The Matterhorn! – On Tour European Experience

Continuing our alpine adventures after Annecy, we arrived in Zermatt, Switzerland, excited to explore the town around one of Europe’s most famous mountains: the Matterhorn! Whether we were getting ready to ski or take the gondola to a spectacular view of the Matterhorn, none of us could wait.

The ski crew proved to be a very skilled bunch. Jamie, for example, tore up the alpine slopes at high speeds, showing her skills as a ski racer. Isabel, Megan, Zack, Sydney M and Rachel N also took full advantage of the opportunity to ski the Alps in July, getting in an astounding 7 runs in just under two hours. Oh, and let’s not forget that everyone skiing or snowboarding that day also mastered the art of getting on a T-bar, which is no easy feat!

After the ski crew finished their session on the slopes, everyone met up at the base chalet to snap some pictures of the Matterhorn and enjoy the sunshine and clear blue skies. Noah was particularly impressed by the views, and Lindsey and Dana enjoyed catching some rays at high altitude.

On Tour European Experience

For our evening in Zermatt, Kelcey led a group out to a restaurant serving a Swiss specialty called a “rosti,” which is a skillet of shredded potatoes topped with various ingredients like egg, cheese, sautéed onions, gravy and sausage. Rachel W and Macy really enjoyed their first rosti, saying it was the perfect meal to refuel after a jam-packed day.

The next morning we said goodbye to our idyllic alpine village and took the short train back down to the base at Tasch and headed for Venice. We were all stoked to get to Italy — probably the most highly anticipated country on our trip. Upon our arrival, we all took a vaparetto boat to the floating city, where Aaron, Lee, Paulina and Bailey started a game of “Ninja” with a bunch of locals! On our way home from a delicious dinner of pizza and pasta, Zane and Shannon were particularly impressed by the view as well, commenting on how nice if was to see the stars in the open skies over the sea.

The next day was full of activities all over Venice. To start the day, we went to the Jewish quarter of Venice for a tour of the synagogues and ghetto. Then we walked to the Rialto bridge for lunch, where we welcomed probably the most anticipated part of the day: the addition of three more trip members ( Nicki P, Gabe and Jacob) . As soon as they arrived, our new additions were taken right in by Lee, Max, Scottie, Haley, Morgan, Logan, Hannah, Geneva and Claudia, who took our new arrivaks to lunch and welcomed them to our group. At lunch, Max even tried the Venetian specialty of pasta with a sauce of squid ink, which he really enjoyed.

Later that evening, we all took a gondola ride through Venice’s winding canals, giving us a perspective on just how unique this floating city is. Nicki H probably got the best perspective though, since her gondola guide let her paddle the boat for a few moments!

And now we are off for our next Italian adventure, this time in the beach town of Rimini on the Adriatic coast. Sun, sand and gelato… could it get any better?!

The Westcoast Blogger

A Little Venice For Everyone – Backpack France, Switzerland & Italy

Buongiorno from Venice!

We have spent two days in the whimsical city of Venice, which looks more like a movie set than real life.  With canals and bridges to replace most of the city streets, Venice was unlike any place many of us had every seen! Upon arrival, we checked into our hotel and were greeted by Shakespearian-like décor.  We set out for our first dinner, and Danny confidently took charge as the navigator for the evening, mastering the bridges and winding turns of the streets.  The canals and the idea that a city could be built around so much water amazed Matt S. After our first dinner in Venice, we headed back to our hotel for a game of, “How Well Do You Know Your Trip-Mates.” Each trip member shared one fact about him or herself that not many people knew, and we all had to guess who the fact belonged to in order to score points. We learned many interesting things about our friends; for example, Jane enjoys sunrises more than sunsets, Lily once rode an elephant, Jason has toaster waffles and iced tea every morning for breakfast, Maddy is very passionate about World Cup soccer, and Caitlyn has a pet hedgehog. Grace was the big winner of the night, who scored herself a classic Italian treat- a giant meringue!

Backpack France, Switzerland & Italy

The following day, we set out to explore Venice. We began with a tour of the Jewish quarter and the synagogue, where Jake K. asked questions about the Jewish community in Venice.  Kat and Jess purchased Murano glass Mezzuzzahs so they could take a piece of this experience home with them. We then set our sights on the Rialto Bridge, and we explored the Venice shops and bakeries, while taking in the beautiful architecture of the city.  Dani and Katie found Italian maxi dresses they were excited about, and sampled some fresh Italian pizzas.  We then went on to a glass blowing demonstration, where Taylor was amazed by the glass jewelry.  After the demonstration, Maddy and Lily explored and were amazed by Doge’s Palace, which is where the elected ruler of Venice lives.  Jolie, and Stella took in the sights of San Marco square, and were fascinated by the beauty around them. Heather, who has expressed an interest in Italian fashion, took note of the trends around her, as we people watched in this lively square. Benji, Grant, and Jake purchased classic Venetian masks, which provided much of their entertainment for the day. Finally, we set off on peaceful Gondola rides, where Jake and Gustaf carried out an extensive philosophical debate. After the Gondola ride, we walked over to San Margherita square for dinner. Stella tried gorgonzola gnocci, while Kat and Caitlyn sampled a home made pasta with vegetables in a rose sauce.  After the meal, we enjoyed gelato and went back to the hotel for an alphabet scavenger hunt, where the trip members had to find one item in their room for each letter of the alphabet  While Grant and Matt B,’s Sponge Bob Square Pants – themed list was creative, ultimately it was Benji and Danny who received the prize of Italian licorice, for their wit and sense of humour in their list. That is all for now!

Ciao!

The Westcoast Blogger

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“Vacationing” in Venice with Pre College Enrichment Florence

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