This past July, a group of students from Ridgefield and the surrounding area visited four countries in Europe as part of an independently run trip with EF Educational Tours. The trip started in Prague where everyone visited the Prague Castle, then explored the Old Town Square with its many shops and food vendors. After walking across and shopping on the Charles Bridge, where many artisans sell their wares, the group rented paddle boats on the Vltava River. The day ended with a sunset cruise along the river.
The next stop was Munich. After a somber morning at the Dachau Concentration Camp, there was a lunch stop at BMW World. Students sat inside some cars to take photos while others tried their hands at a lifelike driving simulator. Later, a walking tour began in Marienplatz, the center of Munich since 1158. The Glockenspiel in the tower of the new city hall chimed at 5 pm and re-enacted stories to the amusement of many. Students explored the city during free time which included going to museums, shopping, and taking a dip in the Eisbach river in the Englischer Garten, which is one of world’s largest public parks.
Neuschwanstein Castle, built by Ludwig II of Bavaria, was another site visited in Germany. This spectacular castle, the inspiration for Disneyland’s Sleeping Beauty Castle, sits on a rugged hill high above the village. After climbing the hill to gain access for a tour, students had a few hours free to cool off in a nearby lake. In the nearby Tyrol region of Austria, the group overnighted in a hotel with serene grounds and hiking trails to round out the evening activities.
Three of Shakespeare’s plays are set in Verona, Italy which was the next stop. Boasting more than Juliet’s house and balcony, the city possesses an ancient amphitheater, fortress, a spectacular church, and many restaurants and shops. This was also where everyone got their first of many Italian gelatos.
Florence, the capital of Tuscany, is…