European Cruise: My Travels Abroad - My Family Travels

Travel is an important part of the education of high school students; it broadens their understanding of culture and language, enriches their experiences in the classrooms by being able to say “Hey I’ve been there” or “I took a tour of that place”, and lets students experience things that other students may not have done.

This past summer I went on a European cruise on Princess Cruise Lines.  We boarded the Ruby Princess in Spain then made our way around the Mediterranean, stopping at Monte Carlo, Monaco; Florence, Italy; Rome, Italy; Athens, Greece; Mykonos, Greece; Istanbul, Turkey; Ephesus, Turkey; then ended up in Venice, Italy.  The cruise in itself was great, the great sights and sounds of the European ports just made the trip that much better.  The service and food on the ship was great, the dining experience changed every night, normally matching whichever port we were at that day.  The teen program helped enhance my overall experience by helping me meet other people my age on the ship which led to pretty good friendships because of the length of the cruise; I still keep in touch with most of the people I met.

Monte Carlo, Monaco, the capital city of a small European country south of France, was a great port.  We went to the Prince’s car garage and saw many vintage cars and sports cars which were quite interesting. We also went to the palace and saw the changing of the guard.

In Florence, Italy, we took a tour of the city and also drove to Pisa where we saw the Leaning Tower of Pisa.  The city tour was full of interesting sights and sounds.  We saw many statues and paintings of Da Vinci and Michelangelo; we also saw many churches from the Renaissance. Florence was a great city full of many historical aspects that help us see where we came from and, in seeing our past, providing insight on where we should go.  In Rome, Italy, our tour was of the Coliseum and of the city, ending up in the Vatican at St. Peter’s Basilica.  Seeing all of these historical sights and great works of architecture really shows how advanced the Romans were even though their empire fell and most of their works were destroyed by the passing of time or by wars.

Greece was a different place, with many exotic foods and great works of architecture.  The Parthenon was a great temple devoted to Greek gods during its time it may have been one of the largest temples in the world, but unfortunately during World War II it was bombed by the Germans and is now being restored.  We went to the Acropolis where the first Olympics were held.  In Mykonos, we took a walking tour around the small city.  Its architecture and color scheme was traditional Greek style. 

Turkey was the most exotic place we went.  Istanbul, the capital of Turkey, was a busy city.  We took a tour of the city and saw the palace and the Hagai Sophia Cathedral.  We also went to Ephesus, Turkey where we saw the Roman city that was part of the early Church. 

England was a fun place, we only stopped there on our way back but while we were there we took a tour of the city and saw the original Hard Rock Café.  The European cruise was great and it really enhanced my understanding of the European history course I took my junior year.


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