By: Patricia Garcia Febles. Patricia studied abroad in Madrid in Spring 2012 and is a student at Syracuse University.
Spring break: probably my favorite time of year. This would be my first time spending it in Europe with my best friends and we were at a loss for where to go. Being that we are all from Puerto Rico, we had not adjusted well to the cold Madrid weather and knew we wanted to go to a warm place for spring break, where we could possibly go to the beach. I suggested traveling to the Greek Islands, but with all the political turmoil going on at the time, we were worried that a trip there would not be safe.
We had been living in Madrid for three months and had traveled to Portugal, Belgium, Morocco, Switzerland, Paris and all over Spain together. I had traveled every weekend with my same three friends and we had come to realize that traveling brought out the best and worst in us, so when we were planning our Spring Break 2012 trip, we were all hesitant to spend an entire week together, alone. Our goal was to meet new people and feel like we were going on a real spring break trip, like we would have been on back in the United States.
My friend who was abroad in Florence and had already went on her spring break trip suggested traveling with Bus2alps. We had never heard of the company, but after doing research we realized Bus2alps offered everything we were looking for. All the travel, food and accommodations were covered and we would be traveling with a group of students our age for an entire week. Bus2alps offered Spring Break trips all over Europe but once I found out they had a trip to the Greek Islands, I was set on convincing my friends that was the trip we had to go on. I had been to the Greek Islands before on a cruise, fell immediately in love with them and promised myself I would one day come back. I convinced my parents that the Greek Islands were safe and not affected by all the political riots going on in Athens and told them that we would be traveling with trip leaders the entire time, so we would have some sort of supervision. I knew that this was the trip my friends and I were looking for, to a warm location where we could go to the beach, and even convinced my friend who was living in New York City at the time to join our trip. Three weeks later, we would be on our way to beautiful clear waters and quaint island cities.
After planning all my trips, sleeping in hostels, spending a fortune on food and transportation, I liked the idea of having an entire spring break trip planned for me where I did not have to worry about any of these things and could actually relax and fully enjoy my trip for once. Even though I had already been to Greece,
Bus2alps made my experience there completely different. Our first stop was the island of Corfu, where we went to a private beach, got to cliff dive from a 75ft cliff and even attend a real (pink) toga party with local Greeks. In Santorini, we went to the Black Sand beach, the Red Sand beach, and I even got the chance to celebrate my 21st birthday at a local bar. We also went to Athens for a day but thankfully things had calmed down by then and we did not encounter any problems. We got to see the Parthenon and the Temple of Poseidon.
Yet all the traveling and sight-seeing was not my favorite part of the trip- it was meeting so many amazing people that I would not have gotten a chance to meet had I not gone a trip with Bus2alps. I met students my age who were abroad all over Europe, even a girl from my sorority who went to a different school and two people who were studying abroad in Madrid like us. Our trip leaders also made the trip worthwhile, making us feel comfortable, safe and being always available for anything. Since they were so close to our age, they felt more like older brothers to us than they did paid “supervisors.”
Traveling in a bus for a week with 50 other people brought us all so close and by the end of it we all felt like a family of nomads. I still keep in touch with most of them and we plan on visiting each other. Even though I had already been on a similar trip, Bus2alps made my spring break the most fun trip I had ever been on during my entire semester and exceeded my expectations. Traveling in a bus for a week with 50 other people brought us all so close and by the end of it we all felt like a family of nomads. I still keep in touch with most of them and we plan on visiting each other. I can honestly say I wish I had known about Bus2alps sooner and gotten the chance to travel on more trips with the company. It is an amazing company that will guarantee you an experience of a lifetime and I recommend it not just to people who are studying abroad, but anyone planning to travel to Europe in general.
Bus2alps operates trips to Greece for Spring and Fall Break and over Long Weekends. You can check out all of our trips to Greece here. If you are looking to travel to Greece on a weekend Bus2alps does not offer, you can view ferry timetables and pricing at Greek Ferries. These websites will add a surcharge to your purchase. For info about the famous Pink Palace, visit their homepage.