London to the Rhine: 1984
||Our travels to Europe began in the spring
of 1984 with a trip called London to the Rhine that was led by Cultural Studies
International, a student tour organization. Most of our participants were
from Brenda's classes at Campti High School.
The trip covered visits to London, Paris, Lucerne, and Heidelberg,
and was typical of many of the ten-day trips that are still offered by similar
companies today. During our stay in London, one of our sightseeing highlights
was a visit to the Tower of London.
|On the trip from London to Paris,
we had the chance for a short visit to Canterbury. This was our first real
stop in one of the smaller towns in England, and all of us enjoyed it very
much. We spent most of our time inside the Cathedral, of course, but we
did have a little time to wander around the town. Since then, we have returned
to Canterbury several times, but I don't think any of our revisits could
ever be as exciting as the first one. Fourteen years later, we still have
some of the souvenirs we picked up on that first stop.
|Both of us still have very
fond memories of our first visit to Paris. We were a little apprehensive about
it at first, but soon came to love everything we saw. Over the years, it
continues to be our favorite place to visit. On this trip, we had the first
of our many opportunities to take one look at the Eiffel Tower and decide
that there's no way we're going up there. We have, however, held coats and
purses for kids going to the top so many times that we've now memorized the
position of every girder and rivet in each of the legs. Our hotel was located
fairly near the Arc de Triomphe; a little later we saw it in the movie "Until
September." In the movie there are shots of remodeling going on in the hotel.
We were definitely there before the remodeling took place!
||Versailles was not a part
of the packaged tour, but a small group of us hired our city guide to take
us out. For us, as "virgin" tourists, the trip to Versailles on the
R.E.R. was almost as much fun as seeing the palace itself. But I think the
thing about our first trip to Paris that stands out more than any other over
the years is the quote by the student who was seeing Notre Dame for the first
time (after stops at St. Paul's, Westminster, and Canterbury): "Not another
|The trip to Switzerland was
a disappointment to none. An excursion to Engleberg and the ride to the top
of Mt. Titlis was an optional tour offered by the company that everyone
in the combined group decided to take. Most of our group had never seen mountains,
and many of the students had never seen snow. For lifelong Flatlanders, a
little elevation brings a ton of exhiliration! Of course, all the girls had
to spend their souvenir money on Titlis sweatshirts.
||The trip was advertised as
"London to the Rhine." At the very end of the trip, on the way to the Frankfurt
Airport, our courier pointed to a river and told us that it was the Rhine,
but of course we had no way of knowing. The trip really "ended" the afternoon
before with our visit to the Heidelberg Castle ruins. We knew as we got ready
to board the plane that we'd be back---- again, and again, and again!
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