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Travel Club Tours Europe

Students collect rocks on the shore of the Mediterranean Sea in Nice, France.

During Spring Break the Travel Club toured five countries - Italy, the Vatican, France, Monaco and Spain. Chaperones Mrs. Pentecost and Mr. and Mrs. Hardy took students Meredith Tershel, Zander Sidney, and Cameron Dion for nine fast-paced days experiencing art and history in the most wondrous way with students from New Jersey and Baltimore. During the trip everyone had the opportunity to attempt three languages and to experience the countries’ delicious cuisine.

In Rome, Italy they toured the amazing and grand Vatican where the number of artworks collected by the Popes was astounding. Other favorites were the coliseum and Trevi Fountain. The small town of Orvieto had a wonderful ambiance. It sat on a rocky hill overlooking the Tuscan valley and a cathedral with gold mosaics that shimmered in the sun.

Florence seemed to be a favorite with its great mix of a small town feel with all the advantages of the big city. The ancient bridge Ponte Vecchio is a site to see. It is the only original bridge coming into the city not destroyed by the Germans during World War II. The Duomo (domed church) is the gem of the city.

The girls were amazed at the amount of food they ate because they weren’t use to the Italian custom of having a first meal of pasta then second a meal, which is the meat and vegetables, plus dessert. Gelato was a favorite snack; there is nothing like it. They stopped in Pisa on their way to France to see the Leaning Tower, which is a great site for a picture.
The bus ride to France was a welcome break for the travelers as they were very tired from their time in Italy.

When the group arrived in Nice, a very wealthy area where the rich vacation, they strolled on the boardwalk. The next day they went to Monaco and saw the changing of the guards at the royal palace. American-born Princess Grace of Monaco was buried in a great Byzantine church surrounded by artwork. In Nyms they saw the most well preserved coliseum still in use today and took a side trip to see Pont du Gard which is one of the few aqueducts that is still standing.

The preservation of art and history is one of the most amazing features of traveling in Europe. The students were amazed at the value the Europeans put on their history. The United States is a fairly young country in comparison to European nations and there does not seem to be the same emphasis on history.

The group next crossed the border into Spain and travelled to Barcelona. The artist Gaudi made a wonderful contribution to the city’s architecture. The church designed by Gaudi, called La Familia, is still in construction today - almost a 100 years after his death. Its construction is financed solely by private donations.

A couple of the group members saw a Flamenco dance full of emotion. Tapas were a favorite meal on their last night and it was a bittersweet evening knowing they were leaving in the morning.  



Trevi Fountain


Ponte Vecchio bridge  



Group photo


Full group pic

Ponte du Gard aqueducts

Gaudi church

Gaudi church "La Familia"


Written by: Shelly Pentecost, Travel Club Sponsor
Edited by: Deb Christensen
Posted: May 05, 2014 by Deb Christensen

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