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The Student News Site of Fresno Christian High School

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The Student News Site of Fresno Christian High School

The Feather

Students take on Europe during school trip

Students+take+on+Europe+during+school+trip

Tour Itinerary

From March 31 to April 9, 29 students and 14 parents journeyed across England and France. This trip was open to any students who took AP European History in the last two years or French. The tour was run by Worldstrides, who planned out an itinerary and provided accommodations.

Day 1 and 10 were travel days. Flying abroad was a new experience for many students, having to travel with a passport and pass through customs.

Day 2 technically started in the afternoon, considering the eight-hour time difference. After meeting the tour guide, Michael Durnin, the group checked into their first of four hotels. With the sun setting, Durnin gave the tour a taste of famous London sights like Westminster Abbey and Big Ben. They utilized the London metro for the first time.

The students and parents pose in front of Buckingham Palace on day 3. Photo Credit: Mallory Friesen

On day 3, the group was led around more London landmarks, including the Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Buckingham Palace and the Tower Bridge. Some students paid extra to see a theater performance of “Mama Mia.’ Others explored the Tower of London, getting to view some of the crown jewels and medieval artifacts.

The travelers drove from London to Stonehenge on day 4. After taking pictures of the cryptic structure, they journeyed to the shore to take off on a ferry. The six-hour boat ride took them to the upper coast of France near Normandy.

The next morning, the group had time to walk around the American Military Cemetery at Colleville-sur-Mer. They had a somber moment upon the beaches of Normandy. Selected students read World War II veterans’ stories in the first person as if the soldiers were speaking. The group then spent the afternoon at Mont-St-Michel, an abbey covering an enormous rock island just off the Normandy coast. With construction beginning in the 10th century, it is a mash-up of many architectural styles.

Day 6 was centered in the Loire Valley, known for its produce and châteaus. The group got to explore two such manor houses: Château de Chenonceau and Château d’Amboise. The latter was a favored residence for French kings during the Renaissance period. For dinner, the group was guided by three chefs in making traditional Loire Valley cuisine.

The reel below shows the process behind cooking French cuisine.

 

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The last three days were spent in Paris. After spending the morning journeying from the Loire Valley to Paris, the group got to visit the Chartres Cathedral. It is known for its intensely colorful stained glass windows. The inside and outside of the cathedral is covered in symbolic statues, many of which Durnin explained the meaning of.

On day 8, the group saw many Paris landmarks, including the Arc de Triomphe, Champs Élysées, Eiffel Tower and Les Invalides. They then walked around the Louvre. As the sun began to set, they went on a cruise down the Seine River, getting to see more landmarks.

The last full day began with the choice to either go shopping around Paris or visit an art museum, the Musée d’Orsay. Later, they walked through the multitude of rooms in the Palace of Versailles and through the gardens. The evening was spent walking up to Sacré Coeur and around Place du Tertre, a square known for the many artists that set up stands there.

On day 10 the group made the long journey back to Fresno. Not included in the itinerary are special memories or adventures that made the trip special to each student. Below are a couple of student’s personal favorite parts of the trip.

Sophomore Nathan Bridges

The group views the lit-up Eiffel Tower at night. Photo Credit: Mallory Friesen

The trip to Europe was awesome and a great experience. It was really cool for me because I’ve always rooted for France in national soccer whether it’s the Euro or the World Cup. I thought it was super cool to see the gear of the team I root for and inside the country.

I really liked getting to see the Eiffel Tower. You always see pictures of it and it’s known as one of the most famous landmarks in the world. The Eiffel Tower even appears in movies, so it was super cool to get to see it in person. It almost didn’t feel real to have the real Eiffel Tower right there in front of me.

It was fun trying escargot, which is cooked snails. Growing up I always heard that in France they eat snails there. I knew that when I went there I had to try this for myself. They actually tasted really good. The texture was like a mushroom and it was covered in garlic and butter which made it taste amazing.

I was able to buy an Mbappe jersey in France, who is one of my favorite soccer players. I was able to go to the PSG official shop where I could buy all this gear. The store was cool and they even had a game ball out which was crazy to see it up close. I thought it was cool to see how much they love soccer because that’s mainly all they have in Europe compared to here in America where we have many different sports. Almost everywhere you went you could see Mbappe gear who plays for the France National Team and PSG.

Junior Miracle Neal

[/media-credit] The travelers explored Mont-St-Michel on the fifth day.
I have traveled around the U.S. and the world with my grandparents since I was little. Visiting places like New Orleans, Alaska, Hawaii, Mexico, and Jamaica. The European trip was my first major trip without them exposing me to what it’s like to be dependent on yourself. I would have to manage my own time, money, and have to be extra aware of my surroundings without them there to be my safety net.

Something I observed over the 8 days we were in London and Paris is the closed-mindedness people suffer from. People travel miles and miles to a new country just to complain and compare the culture to their familiarities. This practice keeps people from being able to fully dive in and learn something new.

With this in mind, I would encourage you to be audacious when traveling and temporarily adapt to a foreign culture to expand your worldview not only to grow as a person but build a sense of connection with others and the Creator.

Senior Summer Foshee

The trip to Europe was an amazing opportunity to both soak up history and have fun. It felt unreal seeing places I had only read about and seen in photos. Exploring century-old structures truly brought history to life.

I have many treasured memories from the trip. One of my favorites was riding the London tube one night. Our tour guide helped us navigate to Paddington Station and Abbey Road.

As someone who will be majoring in Studio Arts next year, I was really excited to see some famous works in the Louvre and the Musée d’Orsay. You can really get a feel of the soul of the artwork from viewing it in person. You can examine little details and see how it fits into the big picture.

In the same way, going on this trip gave me a greater understanding of history. By examining the minute decorative accents in Versailles, I can fully appreciate the environment of grandeur King Louis XIV ruled in.

Gunawan (far left) poses with her friends in front of Stonehenge. Photo Credit: Mallory Friesen

Junior Tryphena Gunawan

I really enjoyed the ferry ride across the English Channel! As great as airplanes are, the ferry was such a fun way to travel from England to France since we could walk around and explore different locations on the boat. Personally, I’ve also never been on a ferry for that long (about 6 hours) before this trip, so it was a new experience for me! Sophia, Izzy, McKenzie, Rachel, Mallory, Miracle, Meilani, and I also watched the sunset from the deck, and watching the sun disappear into the ocean with them was definitely one of my favorite memories from the whole trip.

For more articles, read Bible teacher Aubri Foster completes last year at Fresno Christian and Fresno Christian 2022-23 boy’s tennis finishes season as champions.

The gallery below shows more images from 2023 Europe trip.

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Summer Foshee
Summer Foshee, Editor
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