By Robin Lewis
Kingsley High School Teacher
Please Note: This trip was organized through EF TOURS which is not associated with Kingsley Area Schools.
If parents are looking for a way to widen horizons, instill self confidence and expose their children to a wider world, travel is a great way to do it.
International travel also looks good on college and job applications and can enhance scholarship applications. Students return home with greater self-confidence and a raft of new experiences to widen their perspective of the world and their part in it.
What’s next? Kingsley High School travelers are leaving in June 2024 for Switzerland and Italy. Interested? Email Robin Lewis at firstname.lastname@example.org
Check out the trip itinerary here: https://www.eftours.com/tour-website/2600878KK
Last summer, the Travel Club visited the British Isles and Paris.
Travelers flew from Traverse City to Dublin where they visited St. Patrick’s Cathedral, the Georgian Squares and St. Stephen’s Green as well as a visit to Trinity College to view the famous Book of Kells.
In Dublin, Kingsley students also learned the basic steps for Irish dancing and clapping rhythms for traditional songs. At “Granny’s Attic,” a popular restaurant with live music, they enjoyed putting those skills to use.
From Dublin they traveled to Belfast where they learned the history of the “Troubles” of Northern Ireland and explored the Titanic museum. In Belfast, everyone had the opportunity to contribute their own messages to the peace murals while listening to survivors of the religious conflict. Belfast also presented beautiful art everywhere: stained glass displays of The Game of Thrones, an angel statue at the harbor, and various public sculptures related to Irish culture.
Venturing next to Derry, students wandered the coastline of the famously beautiful Giant’s Causeway and actually climbed atop the basalt columns. Then it was on to Cairnryan to catch the ferry to Alloway and Edinburgh, Scotland. It was fun to explore the city of Edinburgh as well as touring ancient Edinburgh Castle, situated on Castle Rock since the 12th century. Some even ventured down Victoria Street, a street famous for its similarity to Harry Potter’s Diagon Alley. Upon leaving the Castle, travelers were treated to a visit to an art installation featuring Scotland’s kelpies, a mythical water horse. From there it was a brief journey to the Robert Burns Gardens, a memorial to the Auld Lang Syne composer who is the national poet of Scotland. Filled with blooming flowers and winding paths led to beautiful statues of the author’s characters.
From there, everyone boarded the train to London. After taking a few minutes to stop for photos at Platform 9 3/4 (another Harry Potter standout!), it was time to see London. Big Ben, Parliament Square, Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace, and St. Paul’s Cathedral all figured into our tour. Some students chose to visit the Victoria and Albert Museum with its amazing collection of art, clothing, and jewels. Others opted to visit Dippy the Dinosaur at the Museum of Natural History. The best overall view, however, was probably from the large enclosed bubbles of the London Eye which gave everyone panoramic views of London and the Thames River from high in the sky. A chance to wander through and around Windsor Palace was popular as was the tour of the Tower of London. The Yeoman Warders in their scarlet uniforms were filled with funny (and sometimes creepy) stories about the tower ravens and places with names like the “Traitor's Gate.”
Leaving London on a Eurostar train bound for France, travelers entered Paris, viewing the Eiffel Tower, Place de Concorde, Arc de Triomphe and the Champs Elysées. A photo opportunity outside Notre Dame allowed everyone to obtain photos of the famous cathedral which, sadly, was still under repair from the 2019 fire. Everyone climbed the many steps to Sacre Coeur Church for the amazing view of Paris before wandering among the shops and confectioneries of its famous Montmartre neighborhood. Part of an afternoon was spent in the Louvre, the largest (and most visited) single museum on earth, and home to the Mona Lisa. (And, of course, the glass pyramid from The DaVinci Code was a popular photo as well!) Travelers left Charles DeGaulle International for Traverse City tired but wanting to travel again!
Have questions? Email Robin Lewis at email@example.com