farm and the roads lined by olive groves, we made our way to an old laundry mill in the middle of the forrest. It looked like an old village and we ate our lunch on the steps of one of the abandoned buildings. Our guides, Alex and Panos, were super nice and friendly and had lots of jokes and information for us as we rode.
When we got back to the bike shop and returned the bikes we walked back to camp and then headed down to the beach to relax. The water was really cold, but the air was pretty warm. Overall, the day was pretty spectacular. The different views of the village were the best parts and simply doing something that required strength was pretty fun. Not to say that we haven’t done other things that require strength, but it was nice to get a good work out and then rest.