Students, Teachers, and parents return from Europe

The Tumbler Ridge Senior Secondary students, (TRSS) teachers, and parents who traveled to Europe earlier this month returned on the 15th of March from a ten day tour of France and Italy. Teacher Caroline Crispin, gave Tumbler Ridge News the scoop on what they all saw.

The bus ride and flight from Tumbler Ridge to Paris, France took 26 hours in total which included layover time at the airport in Frankfurt, Germany. Crispin said that most of the students had already started their souvenir shopping and picture taking during the five hour layover.

Upon arriving in Paris, France, the group was impressed by the beautiful sights surrounding them as well as the 14 degree Celsius temperature. ?It was like late spring!? Crispin said.

The first thing the group of students, teachers, and parents did was go for a walk to stretch their legs. This didn?t last long since everyone was exhausted from traveling. ?Everyone went to bed after dinner? Crispin said, ?The jet lag really wore everyone out.?

The second day started with a bus tour through Paris where everyone stopped for a 15 minute photo opportunity at the Eiffel Tower. The tour guide for the trip was from Rome, Italy and represented EF Educational Tours. Later, the students were assigned to a parent or teacher and the individual groups spent the afternoon sightseeing to places like the Seine River and Notre Dame Cathedral.

They visited The Louvre, which is home to many famous pieces of art like the Mona Lisa and the Venus de Milo. Crispin said that, ?You could easily spend a week just in the Louvre because there are so many works of art there.? The tour guide mentioned that even if a person spent only 30 seconds viewing each picture in the Louvre, it would take six years to see it all.

The days following went really fast since there were so many sights that were scheduled for the tour. They visited bakeries, perfume factories and were able to go to the third level of the Eiffel Tower which stands about 150 meters high. Crispin said that the students were very fortunate to be able to go to the third floor since it is usually not open because of high wind factors.

The drive to Monaco was amazing. Crispin felt that most of the adults really appreciated Monaco the best because of its beautiful countryside and peaceful atmosphere. The majority of the students liked Florence, Italy the most. They saw a replica of the Statue of David there among many other monuments. The most exciting evening for the students was when they attended a disco. Crispin said that it was amusing to see, ?our Canadian girls teaching some Danish boys how to dance.?

?The kids appreciated the age of the buildings like the Coleseum in Rome. Canada is such a young country and doesn?t have monuments that were built before the time of Christ. I think that it really hit home for some of them.? Crispin said.

The group dined on a continental breakfast each day and enjoyed pure French or Italian cuisine for lunch and dinner.

When asked about the general cost for food and souvenirs, Crispin said that, ?everything was very expensive. Vendors were also very pushy there too. You couldn?t make eye contact most of the time otherwise they would surround you and try to sell you whatever they had.?

Crispin said that there was a lot of walking involved in the tour. They averaged 11 to 13 kilometers per day. She said that there were many streets that were very steep and ?if anyone could walk around the streets in Europe, then one could easily climb to the Bald Spot in Tumbler Ridge twice in one day very easily.?

The end of the trip was very exciting for one student. Calisa Smith purchased a Gucci purse while waiting to return home at the Frankfurt airport in Germany. She was given a scratch and win ticket from the store. She won a purse worth $1000 Euros. This translates to $1500 in Canadian dollars.

Overall, Crispin said that she felt that the tour went very well. She commented that the students were ?great kids? and they worked very hard for the trip.