Sunday, April 15, 2018

Day 3: Delphi Historic Sanctuary & Tholos Olive Farm

This will be a heavy picture blog today with this quick summary from me and two new student bloggers Jake and Hannah. 

Day 3 here is another 80 degree day. After a good breakfast we took a 3 hour bus ride to the famous ancient sancutary at Delphi. We passed through some beautiful countryside and had some great views and photo ops on the way. The little country side towns we drove through were awesome. Lots of hiking today finished off with some amazing oil, feta, and bread at Greece's largest olive farm. 
Really a cool day. Seeing some amazing things. Students are happy and excited at each new destination. 

         A quick photo opp on our way to Delphi. This beautiful town in the backdrop was amazing in person. 

                                                     Delphi Museum 

Delphi Ancient Sanctuary 

Lunch in Delphi

                  Delphi Valley Olive Grove- largest olive farms in the World

Walking totals for Day 3 compliments of Mr. Ghiloni: 
Steps: 12384
Converted miles: 5.7

Overall Totals for Trip:
Steps: 35,972
Converted miles: 16.9

Jake Gorrie, Senior, Advanced Manufacting

Today in Greece may have been my favorite day yet.  On our way to Delphi, we got amazing views and pictures of the country side. Our first destination was a small museum that was related to the ancient ruins that stood directly over the building. Once our tour was over we headed off to lunch.

Once we finally finished eating we were back on the bus and off to our next stop. After another 20 minutes of driving we arrived at the largest olive farm in all of Greece. At the farm we got to experience 2 different types of olives as well as the olive oil they produce. Once the food was gone and the tour was over we were back on the bus and off to the hotel for the night.

Hannah Silva, Junior, Health Tech
It was an early morning today, departing at 7:15 for a 3-hour drive to Delphi. On the road, we napped, took scenic pictures, and learned some Greek phrases. Delphi is home to the the temple of Apollo, which we hiked up the the hill to see. After visiting the remains of the theater, stadium, and touring the museum, we went to lunch at an authentic Greek restaurant in the mountains. Next, we traveled down to the field below to tour an olive garden and sample high quality extra virgin olive oil. Our bus ride back to Athens returned us to our hotel just in time for another great Greek dinner.

Thanks for reading! Tomorrow we board our four day cruise adventure. We will be hitting the open seas with stops at some beautiful Greek islands and excursions. Kids are very excited. 

We will see how the blog goes with the wifi on the ship. See you soon! 

Day 2 Athens - Acropolis-The Parthenon-Athens Free time

Amazing what these students are being able to see and experience each day in this beautiful country. 

Another early morning wake-up and we were off by 8am on a bus tour of Athens. Bus tours may sound a little boring but they are actually the perfect start to a long day. You have a little extra-time to relax and take in some sights from our comfy coach bus. We also had plenty of quick stops to jump out and take pictures. 

Today we hit the site of the first modern Olympics Stadium and plenty of other sites the students will tell you  more about below. Seeing the Acropolis and the Parthenon was incredible. That amazing structure is the center of Athens. We could see it throughout the day everywhere we went. Kids were awesome again. Hit our walking steps high today! Some after-dinner free time in the lobby and another early night to bed. 
Another big day tomorrow. Enjoy the pictures and student perspectives below. 

Site of the first Modern Olympics in Athens

Scenes from the Acropolis & the Parthenon

Walking totals for Day 2 compliments of Mr. Ghiloni: 
Steps: 14588
Converted miles: 6.7 

Overall Totals for Trip:
Steps: 23,588
Converted miles: 11.2

 Dinner #2- salad with fresh feta and yogurt
Farm to table chicken and rice 

                 Some down time in the hotel lobby after dinner

As always here are some thoughts and impressions from our students. Thanks to Cam and Meaghan for today's write-ups!  

Camden Spring, Sophomore, Drafting, Leicester 
Today on our Greece trip we woke up and had a traditional Greek breakfast. After we finished our breakfast we hit the road and headed to the city. In the city we took a bus tour and a walking tour across Athens. During these tours we saw the Greek Parliament, The tomb of the unknown Greek soldiers, then we briefly saw Zeus's temple, the first modern Olympic Stadium, and went to the acropolis to see the Parthenon. At the top of the acropolis standing with the science defying Parthenon put everyone in awe you had the Parthenon to your left and the most amazing view of the city to your right. Then after seeing the acropolis the students had some free time to venture the Metropolis to purchase some souvenirs for themselves and parents. After this we made our way back to our bus to head back to the hotel where we had a traditional Greek salad with yogurt dressing, for the main course we had chicken and rice, and a fruit parfait for desert. After all of this the students hung out in the lobby and in their rooms for an early night as we have a 6 o'clock wake up call to start tomorrow.

Meaghan Kirley, Senior, Health Tech, Clinton

To start off the day, we went on a bus tour of the city, where a guide told us about the history of the city, and we got to explore for a little while. We saw the Olympic stadium, as well as different monuments, including the tomb of the unknown soldier. 

After a quick bus ride, we arrived at the Acropolis, and climbed up (after falling) to one of the most beautiful views in Greece. We saw the Parthenon, took pictures, and learned about the history of the structures and how they were built in dedication to the Gods they worshipped. After the long climb down, strawberry lemonade was a lifesaver, and our tour guide brought us some traditional Greek breakfast (bagels) to try. 

We eventually arrived at Athens city center, where we met at the Metropolis, a church widely known throughout the city. We were given free time, where everyone split up for lunch. My group found a little restaurant where most of us ate either burgers or gyros, and we quickly realized that it’s normal for people to come up to you while eating and try to put whatever they’re selling on you then ask for money. 

After lunch, we went to the flea market to shop, mostly for little souvenirs or gifts for family back home. We had a long time to explore, and really got to know the city center. When everyone met back up, we headed to a local museum and were given free time to explore the objects that used to reside in the Parthenon, which were mainly statues.

Overall, it was a successful first full day in Athens and everyone is tired and excited for tomorrow!

Thanks for reading! Big day tomorrow as we head to the ancient sanctuary at Delphi and and olive farm to taste test fresh feta, olives, olive oil and fresh breads! 

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Off to Greece Day #1!

After 2 years of planning and many, many Travel Club meetings we are finally off to Greece! We can only hope this trip is as great as Costa Rica 2014 and the European Quartet 2016 (Amsterdam, Brussels, Paris, and Londen). 

We started our journey Thursday leaving Assabet at 12:30pm with 44 students and 7 chaperones. 

Kids on the bus trip to Boston were great. The 7 hour flight to Frankfurt, Germany went smoothly. After a 2 hour layover we had another 2.5 hour flight into Athens. We met our tourguide Ava and took a coach straight to a walking tour of Athens. No rest for the weary! 

Students catching some Zzzz's in between flights from Germany to Athens. 

Athens is an amazing city of 5 million people - almost half the entire population of Greece lives in Athens. After an hour free time we had a traditional Greek dinner called Mousaka. It was delicious. Very new for the students but after lunch a long day they were happy to eat anything. 

Dinner #1- Mousaka- like a layered lasagna with meat, potatoes, and eggplant 

Students were in bed by 8:30. Everyone was exhausted. Big day tomorrow- going to see Olympic Stadium and the Parthenon at the Acropolis. 

Walking totals for Day 1 compliments of Mr. Ghiloni: 
Steps: 9000
Converted miles: 4.5

Overall Totals for Trip:
Steps: 9000
Converted miles: 4.5

As always I will be including some thoughts and impressions from our students each day of the blog. Thanks to Victoria and Nick for helping me out tonight! 

Victoria Silva, Junior, Health Tech

Today we began our long-awaited journey to Greece with flights from Boston and then Germany. After several naps during transport to help with jet lag, and exploration of the various airports, we arrived in Athens for our first adventures in the cities of Greece. With our tour guide Eva, we walked the city, and were given time to explore the shops, sights and streets. Afterwards, we settled back at our hotel, and shared our first Greek meal for dinner.

Nicholas Houle, Senior, Metal Fab

The first day of being in Greece was an eventful one. It started off slow but as we got moving though the day it became more fun and exciting. As we were all riding the bus you just start seeing landmarks pop up and it was really intriguing and gave a look into the culture of Greece and its people. Then as we got off the bus and our tour guide started showing us around the streets of Athens and you can see all the small thing that make up the area. From seeing old ruins or a small store that sold items made by the people of the city. It really showed the sense of community the people have in the area and gave the city a warmer presence and welcoming feeling.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Updated Days 7 & 8 - Final days in London!

Jackie Lake "Potter" at Platform 9 3/4 

We are back!  It's tough to believe that it's been almost a week since we finished the trip of a lifetime. Now that a crazy week back from vacation has settled down we have finished the blog. Enjoy! 

Here are Ashley's thoughts and loads of pictures I uploaded of our two amazing days in London

Day 7 Paris to London on the underwater Eurostar! 

We woke up super early to get to the Eurostar train, but unfortunately I slept right through my alarm and it took the teachers forty five minutes to wake us up. We packed, brushed our teeth and hair, dressed and rushed to breakfast. We all rolled our luggage through the station near our hotel around six in the morning. Being me, I tripped about six times, which is nothing new.  We got the the Eurostar, learned some facts about it (it's record speed is 334.7 km/ph), and most of us just listened to music for two hours while waiting for the kind woman say we had arrived in London. 

The Eurostar Train we took from Paris to London

After we all got off the train, we went straight to the 9 3/4 station that was in Harry Potter, the wait was about forty five minutes so most people just got lunch instead. We went to some of the London markets after that and I got a bracelet and a necklace and all of my other friends bought purses. Following that, we went to the London Eye. The ride was around 35 minutes and I got a nice time lapse video. We all took selfies at the top and many pictures of the view, especially Big Ben.

The students first had to watch a 4D video of the London Eye

The London Eye is a 443 foot giant ferris wheel along the River Thames in London. It was 32 pods where 10-15 people can go inside each one for a 35 minute complete rotation around.

The London Eye is the largest ferris wheel in Europe and the highest public viewing area in the Western Hemisphere. 

The pod behind us on the London Eye

Some of the girls calmly taking a picture in a pod 443 feet up 

The view of he London Eye Ferris Wheel from below

 More pictures of some of the girls in the London Eye with a great scene in the background. There is nothing you couldn't see in London from this high up!

We went to a few squares after that, like Piccadilly Circus Square. My friend really had to use the toilet so we spent most of that free time using a McDonalds bathroom that we weren't supposed to be in unless we bought something. After that square, we ventured through London's Chinatown and saw a lot of roasted duck. We had Korean food for dinner. I enjoyed it but quite a few didn't really care for it. 

Taking the "Tube" subway system in London. Very, very busy and very, very crowded. The chaperones and students did an excellent job staying together and getting from stop to stop on time.

Mrs. Nykiel and Mrs. McCann lead the tour through London's shopping district 

Najara and Kaitlyn taking a nice picture at a London phone booth

London's China town. Much bigger then the Chinatown districts in Boston and NYC 

Stopping to take a pic of the whole group at Leicester Square in London- part of the shopping district 

Lots of theatrical street art and entertainment going on in London's Trafalgar Square. It took me a while to figure out how this guy appeared to be levitating. 

A delicious Korean "Hot Pot" dinner in Chinatown

The chaperones enjoying some adult conversation for 30 minutes! 

Students enjoying their hot pots!

Students happy to be off their feet during dinner. We put in 12 miles on London Day #1

Somebody was shy of the camera in this one but you can't hide forever! 

Even though it was rainy, cold, and dark, we still went on our walking tour: Jack the Ripper Walk. My feet were killing me and I didn't smell too great, but nonetheless the tour guide made it fun and interesting. On the many train and bus rides to the hotel, someone with a pedometer announced we had walked over ten miles today. When we got to the hotel, my roommates and I didn't understand the odd light system (where you need a keycard to turn them on) and everyone was just so very ready to take a shower and sleep. Tomorrow there will definitely be more walking, and more buses, and likely more trains. Thankfully though, we should get a good nights sleep.

Very tight on the train to the Jack the Ripper Tour! 

Mine The Gap! That is what the train conductor says at each stop. There is a large gap in between the train and the landing area for getting off. Of the 2 billion riders that take the Tube each year there are around 1,000 Gap injuries! 

Our group is exhausted but happy on the Tube!

This is our tour director for the Jack the Ripper street tour. It was cold and rainy in London's southend where a century before Jack the Ripper (never caught) wreaked havoc and drove fear into the hearts of Londonites everywhere. The weather added to the excitement of the tour. 

I can't say enough about this guy. The students were glued to his story. He was certainly in character as a turn of the 19th century detective. Creepy but truly awesome. This guy was committed to what he does. 

The kids listened to his every word. What a story teller. We visited all the murder sites of Jack the Ripper and heard the complete story of this era.

More pictures of Trafalgar Square in London. These lions were made out of metal smelted down from the actual cannons used in World War I. 

Jennelle at Trafalgar Square

Some of the chaperones hanging out in Trafalgar Square

Lots of civil disobedience in these pictures. The guards who "guard" Trafalgar Square occasionally whistle at the hundreds of students taking pictures on the lions. 

Myself and Kaitlyn Kennedy taking a great selfie on the London Eye with Big Ben in the background 

Day 8: Our Final Day in London! Flying home tomorrow! 

We started the day by eating some really good breakfast at our hotel, and then onto a bus for our guided tour featuring Keith. We saw where David Bowie lived, Electric Avenue (yes from the song), where some of the new James Bond was filmed, and where Mary Poppins would have taken place. Keith explained that the clock tower in London is not called Big Ben. Big Ben is the bell inside the clock tower, and we proceeded to take more pictures. We also saw the Westminster Abby Church, which apparently took around 500 years to build. We saw princess Anna exit Buckingham Palace, and took a few photos of the famous guards with black hats. Keith also informed us that London is currently 600 sq miles, with 8.1 million people in populace. After we said goodbye to Keith, we went to the Camden Markets. I bought a few things for my family and had some nice pizza and a milkshake. The markets were never ending. There were literally hundreds of stores all in this one area. Our group gave our chaperone, Mr McCann, a "Mind The Gap" hat and magnet as a gift and kind of an inside joke about their public transportation in London. Did you know there was 1152 gap related injuries last year on that specific tube? Crazy, I know. We then went to dinner, had some nice chicken and mashed potatoes, served by a very attractive male waiter (no shame), and some very chocolatey brownies. When we got to the theater to see Wicked, Derek left us and told us that we will see him tomorrow morning. We were all very confident that Mrs McCann could get us back to our hotel safely. After waiting for a little bit, we saw the show and it was amazing. Their voices gave me chills and it was a well written plot. Also the guy who played the prince had major biceps and jawline, so I mean, that definitely didn't hurt. We finally got back to the hotel later and I have promised myself that I will eat three plates of food for breakfast tomorrow to prepare for the airports. Remember, mind the gap! 

Some of the girls at West Minster Abbey

The Flame- this statue was built as a reminder of the Great London fire which burned London the the ground in 1666

London Bridge

Riley, Richard, and Delaney on London Bridge 

Jennelle and Justin at West Minster Abbey 

Mrs. Nykiel and Caitlyn at Buckingham Palace. This was moments before Princess Anne was whisked away by her motorcade entourage. Pretty exciting! 

Grant, Delaney, and Mrs. McGrath at Buckingham Palace

A great group shot at Buckingham Palace 

After a long day of walking and tours we finished our day with a live show in London's historic theatre district watching "Wicked". It was incredible and the kids loved every minute of it. 

Considering all the historical sights and truly amazing places we visited over 8 days of this trip there really could not have been a better way to end it then relaxing and watching a great play with great performers in such a comfortable and beautiful venue. We got there early and took it all in. 

Our Final Meal together in London!

This was a cool little free museum of contemporary Art called the Marlborough that we thought would make a good picture for all our Marlborough students 

Isabelle Furbino and Mrs. Nykiel with their contemporary addition to this contemporary piece! 

Our final meal in London. Simple chicken breast, mashed with gravy, and peas. A nice meal before a long day of flying tomorrow. 

Thanks for taking the time to read our blog. Great job to Mrs. McCann and all the chaperones and students. What a trip! 

Thanks to the girls in my group for the thoughtful gifts. Remember to Mind the Gap!