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Alvin the owl’s trip to Greece

Did you know that the symbol of Athena, Goddess of wisdom, warfare, and handicraft is an owl? Meet Alvin!

We take a look back on Alvin’s (and our Ancient History A Level student’s) trip to Greece.

“We expected the trip to be educational. What we didn’t expect was how much fun it would be.”

Hannah Kendrew, A Level Ancient History student, tells us all about the climb to the Acropolis of Athens, the memories and friendships that were made and the famous hour and a half Uno game!

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Day one

It was an early 2am start as we met at College to get picked up by the coach. It was strange to see College so quiet and in the pitch darkness.

We left Manchester Airport at 3°C and arrived in Athens at a much warmer 17°C! Straight from the airport, we took a coach to the Temple of Poseidon. It was so beautiful and peaceful; the views were amazing. I sent some photographs to my parents who believed I was sending postcard photos because it was so quiet, with very few people around.

We then jumped back onto the coach which took us to the hotel. We drove along the coast for most of the journey and saw lots of little villages and towns. It was noticeable how different the culture was.

Day two

On day two we visited the Ancient Agora of Athens, the Acropolis, the Parthenon and the Acropolis Museum.

We met our tour guide at the hotel and set off for walking to the Agora. The Agora is the commercial and political hub of ancient Athens, where the world’s first democracy was created.

On the way to the Agora, she told us all about the local area and what to look out for. She was so knowledgeable and shared lots of useful information that will help us with our upcoming exams.

At the Agora, we learned where famous people would have lived and where people would have worshiped and how. The archaeologists had recreated the shopping centre of the ancient Athenians, which had a museum inside. This really helped us to visualise all the different buildings and how people would have socialised during 500-400 BCE.

We then made our way up to the Acropolis which meant climbing up many steps and through the streets. Thankfully when we arrived, we had some time to recover, drink water and have a snack! When we went through the opening gates of the Acropolis everyone was quietly in awe, taking everything in.

After exploring the Acropolis we made our way back down into Athens for dinner before visiting the Acropolis Museum. The Acropolis Museum showed off detailed and delicate pieces of marble.

That evening we had some free time to explore Athens before heading back to the hotel to play card games and reflect on our busy day!

Day three

On day three, we had an early breakfast before our trip to Delphi. First stop was a visit to the museum of Delphi where our tour guide showed us findings that an archaeologist found only several decades ago. After the museum, we went to the site of Delphi and learned how there is an ancient village, still buried underneath the ground, yet to be discovered.

We had lunch at a local restaurant which was recommended by our coach driver. The waiters came round our tables showing us the food they served, explaining which was which. We went for fried cheese, spaghetti bolognaise, omelettes and aubergine battered balls – delicious!

That evening we stayed in the hotel to relax, chat, play games and listen to music. The night ended with an hour and a half long game of Uno. It seems some of the group are pretty competitive!

Day four

On day four, we went on a self-guided walk to Socrates Academy before heading back to the airport. One of the students was celebrating their 18th birthday and got a happy birthday shout-out on the plane from the air hostesses.

And just like that, the Greece trip was concluded! We had learnt so much, had eaten our way through a huge amount of Greek food and had botched our way through speaking a different language.

Seeing all the monuments, temples and buildings that we learn about in class really brought our studies to life. Remembering something from a picture is difficult, remembering something from an experience is so much easier.

The trip came full circle when we arrived back at College. Stepping off the coach felt a little emotional, but maybe this was the lack of sleep!

Things felt different upon our return, though. When we set off, we were huddled in our existing friendship groups. When we returned, we were saying our goodbyes to new people we didn’t even know existed before the trip.

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Learn more

For more information on A Level Ancient History at York College & University Centre, click here.

To discover our Humanities & Social Sciences curriculum area, click here.