When I was 16 years old, I got the opportunity of a lifetime! I was a competitive gymnast and the owner of our gym told my time about a trip to Austria. My best friend on my team and I had to go! Our parents gave us the okay because it is a once in a lifetime trip. We were going for this program called Gymnaestrada 2007. It is sort of like the olympics. It is an event that happens ever four years and moves all over Europe. In 2007 it was in Dornbirn, Austria. At the event was 25,000 people from over 57 nations! The Americans stayed in the city Bergenz with the Swedish! It was a life changing experience. The motto was “Come Together, Be One.” And for those two weeks, it felt like the world was completely at peace, we were all there to enjoy ourselves. It was the most amazing thing I could have ever asked to experience. We communicated and hung out with people of all different races, religions, backrounds, and it was the best thing I could ever ask for. We flew into Zurich, Switzerland. We spend two days there. Switzerland is honestly the most beautiful place I have ever been. The people over there are so friendly! We took the train into Bregenz. A nice elderly couple helped us find our hotel, they only spoke German, but I had taken 2 years of German in high school. It was really cool that we could communicate despite the language barrier. During our free time we went to Germany and we visited the Swans Neuschwanstein Castle. It is what the Disneyland castle is modeled after! So that was awesome! We also rented bikes and rode them for 20 miles from Austria into Germany! We went to the grapevines in Germany! (That is where the picture is from!) It was so pretty I didn’t even realize I had just biked that much! Europeans love their biking, and now I do too! The whole experience opened my eyes to so many new cultures, new foods, and so much more. I now can only eat European brand chocolate! It was the best two weeks of my life, (thus far), and I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world!
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