SI Students Take Europe
Stuart Kimball ’15
When I traveled to Europe with about 30 other SI students this summer, I had no conceivable notion of what I would see or experience in this “foreign land” across the sea. I was a tad intimidated to say the least; however, as I boarded the plane for our 10-hour flight, it wasn’t fear that found it’s way into me but rather extreme excitement and a readiness for what was in store.
My fellow travelers and I arrived in London and immediately the clock was ticking. We toured around and saw famous landmark after landmark. Not long after, our chaperones set us free to explore the vast city on our own! Every single one of us [students] was tired from the time change and didn’t get very far in that amazing city, but were jubilant nonetheless, to be in a city with such a rich heritage and famous history. Emma Sheedy ‘16 claimed, “The freedom to explore Europe with friends was an unforgettable experience.” The following day we took a bus tour to see Buckingham palace and, as luck would have it, we witnessed the changing of the guard! After viewing such a fabled tradition, some of the group went to Windsor castle; I however, stayed behind and explored London with a little group. Those who remained behind saw Big Ben and rode the London eye. The view of the sprawling London streets has made such an imprint in my mind that it would be incredibly difficult to forget!
The next day we took the Chunnel Train. For those who don’t know what the Chunnel Train is, it is the tunnel that begins in England, allows trains to ride beneath the English Channel, and ends in France. After disembarking in Paris, we rode on yet another bus and were shown some more historical landmarks around the capital city. The first thing I noticed was how immensely beautiful Paris is; it was probably the most striking city I have ever seen. We went to a section of the city called Montmartre that looked out over the Paris and was truly a sight to behold (even rivaling the view from the London eye). Day two in Paris started with a small group, which traveled and explored the Palace of Versailles. We could have spent the remainder of the trip getting lost in the decadent rooms and lush gardens. After seeing Versailles, the expression “Fit for a King” has become more weighted. We spent the rest of the day shopping and exploring the amazing city. Colin Feeney ‘15 said, “The Europe trip was an eye opening experience that exposed me to new cultures, and it was definitely the most fun trip I have taken yet.”
In Switzerland and Germany I was so pleasantly surprised it caught me off guard. After the history and beauty of Paris and London, I had low expectations of the countryside of Switzerland and the city of Munich. I was considerably taken back by how serene, tranquil, and gorgeous the scenery of Switzerland was, that it took me half a day to realize that I was not in some movie, but was actually living and experiencing the beauty of such a magnificent place. From taking a cog rail trail up to the top of mount Pilatus to tobogganing in the summer, it was clear that there was never to be a dull moment on this trip. Germany ended our trip. On a sadder note however, we visited the concentration camp at Dachau. Having felt sick to my stomach at the imaginings of what went on there, it was with a lump in my throat that I left Germany feeling the most grim on the entire trip.
Sydney Sobrepeña ‘15 summed up the trip best in my book: “Experiencing totally different cultures with some of my best friends was amazing. Each country was breathtaking, and the things that we did were unforgettable.”
Mr. Isham and the students make their way down from the Swiss Alps.
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