By Salma Ali ‘17
Joyful smiles were found on all the students’ faces as they boarded the plane and headed to Europe. Their successful journey began on April 21 and ended on May 1. The group was able to witness the beautiful views and historical sites of Switzerland, Italy, France, and Spain.
In Switzerland, students and chaperones were able to explore Zurich and the gorgeous sights it had to offer. “Zurich was absolutely stunning,” said Rebecca Cruz ‘17. “We all still couldn’t believe that we were in Europe and every little thing amazed us about the city.”
In addition, the group made their way up to Mount Pilatus and had their heads in the clouds (literally). They were 8,000 feet above the ground and dealt with weather changes due to elevation.
“Being in the Swiss Alps was an incredible experience,” said Isabel Learis ‘18. “The fact that it was snowing added on to our excitement and we managed to have a good time climbing to the top of the mountain.”
The bunch continued their day in the lovely city of Lucerne where students were able to enjoy lunch in the Old Town.
“I called my mom while I was in Lucerne to inform her that I was moving to Switzerland very soon,” said Taja Jafarli ‘17. “It was only the first country we visited and I was already in love with Europe.”
The journey continued with Italy as their next destination. Everyone took a boat ride across Lake Como and experienced the breathtaking scenery and crystal blue waters.
Samantha Osnis ‘17 said, “Just when we thought it couldn’t get better than Switzerland, we saw the fascinating views of Lake Como.”
They roamed the small city of Bellagio at the end of Lake Como and shopped freely in the astonishing city. “Bellagio was so beautiful and it took my breath away from the minute we arrived there,” said Florina Rekhelis ‘17. “I did not want to leave that dreamy place.”
The group hiked through Cinque Terre the next day. Cinque Terre means the five towns and the group hiked from one town to another for two hours.
“A lot of people complained about the hike because it was really long, but I can easily say that was one of the best experiences of my life,” said Pablo Napoli ‘17.
Leard Kelmendi ‘17 said, “The scenery and views during the hike were extraordinary; I almost felt like I was in a movie because it didn’t seem real.”
They proceeded to visit the rest of the five towns and saw the city life in each town. “After a long hike like that, all we wanted to do was eat some delicious Italian food,” said Viktoriya Karpenko ‘17. “Not only was the food delicious, but we ate by the beautiful sea and enjoyed the amazing fresh breeze.”
Next, they headed to France to visit the historical sites and see more graceful scenery. They started in Monaco where students and chaperones were able to get their passports stamped. They also visited the exotic gardens and had the option to have lunch in Monte Carlo which was right under Monaco.
Jafarli said, “Monaco was serene and elegant; I’m so glad we were able to visit this country as part of the trip.” They advanced to more cities in France such as Nimes, Nice, the French Riviera, Provence and Avignon. They observed the Arena De Nimes, Pont Du Gard, Palais Des Papes and the Promenade des Anglais.
Gabriel Rabin ‘17 said, “We got to visit a lot of different places in a matter of three days and it was exciting to get so much done in such a short time.”
Their final destination was Barcelona, Spain. The historical city of Barcelona, where the group took a tour of Las Ramblas and were able to shop until they dropped. They also explored the Barcelona Cathedral along with the famous La Sagrada Familia church., which is supposed to be completed by 2026. To add on, they also visited Park Guell and learned the history behind this park.
Rekhelis said, “I was so excited to visit Parque Guell because that is where The Cheetah Girls filmed their movie and they were my favorite group when I was younger.”
Learis said, “Barcelona exceeded my expectations; I already can’t wait to go back.” Overall, the students and chaperones enjoyed this fantastic trip immensely and couldn’t wait to go home to tell their family and friends about the trip.
“This trip was extremely enjoyable and definitely one for the books,” said Kevin Hasa ‘17. “The experience was unforgettable and totally worth it.”