Students travel the ancient world

Written by Year 13 student, Charlotte Jones

From taking off at Auckland airport on the September 27, to landing back on New Zealand soil 16 days later, I can confidently say it was the best trip I have ever been on. A group of 11 students and two teachers from Long Bay College were lucky enough to travel to the other side of the world and explore the classical history of Greece and Italy.  This trip required a LOT of preparation, but it was worth every minute for the memories and friends we made.

Our first week was spent in the beautiful country of Greece. We built strong connections with our peers and teachers. We got to explore the city of Athens which was an eye-opener and travelled up the coast to the Temple of Poseidon – which was many of the students’ favourite site! The view was breathtaking, not even a photo could do it justice. We explored the Acropolis, a major tourist attraction, where massive and impressive temples sit atop a hill overlooking the city.  In Olympia, we got to do something very special … run the original track from the very first Olympic games! Our last night was spent in Delfoi, where we visited another temple and made some furry friends that I did not want to leave behind!

In the early hours of the morning, we flew to Italy for our next adventure. Here we explored the city of Rome. It was safe to say, no one wanted to leave. We toured the Colosseum, Arch of Titus and Constantine, the Roman Forum, Vatican City, Ara Pacis and among a long list of other museums. We also travelled to Sorrento where we spent a few nights and went on a day trip over to the Isle of Capri.

Unfortunately, while away a large number of us became ill, however, this didn’t stop us from looking around Hadrian’s Villa and Pompeii, which were incredible experiences. It is mind-blowing how skilled the ancient Romans used to be and how well-preserved the buildings, artwork and sculptures are.

This trip was a great opportunity to explore some of the world before I go on to study at University next year. It was an experience that will never be forgotten. It was the first time all of us were away from family for two weeks, so it was a big step up. We relied on one another and formed strong bonds with others from school whose names we didn’t know before. The best place for me was swimming in the ocean at Nafplio. It was picture perfect with castles above us on the hills. Words cannot describe how happy we all felt.

What did we learn? Where do I start?! I wouldn’t be able to count the number of museums we went to on two hands! We crammed our days with as much knowledge, artwork and statues as possible, and it is safe to say I wouldn’t have had it any other way. It was a great chance to use our class knowledge. My all-time favourite artwork was the Bust of Commodus. Although he was such a bad emperor, the artwork is very impressive. In addition, I learnt how to survive two weeks sharing many hotel rooms with different girls … and it wasn’t always easy! We also learnt how to run very fast through airports to catch our flights!

My advice to students is to take opportunities like this trip! It has been not only a Year 13 highlight but a school highlight. I couldn’t have asked for a better group of students and teachers to go with. I might just have to sneak on to the next one …

The Classics trip is biennial. Anyone who is interested in the 2021 trip should contact Dean Thompson at dthompson@lbc.school.nz . Students will need to be in Year 12 or Year 13 in 2021 and considering Classical Studies as a senior subject.

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