The Temple of Poseidon at the Cape of Sounion sets the background for a snagged selfie of the Michigan and Montana crew, now lifelong friends.
By Dakota Bahlau
Grass Lake Community Schools
GLCS Travel Club Coordinator
Fall 2019: 14 travelers booked to Greece, Spring Break 2021
Spring 2020: Galapagos Trip, canceled
Spring 2021: Greece Trip, canceled
Summer 2021: Rescheduled Greece Trip, canceled
Spring 2022: 5 travelers remain, off to Greece!
Fall of 2019, fourteen travelers dreamed of the memories they would make when visiting the country of Greece, during Spring Break 2021. For many, this would be their first international adventure or visit to Greece. Excitement was in the air, places that we wanted to visit were shared, and the learning of 12 common Greek phrases were being attempted. Nothing but possibilities lay ahead, and the unthinkable happened, COVID. Thoughts of international travel were all but forgotten, a distant memory. However, 2½ years later, and with only five travelers left, we dusted off our passports, and we were ready to head to Greece.
The Parthenon is located on top of Acropolis hill (Acro=on top of, polis=city). The Parthenon is a temple dedicated to the goddess of Athena whom the people of Athens considered their patroness. Pictured are the Grass Lake and Montana Crew.
It seemed so surreal preparing for our Greece trip. We talked about the exchange rate, what our layover would be, what would we need to pack, and what is the weather like currently. It was tough to hold on to hope that something else wouldn’t pop up delaying our trip for the third time. As we sat at the airport, ready to board, it finally became a reality. We were headed to Greece! After a short trip over the Pacific and the smell of tulips in Amsterdam, we landed in Athens. Tired, excited, and unsure, we were ready for it all! We were joined by a small group from West Yellowstone who looked even more exhausted than we did. But through the exhaustion, you could see an adventure-ready group. We boarded our BMW small tour bus, and we were off.
It was a whirlwind of a trip to be sure. Yesterday morning seemed days ago, strangers became family in twenty-four hours, and lifetime memories were made. I have come to realize that it is not necessarily the monuments you visit, or the museums you tour, but the people you are with that make traveling so intriguing and worthwhile. One of our favorite memories is when a group of us (Michigan crew + one Montana student) got stuck in an elevator in the Acropolis Museum. A shake of the elevator moved it up and down an inch, then it completely went black. Lights flashed back on, Greek words were spoken over the loudspeaker, then a shake, drop, and black again. That was the first of many bonding moments.
Inside the Acropolis Museum
We visited many places: The Parthenon, Temple of Apollo, the Islands in the Saronic Gulf (Hydra, Poros, Aegina), Temple of Poseidon, Corinth Canal, Nafplion, Mycenae, Delphi, Olympia, and Crete. Greek mythology captures you in such a way that you can do nothing else but listen. You’d close your eyes while standing in these amazing places and try to imagine what it was like then. It is such a different feeling than just looking at photos online. It truly is hard to explain.
Twelve days went by too quickly, and we found ourselves on the plane back to the U.S. Memories continued to be shared about horrible desserts, our bus driver, Dafi, and tour director, Holda who made our trip one to be remembered for years to come! Our friends, from Western Yellowstone, were now family. The delicious pistachios from Aegina, the running in the Olympic Stadium, and the beautiful hotel in Delphi.
Lunch aboard the cruise ship on the Saronic Gulf with Hydra in the background. Hydra was one of our favorite places to visit. It’s a carefree Greek Island, visitors and residents alike have to walk, take a mule, sea taxi or beach boat to reach their destination.
It is safe to say we Warriors are happy to be traveling again! Although traveling is amazing for memory making, we cannot overlook the other very important benefits. The main goals of the Grass Lake Community Schools Travel Club are to promote diversity and understanding among our youth by traveling across the world to new countries and embracing different cultures. We have found that the best way to learn is to fully immerse yourself in the experience. We are looking forward to meeting new family members with which to add to a lifetime of unbelievable memories!
Next stop: Italy, Spring Break 2023! Ciao!
Come see the world with us! If you wish to check out our past adventures or follow along with our new Italy adventures, follow us on Instagram: @grasslaketc.
It is as if Apollo himself blessed his temple on this day. The Temple of Apollo is located in Delphi. Delphi, which is built into the side of a mountain, gives off its own magic. Just amazing.