“I would have never imagined I’d be in a place like that” – Exploring the Peloponnese!

For 5 days in February, I was thankful to be able to experience the beautiful region of the Peloponnese.

From early morning breakfasts and bus rides, to city night explorations, comfy hotel evenings, and days filled with imagining the rich history and archeological sites of the past, the Peloponnese was unforgettable.

Due to the amazing experience I had, I was eager to not only reflect on my own individual self and experiential discoveries but to hear how the week impacted my CYA peers.

At the end of the trip I spoke to three CYA students about their experiences in Peloponnese.

Grace McIntosh is a Junior at Cornell studying Hotel administration with a concentration in Human Resources. Maddie Mulligan is a junior at Hamilton College studying Creative Writing and Classics. Michaela Glasgow is a junior at Pacific Lutheran University studying biology; although she is in her last year as an undergrad as she will attend WSU pharmacy school in the fall of 2023. My name is Yazmine Gnanaratnam and I attend Brandeis University as a junior studying Sociology with a minor in Psychology.

I asked two questions regarding the Peloponnese trip, below I share the answers of both myself and my peers.

“Is there anything that stood out to you or was particularly significant for you on this trip? What was your favorite part of the experience?” 

Yazmine: Simply having the opportunity to continue exploring a new part of the world, let alone Greece and the Peloponeese was amazing. While seeing the archeological sites, from driving through the mountains, or seeing the pretty views of the cities we stayed in, it was hard to wrap my head around how many amazing things we were experiencing! My favourite part was Nafplio. I couldn’t stop looking at the sunset and sea, and all I wanted to do was explore this beautiful place! Seeing clear blue water for the first time was amazing! My favorite part of Nafplio was the cacti. I love plants and one thing I always wanted to see was a natural non-planted cactus in person. I didn’t realize that they grew in Greece so seeing them was very exciting!

Grace: “As a hospitality major, I liked visiting the different family businesses (honey farm, ouzo distillery, olive oil press). It was interesting to see how they each approached the growth of their business a little differently. I loved getting to hear their stories and the respect they had for their craft and their ancestors who started the business. A highlight of the trip was visiting Palamidi Fortress in Nafplio! It was so pretty and it was an opportunity to imagine a slower pace of life.”


Maddie: “I learn so much from the professors at the sights, something about being at the places I learn about at school really changes how I perceive their history! The professors were very knowledgeable and engaging in a way that made every sight fun! Professor Karavas did a demonstration in the ancient Nemean stadium of how the ancient Greeks would have wrestled and competed in the Pangration! My favorite part of the trip was for sure swimming in Nafplio with my friends! It was surreal to be in the beautiful blue water we kept seeing from our windows on the bus.  I think it was such a bonding experience for all of us.”

Michaela: “While the entire Peloponnese trip was packed with countless hours of fun and adventure, what stood out to me was the beauty of Nafplio, especially from the top of the Palamidi Fortress. The rich history of the castle itself in addition to the indescribable view of the city was an experience unlike anything I’ve ever had. It was so serene and beautiful that I would have never imagined I’d be in a place like that, let alone whilst pursuing an education.”

There is no doubt that those who set foot in Peloponnese were able to leave with new experiences, new connections, and new perspectives. I hope that you also get to experience a place that allows for new individual and experiential discoveries!


[Article by CYA Spring ’23 student and MediaLab intern Yazmine Gnanaratnam]