Wildcats in Europe

Nick Vargas, Reporter

On June 1, 2022, 41 Rockbridge County High School students and staff left Baltimore International Airport on their way to a two-week Europe trip. These students had the opportunity to enjoy the sights of foreign countries while also learning about each country’s role during WWII. 

From Baltimore International Airport, the students landed in London, England, and got to enjoy their first meal at an authentic Polish restaurant. “My favorite part was eating fish and chips in London.” said Sophomore Spencer Pfaff.   The next day, they walked through the streets of London, visiting places such as Albert Hall, Albert Park, Big Ben, Parliament and The London Fortress. Late they crossed  both the London and Tower Bridges on their way to visit the Belfast Battleship. A charter bus from London took the students to their ferry at Portsmouth, England. 

After a five-hour long ferry ride, the students arrived at a port in Cannes, France. Another charter bus was scheduled to take the students from Cannes to Normandy. Due to an unexpected delay, the students did not get to their hotel until late that night.

 Early the next morning, students arrived at the Normandy American Cemetery. The cemetery overlooks the cliffs of the beach, where the students later ventured.

 They also had the opportunity to be at Normandy one day prior to the 78th year anniversary. While exploring Normandy, the students were able to see recreations of the event that included real tanks. Following the D-Day memorial, students took a bus to the small town of Arromanches-les-Bains, a town famous for its role in WWII. The next day, students drove from Arromanches-les-Bains to Rouen, where they visited the Joan of Arc Cathedral. Following Rouen, students drove to their last stop in France: Paris. During their three days there, students visited some of the most famous monuments in the world. The first day, students were able to walk around the Louvre, a world renowned art museum. They saw some of the most famous paintings in the world, including the Mona Lisa. Later that day, students had the opportunity to visit the Notre-Dame Cathedral and the Palace of Versailles.

Senior Landon Joines  said“My favorite place to visit was the Palace of Versailles.”

 After they got back from Versailles, students were able to grab some pictures of the Eiffel Tower.  

The students then traveled to Bastogne, Belgium where they visited the site of the Battle of the Bulge . Walking around, they were able to see the remnants of the warzone. 

Shortly after their one night stay in Belgium, students rode another bus to Cologne, Germany. The first half of the day was spent visiting the Cologne Cathedral and grabbing lunch. After their lunch they caught a three hour train ride to Berlin, Germany. They even had the opportunity to stay at a former Soviet Union building in Eastern Germany. Walking through Germany, they were able to see the Reichstag and the Holocaust Memorial.  

The trip to Germany wrapped up the Europe trip, and the student flew home from London. Many students said that they enjoyed what the trip had to offer and recommended that  other students consider future school trips.