S: Europe - Summer 2012
FC: EUROPE | 2012 | My European Heritage trip with People to People : Switzerland, Germany, The Netherlands, Belgium, France, & England
1: DEPARTED: | Columbus, Ohio,USA | 1st stop- Zurich, Switzerland!
2: 6/22/12 We had a long layover in Atlanta, Georgia & joined the Tennessee & Louisiana delgations. After 9 hours on the plane, we arrived in Zurich, Switzerland & met our bus driver Norbert-from Austria. He was the best bus driver ever & smiled when I spoke German to him!
3: 6/23-6/25/12 We stayed at a hostel in Scoul, Switzerland. Switzerland had the most beautiful scenery with vivid colors.
4: 6/25/12 Our service project was to clear scrub from a forest in Switzerland & to weave branches through trees to make a maze for children to zip line into. It was very creative! (I wanted to go through it myself!)
5: After touring a 400 year-old grain mill in Fatan, we took a gondola to go white water rafting on the Inn River in Switzerland on Engladin Rafting Adventures- the most fun I've ever had!
6: 6/25/12 We went orienteering and walked to the village of Sur En. Wow...hiking the hills of Switzerland gave my legs a work-out. The Alps were so majestic! | Trey, Caleb, & Kayla were my orienteering partners. We had a blast on that scavenger hunt! | Above: My delegation leaders-Johnnie Anderson(TN), Dani Hamberger (from Austria), Susan Martin(OH), Catherine Golden(LA),& Elizabeth Anderson (TN). | Just hanging around! We saw some amazing views by cable car in Switzerland. | Kayla, Caleb,& Trey
7: 6/26/12 We visited Freiberg, Heidelberg, Koblenz, & Cologne Germany. The picture to the far right shows a stream in Freiberg, that if someone falls in it, legend has it they will marry a "Freiberger". | I walked up 440 steps to see some very picturesque views of Germany from a lookout tower. I didn't think I could walk to the top, but I made it! I'm so glad I did-the view was breathtaking!
8: 6/26/12 My home stay family in Tenigen Germany was very nice! Their names were: Axel, Rudolf, Elsa (Elizabeth in German!), Virtudes, & Emil Kreppner. Below: There was a trampoline in the middle of the street which I thought was odd, but fun! | I went to school with Elsa for 1 1/2 days We took the car & train to her school. I couldn't understand anything! It was so different from American school. The students talked when the teachers talked- it was a bit crazy! | The Kreppner family speaks German, French, English, & Italian! The childlren start learning English when they are 10. | This picture to the left is all the delegates with all the home stay families.
9: On this trip, I had ice cream (gelato) everywhere we went! It was so fresh & yummy- my favorite was in Germany- the native berry | Someone tried "Broccoli" Gelato- they didn't like it amazingly & wanted someone else to eat it, but no one would. Of course, I wanted to get a picture of it though!
10: We saw several people playing music on the streets. I loved this little guy playing the accordion- he was so happy! | Here are some pictures of some of the other delegates: Ms. Golden in the middle next to me; Me & Micaela Pohlabel (from Shelby, Ohio) | We had a lot of bread & cheese which was fresh and delicious! | This was a picture of Elsa's soccer practice. I also got to go to ballroom dance class with her-FUN! | Samantha Shepherd,((Mt.Vernon,OH), AKA German cowgirl
11: More amazing street performers in Germany.
12: 7/1/12 We went on a cruise on the Rhine River. | We saw many beautiful castles. We were a bit tired though. Here is Nikki, Erin, & Samantha "Resting on The Rhine". | We had aapplesouce in wine glasses & made a toast to our trip. | Bubble tea was tasty. You got to pick what flavors you wanted in it. Most of the water was sparkling in Europe.
13: TheNetherlands was my 2nd favorite country. It was very flat, and there were more bikes than I anticipated. Many more bikes than cars. We had to be careful we didn't get run over! | Stoop waffels- Yummy! | 7/4/12 Below: the judges from the International Court of Justice inside the Peace Palace in The Hague, Netherlands. I learned many new things from this exhibit.
14: 7/3/12 We went to a clog factory. Warren got to help make a cell phone holder clog. | We also went to a cheese factory for a cheese making demonstration. When you first walked in the room, you got a great whiff of fresh cheese. It was so much better than in America. | We also toured the Anne Frank Haus. It really gave me a perspective of what life was like in WW II. | It was very relaxing riding bicycles by the canals. We got to see many windmills, and even some beautiful swans! | Norbert!
15: Belgium was my favorite country- it was pretty, the atmosphere was more laid back, and the people were nice! 7/5/12 We rode a horse & carriage through Bruges, Belgium. That is now my favorite way to travel. We also went to a lace factory/shoppe. It is one of the only real lace shops left in Belgium. To end the day sweetly, we toured a chocolate factory. We got to taste samples- it was the best chocolate I've ever tasted. (Swiss chocolate was pretty scrumptious too!) We then got back on the bus for a long trip to Paris, France!
16: 7/6/12 We visited the Palace of Versailles- it was very elegant and regal. After Versailles, we went to the Eiffel tower. The 1st time I saw it, I cried tears of joy!
18: Paris et Le Tour Eiffel- Tres Magnifique! | We were allowed to climb the stairs to the 2nd floor of the tower-669 steps. Climbing those stairs was one of the proudest moments of my life! The Eiffel tower represented all of the hard work it took for me to get here! | 7/6/12
19: 7/7/12- We went to the Louvre- it was packed with tourists! | Monmarte | Mona Lisa | There are so many pickpockets in Paris! | Moulin Rouge
20: 7/8/12- We saw the raising of the flags that fought on D-day at Omaha Beach. We got a bottle of sand from the beach to remind us that heroes died for us on this sand.
21: 7/9/12 After our overnight ferry ride from Caen, France to Portsmouth, England, we made our way to London & Hampton Court Palace. The gardens here were beautiful & we made it through the maze in a short amount of time- it was really fun!
22: 7/10/12 This was a busy day! We saw Westminster Abbey, rode the London Eye (443 ft. high), saw Buckingham Palace, Horse Guard Parade, & a met with a former member of Parliment. He was very interesting & funny! | View of Houses of Parliment & Queen's Tower from London Eye | Famous London phone booths | Horse Guard Parade | Buckingham Palace Guard | View of Queen's Tower ( AKA-Big Ben), from my binoculars | London Bridge over the Thames River (complete with summer Olympic rings)
23: This is some of the amazing food we had in Europe. *We seemed to have chocolate pudding a lot. The whipped cream was awesome! From left to right, & top to bottom- food from Switzerland, Germany, France, The Netherlands, & Belgium. I even got some creme brulee! The lemon crepes were probably my favorite desert...besides gelato, that is!
24: 7/10/12 The last evening of our trip we saw The Wizard of Oz in the London Palladium. I was so looking forward to this! (The musical we were going to see was a surprise until the day before.) I've seen this musical literally 10 times, (I was a Munchkin in our high school musical in 2009.) Seeing this live, on the West End stage, was so colorful & wonderful! Nothing else could compare to this!
25: I flew 5,191 miles on a plane, traveled to 6 countries, rode in a bus, a car, a train, a horse-drawn carriage, and on a ferry boat. I ate authentic foods (& gelato!). I stayed with a German family, & attempted to speak German & French. I had my eyes opened to different cultures & the world around me. Now, more than ever, I appreciate America, and am proud to be an American! I feel I gained confidence, stepped out of my comfort zone & truly appreciate this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity! When I arrived at Port Columbus airport, I was SO excited to see my welcoming committee:Mom, Emily,Victoria, & James. Just like The Wizord of Oz- "there's no place like home!"