BHS students enjoy Europe visit

Published 9:40 am Tuesday, October 9, 2012

ANCIENT HISTORY: Bainbridge High School students pose for a photo in front of the Colosseum, in Rome, Italy.

Special to The Post-Searchlight

In June, a group of 15 boarded an Air France plane bound for Europe. Terrie McNease, a teacher at Bainbridge High School, led the group on a 14-day tour through three countries in Europe.

The group consisted of students and adults. They were Yamantie Galnares, Isis Crawford, Brittany Fisher, Kaitlyn Lizotte, Kathlene Victor, Jill Overman, Caitlin Cato, Taylor Mills, Samantha Neal-Keith (Taylor Mills’ mother), Misty Bailey, Brenda Bailey (Misty Bailey’s grandmother), Taylor Dileo, Codie Long, and a teacher, Kim Sproul.

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After a nine-hour flight, the plane landed in Paris. Unfortunately, the luggage did not make it on the flight. But, not discouraged, the group was excited to see Paris and was off to immediately tour the beautiful cathedral, Montmartre, which overlooks all of Paris. They saw artists painting on the square, sidewalk cafés, sampled delicious sorbet, chocolate crépes, visited quaint shops and then went on to visit the Cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris.

In the next three days, the group was taken on a bus tour of Paris, visited the castle of Versailles and surrounding gardens, the famous Louvre Museum (home of some of the world’s most famous art, such as the Mona Lisa, and sculpture), floated down the famous Seine River and, of course, climbed the Eiffel tower at night. One of the highlights in Paris for the girls was shopping in some of the exclusive stores.

The students were amazed at how small the cars were. They also noticed that many drove motorcycles, rode bikes or walked most everywhere. They also were able to experience the Paris subway system — always quite an adventure.

HOPE IT DOESN’T FALL: Bainbridge High School students and their adult chaperones pose for a photograph in front of the famous “Leaning Tower” in Pisa, Italy.

After three days, the group boarded an overnight train and woke up in Barcelona, Spain. In Barcelona, the students were able to view Antoni Gaudi’s architecture and the beautiful “La Sagrada,” walk the famous “Las Ramblas,” try tapas-style food — where Taylor Mills ate his first squid — and attend a flamenco show. The whole group loved being able to walk Las Ramblas amid the many artists, flower and craft carts set up on either side.

Then it was back to France — specifically, Carcassonne, known as the strongest walled city in Europe. The students walked cobblestone streets, ate lunch, and sampled the chocolate, spices, and oil that this region is famous for. The group then headed into the Provence region, known for lavender flowers and perfume, and spent the night in Avignon. The next day’s agenda was touring the papal palace, the bridge of Avignon and the Pont du Gard (the tallest Roman bridge in the world).

The following days took the group to Nice, with its beautiful Mediterranean beaches, and Monaco, on top of cliffs overlooking the breath-taking Mediterranean Sea. Then it was on to the beautiful Italian cities of Florence, Assisi, and Sienna, which is located on top of high hills overlooking the beautiful Italian vineyards and fields. The final destination was Rome. In Rome, the Vatican, Sistine Chapel, the Popes Palace, in St. Peters Square and the Coliseum were the highlights of the city. But it could not be complete without visiting the Trevi Fountain and throwing a coin over your shoulder into the water.

The students were amazed at the food they were served, especially the first night in Italy. There was a salad served and then pasta. Most of the group assumed that this was the main course and so many got two and three helpings. But, then along came the main course — veal with gravy and vegetables and afterwards dessert. Needless, to say, even the boys were full!

After 14 days of seeing the sights, it was time to say good-bye to Europe, and to the new friends they had made on the trip. For some students, it was their first time flying. For most, it was their first time out of the U.S. For all, it was a trip of a lifetime. They were able to see, walk, touch and experience places that they had only read about before.

A comment from Brittany Fisher and Taylor Dileo was that “the cities, scenery and people were amazing!” Four of the students, better known as the “fearless four” (Caitlin Cato, Codie Long, Jill Overman and Yamantie Galnares), summed their experience up as follows: “Four teenagers, three countries, two weeks, one epic journey.”