The opportunity to hike Mt. Olympus, the highest peak in Greece, one of great mythological importance and home to the throne of Zeus is one of the many enriching privileges CYA students get to enjoy as part of their study abroad experience in Greece. Our fall semester students recently embarked on such a trek ascending the iconic mountain to Skala, a summit just beneath the shadow of Mytikas the highest peak rising 2,197m from the Aegean Sea. The challenge of navigating the mountain’s gorges, treading in the footsteps of the pagan gods, is a journey not only designed to test students’ physical ability but also to help them determine their mental strengths and weaknesses, endurance and capacity to encounter and master a completely new, challenging environment.
Experiences such as this, whereby students’ achieve such a feat alongside their peers fosters support, creates incredible bonds and develops priceless skills that continue to guide students throughout the rest of their CYA learning experience abroad in Greece. Justin Brendel one of our fall semester students, has written a wonderful article published in Insider Athens about his Mt. Olympus experience. We are very proud to share it here. Read about Brendan’s trekking experience and see some examples of his stunning photographs on Flickr.“The journey meant more to me as I saw various members of my group overcome fatigue, hunger, and mental obstacles in order to make it to the summit. We all had developed some form of mental toughness along the hike and now the surrounding mountains, our new friends, and Greece below was our witness.” (Justin Brendel)