By Lauren Myles — GCU Student
This trip to Europe was a once and a lifetime opportunity and as soon as I heard about it I knew I had to go. I went in 2012 with Dr. Bruess and Christine to Ireland, Whales, England and France. I knew that this was a great opportunity to grow and have fun. I was excited to see so many countries, and I was glad for the opportunity for my friends Kait and Cristina to see them with me!
I had so much fun on this trip of a lifetime! I went with two girls from my home town who I have been friends with for years and we all had learning experiences together as well as making other friends, making memories as well as learning about ourselves individually.
I enjoyed many of the amazing experiences that have changed my life. In Amsterdam the Anne Frank House. This is the house where the Franks were in hiding from the Nazis for two years. They were found and taken to Auschwitz and everyone that was in hiding was killed except Otto Frank, Anne’s father. It was bone chilling to walk through the room in which they were hiding and could barely move for fear of being found out, and being captured by the Nazi soldiers. The Diamond Museum in Amsterdam was amazing to see the Diamond Capital of the world, and to get the chance to try on these fabulous diamonds. We also saw amazing Windmills and how they worked. We saw where the Dutch make clogs and cheese.
In Germany we went to many of the phenomenal sights such as Dom Cathedral in Kolon, it was beautiful. Heidelberg was a beautiful town with an amazing castle it was truly remarkable. We went to the straw hat festival in Heidelberg. It was so much fun to see how another country celebrates. It was to hear the bands playing a lot of American Music, we learned about the culture and dancing. Munich was an amazing city where there are still scares from World War II, it is a historic City. We Saw the Palace that the royal family had lived for years, and how each generation had built more on. The BMW Factory was a very cool place to see. We learned that the people would take a test drive inside the factory if they were interested in buying the car, amazing. The Olympic Games Stadium of Munich was very cool to see as well. It is very impressive that they continue to maintain and still use parts of it today.
Austria was breath-taking. I wish we had more time there. We saw live music in the city square. Austria is where Mozart is from and it was fun to be in a musically historic area which was so beautiful with amazing views. We received friendship bracelets in Innsbruck as well.
Italy was extremely warm and the town of lido de Jesolo. We arrived in time for a look at the beach, and the Adriatic Sea. I was so excited to put my feet in the Adriatic Sea. We went to Murano to watch a glassblowing demonstration. It was amazing to watch the people demonstrate the making of glass as well as the great souvenir shopping experience. We then took another boat to Venice, it was a great day filled with a tour of the Venetian Palace and the exploring of the city itself and how it is a bunch of little islands that are connected by bridges. We took a gondola ride that was relaxing and a great way to see the city. We traveled to the city of Verona, to see the beautiful arena and the House of Juliette, eating fabulous fruit.
Switzerland was amazing! We saw bunnies that were the largest rabbits that I have ever seen. Lucerne was awesome with amazing sights. There was the beautiful and moving Lion Monument where we took a group photo and then walked around the lake and over the Kappelbrucke, or Chapel Bridge, Lucernes most historical landmark. We went up Mount Pilatus. In order to get to Mount Pilatus we took a cruise across Lake Lucerne and then the worlds steepest cog railway to the summit, and a cable car back down to Lucerne, about half way down, a few of us took advantage of the summer toboggan track. It was so much fun, then we took the gondola down into Lucerne. The summer toboggan was on my bucket list of things to do in my life and I am glad that I had the opportunity to have this thrilling adventure. Geneva was a great day even though it was raining, the city where so many treaties have been signed was beautiful, we also found that the chocolate was fabulous.
France was fun, Dejon the home of Mustard was a wonderful town, we saw a beautiful carousel, and an arch de triumph. Stopping in Auxerre, for lunch we had an amazing view and saw some school children eating lunch in the park. We then drove on to Paris were we see the Eiffel Tower, Arch De Triumph for Napoleon Bonaparte, Notre dame Cathedral, and The Palace of Versailles, it was so much fun to see these places with a great group of new friends. Had amazing pizza in Paris with Cristina.
We then took the Eurostar Chunnel to London. We had fun on the train and got to take some silly pictures. In London we made the most of our last couple of days together trying to see as much as possible as well as making memories to last a lifetime. Some seeing the Book of Mormon to looking around at Piccadilly Circus, the London Eye, Buckingham Palace, parliament and also The Harry Potter 9 ¾ Platform to Hogwarts.
We had a sad day of goodbyes at the airport, but they are not true goodbyes because they are I will see you laters.