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I Prefer The Scenic Route, by Shanice Hannigan


In Thessaly the blue sky extends as far as one can see. The colours are not comparable to anything I’ve seen at home. It was overwhelming at first glance but as I adjust to the scenery I discover more and more of its beauty. In Narthaki, the walk from the school where the girls in our group stay to the potshed is a wonderful way to start each day. On the right, beyond the field where there are often shepards walking with their grazing sheep, the extensive green and tanned patchwork of fields roll with the foothills.

On our way to work

On our way to work

On the fourth day of our course we went up to the site for a tour. The name of our site, Kallithea translates to “beautiful view” in Greek. They couldn’t have picked a better title for the ancient city on top of this hill. Apart from being filled with history, artifacts, and beautiful architecture, this site is incredible because of its breathtaking, majestic view of the Thessalian landscape. The capital of the region, Larissa, is found amongst the vast plains to the North. Mount Olympus is in the distance where the great Olympians battled and defeated the Titans from Mount Othrys in the South. Mount Othrys is also a location where, according to myth, the nymphs dwell. To the East lies Halos, another Hellenistic polis that we visit during one of our field trips. Beyond Halos, is the Pagasitic Gulf extending from Mount Pelion, home to the centaurs, to the Aegean Sea. Finally, to the West we find the region of Thessaliotis and the Pindus mountain range that divides mainland Greece.

View to the north from Kallithea

View to the north from Kallithea

When I first chose to go into archaeology, the main reason was because I wanted to travel and see beautiful places. Greece was the first on my bucketlist and it has far exceeded my expectations. Staying in this area has peaked my interest in the rural lands of the classical regions. I would greatly recommend this course to anyone who loves good food, great people and especially amazing scenery.

Shanice Hannigan

View east from Kallithea

View east from Kallithea


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