By Ely Schosek
Students at Springville-Griffith Institute High School are always being presented with new and unique opportunities to learn and prosper, and last year they were given the opportunity to travel to Europe in 2019.
Social studies teacher Shawn Bullard organized a trip to Greece and Italy for July of 2019, and many students were immediately interested. For those who went, it was a “life changing experience.”
Emily Schlemmer said the trip made her “appreciate everything in this world a little more.” After reiterating that the trip is a great opportunity, she added that if you have to opportunity and are able to “see even a little part of the world,” you shouldn’t miss it.
Marin Lehr called it, “the trip of a lifetime.” She said that visiting Greece had always been a dream of hers, and for the amount they paid, “nothing was a waste of money.” Marin also mentioned that, “each and every place we visited was beautiful and an experience in itself.”
Lehr was not the only one to describe it as “the trip of a lifetime.”
Rachel O’Neal also did so, following that with the statement, “Everything was so big and beautiful, it made you feel so at peace with the world.”
“I missed my bed for sure, but all in all I was really too sad to be leaving,” said Autumn Snyder. “The trip was one of the best experiences I have ever had.”
Multiple travellers mentioned the chance they got to apply their historical knowledge from school, and everyone repeatedly reiterated the exceptional beauty that was present throughout the duration of the trip.
“Rome was absolutely gorgeous, and everything about it was so, so historic,” Eve Doherty said. “Florence was amazing, and so was Tuscany in general.”
Furthermore, Doherty discussed the culture present in the region. “The region is so culturally rich and I love that culture is so celebrated. Athens has beautiful locals and street art, and the Greek islands were the most beautiful places I’ve ever been to.”
The group boarded a cruise which took them around to various islands in the area, and it’s safe to say they fell head over heels for the picturesque islands.
“When we went on the cruise and saw the Mediterranean Sea it was beautiful,” noted Madison Best. “Also seeing the Black Sand beach was gorgeous as well.”
Most girls said that their favorite place on the entire trip was Mykonos, one of the ten different locations they visited. Doherty said, “Mykonos was something truly special and the way everything was built was perfect.’’
O’Neal said, “In Greece, my favorite was Mykonos because it was pretty like Santorini but the stairs in Santorini were very steep.”
Emily explained that when you think of a Greek island, Mykonos is what comes to mind. “It was literally straight out of ‘Mamma Mia,’” she said.
“We got to see Mykonos, Patmos and Santorini and we were basically walking through the movie Mamma Mia,” O’Neal added.
Continuing with the consistent love for Mykonos, Lehr noted that, “the water was so clear and bright blue and the buildings in the hills added to the beauty.”
Of course there were other noteworthy stops on the trip among the locations, including: Rome, Florence, Tuscany, Crete, Mykonos, Patmos, Santorini, Samos, Athens and Meteora.
“It was so beautiful first off! So many great people there,” noted Best.
Snyder the extreme beauty of Florence and the small village of San Gimignano, also pointing out that the two days spent in Florence “wasn’t enough.” She added that the cruise was one of her favorite parts of the trip as “the land excursions were beautiful.”
Snyder summed it all up with the statement, “the places were one-of-a-kind and completely gorgeous.”
But she was not the only one to adore Florence, as O’Neal also enjoyed it because “it was a little quieter and cleaner than Rome.” A few, like Nyah Solly, mentioned Athens as her favorite. She said she “liked seeing the Parthenon and the islands off of it on the cruise.”
“We did take a trip to a small town in Tuscany and it was such a great experience, it was cute and quaint and one of the few places we went that wasn’t stuffed with tourists,” O’Neal added.
In addition to the beauty of the locations, Morgan Kotlarsz also mentioned that the group ate a lot of gelato in Italy.
“Our tour guide was the most sweetest person ever. She showed us all around Rome,” said Best. “There are so many churches to go looking and they show such perfect detail inside.”
She continued, “The Vatican is so gorgeous. I was not expecting it to look that pretty.” As for Greece, she said, “it might not be the richest place, but it’s so pretty to see all of the shops and see all of the different people there.”
All in all, those who went to Italy and Greece really seemed to have enjoyed themselves on the trip. It was decidedly one to remember.