Mount Freaking Olympus
By Maddi Brenner
I’m not going to lie to you… it was hard. Harder than I had expected
You know those places you only read about in books, that you sort of have to imagine most of the time because you could never fathom the fact that you’d actually get the chance to go there? That’s Mount Olympus for me.
This past weekend CYA gave us the most amazing opportunity to hike the mountain. About a 6 hour bus ride from Athens, we finally made it to the trail and what a trip. I’m not going to lie to you… it was hard. Harder than I had expected. Mostly because it was literally just an upward incline that forced me to keep stepping up. Which of course is the hardest workout you can do: steps. Someone even told me that Olympians have trouble and get out of breath walking up steps because it’s this unique exercise that is not usually worked on. You know those places you only read about in books that you sort of have to imagine most of the time because you could never fathom the fact that you’d actually get the chance to go there? That’s Mount Olympus for me.
Besides the point, there is something extremely whimsical about reaching the top. You feel the wind at your face, your aching legs satisfied and victory on your mind. Now I know why the Greek Gods were claimed to reside there. The view is spectacular and the feeling you get after a long two days of hiking is one you can’t entirely express in words.
Here’s what I think. For me studying abroad isn’t just about expensive hotels and traveling to several countries in a short period of time. It’s engaging with students, faculty and yourself. It’s experiencing those rare moments. It’s diving into an adventure you weren’t expecting and loving it. Be creative with your weekends. Spend time in your home country. Enjoy the little things (like yogurt and honey). Engage, look around, embrace. After all, you only have 15 weeks here and time somehow continues to slip away so easily. Explore Athens and explore Greece. There are places here that can open up your eyes and show beauty like no other.
If you are looking for a place to travel or an activity to do while studying abroad, hiking mount olympus is a must. It’s a rarity and not many people get to say that they’ve hiked it. I’d also recommend the yogurt with the honey they provide you at the campsite. It was heavenly- get it? Thank you CYA for this rare experience. I will of course, cherish it amongst other things I’ve left pieces of my heart at here in Greece.
Maddi Brenner is pursuing a degree in Public Relations and Advertising with a minor in English and Profession Writing from DePaul University and is a official Fall 2016 CYA blogger!