The first stop for students on half term’s Classic Trip to Greece was the Temple of Poseidon at Cape Sounion, south of Athens. Built in 444 BC – the same year as the Parthenon – there is much left to appreciate, however, the ruins offer little shelter from the rain these days and everyone got thoroughly drenched.
After overnighting in Delphi, the students visited the Sanctuary of Apollo, and enjoyed the spectacular views afforded by its hillside location. Next on the packed itinerary was engineering marvel, the Corinth Canal, the building of which was first attempted by Roman emperor Nero, but only completed in the nineteenth century.
On day three, everyone experienced the incredible acoustics of the ancient Theatre of Epidaurus, with a recreation of the Greek tragedy, Agamemnon, before exploring the bronze age citadel of Mycenae, on an afternoon of glorious weather. After arriving back in Athens, the base for the remainder of the trip, the students spent part of the evening at the National Archaeological Museum.
Where else to visit the following day, but the Acropolis, its museum, and several of the many ancient sites that surround it, including the Theatre of Dionysus, the Agora (gathering place) and the labyrinthine streets of the historic Pláka neighbourhood.
A final, sunny morning was spent in Kerameikos, or for the Latinists amongst the group, Ceramicus, the former potters’ quarter of Athens, and also the site of an important cemetery, before waving a fond farewell to Ancient Greece.