Local Group Completes European Tour

CLEARFIELD – Many Americans dream of someday visiting European countries, exploring romantic castles and spectacular cathedrals, but for a group of 32 students and 14 adults, the dream came true this summer.

Travelers from Clearfield, DuBois, Brockway, and Meadville visited Germany, Austria and Switzerland on a tour sponsored by EF Educational Tours of Cambridge, Mass. Ben and Barbara Simpson of Rockton organized the group and itinerary followed on the tour.

Most of the students participated in numerous fundraising projects throughout high school to help pay for the cost of the trip. Family members and others from the local communities were invited along.

Highlights of the nine-day tour started with the Chateau de Chillon in Montreux, Switzerland. The group climbed the Schilthorn Mountain via cable car near Interlaken. One of the early James Bond movies “On Her Majesty’s Service” was filmed mostly on top of this mountain. From the top, great views of the Monch, Eiger and Jungfrau peaks could be seen. While still in Switzerland, participants visited a glacier high in the Alps and were able to walk inside of it by means of a tunnel carved in the ice.

Also included on the tour were Innsbruck, Austria, plus Oberammergau and Munich, Germany. Students visited Dachau Concentration Camp and the Munich Olympic Park. Many had time to swim in the same Olympic Pool where fellow American Mark Spitz won his record-breaking seven gold medals in 1972.

Student Annie Carnevale commented, “I really enjoyed the experience and thought it was put together nicely in consideration of what appeals to the students, with beautiful locations and lots of free time to explore our individual interests. I would advise anyone to go if they have the opportunity presented to them!”

Mrs. Simpson added, “This was our 11th student tour to Europe, and probably my favorite. The Swiss Alps were breath-taking. Our hotel outside of Innsbruck, Austria, was so far up in the mountains that when we woke up the next morning, all we could see were the clouds below us and the mountain peaks right next to us. I really enjoyed watching the students experience the culture, language, and people that they have been learning about in school.”

Mr. and Mrs. Simpson’s future travel plans include an adult/family safari/tour of Kenya, Africa in July 2008; an adult/family tour of Italy in June, 2009, and another student/family tour of the German-speaking countries in June 2010. To obtain information about any of these future tours, contact barbsimpson@hotmail.com.

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