Cadott Travel Club spends whirlwind 14 days abroad, touring historic spots in Europe
thing special that we got to experience.”
The travel club’s next journey will be to Italy and Greece, and if anyone is interested in signing up or helping fund the trip, they can contact Neinfeldt at [email protected] cadott.k12.wi.us.
“Student travel is an investment into your child,” said Neinfeldt. “These trips not only give students amazing opportunities and experiences to see parts of the world, but open them up for future success.”
Neinfeldt says many kids are hesitant to try new things, but traveling with a familiar group can help them be more willing and open, to explore the culture and foods they might encounter.
“Having these once in a lifetime opportunities just expands their worldview and can help them appreciate things as they enter adulthood,” said Neinfeldt. “These are once in a lifetime trips, but my hope is that students are only at the beginning of their travel journeys and can continue to incorporate travel into their lives.”
After they returned home, many of Neinfeldt’s students said they would return to parts of Europe if given the chance.
“Traveling is valuable for your education,” said Gilles, “because it exposes you to new cultures that you wouldn’t be able to experience and you get to meet lots of new people.”
This summer, students from Cadott’s Travel Club went on the adventure of a lifetime, traveling to five countries in 14 days. The fast-paced trip saw eight students and eight adults leave Minneapolis, Minn., July 28, and return home Aug. 10.
For Day 1, the group flew to Washington, D.C., where they had to wait a few hours to get on the flight to London, England. The overnight flight arrived in London, England, early in the morning, beginning Day 2 of the trip.
“We were a bit jet lagged and tired, but we walked all day,” said club adviser Alisha Neinfeldt. “It was amazing to see all the cars driving in the wrong direction.”
The group walked around and explored, starting by the river area. They also checked out the Imperial War Museum, which has four floors of information about the various wars that England has been part of.
After that, it was time for their first dinner abroad, which happened to be “pie and mash,” a popular dish in England.
“The culture and diversity of the people was so different than what our students are used to experiencing, and it was awesome,” said Neinfeldt.
Day 3 began by picking up a local guide, Keith, who led them to catch a glimpse of Westminster Abby, before watching the changing of the guard outside of Buckingham Palace.
“Unfortunately, due to rain, they canceled it,” said Neinfeldt. “We were bummed and we thought they could have toughed it out.”
Since it was raining, the group headed for a tour of the Churchill War Rooms, which were exactly how they appeared at the end of the war.
“It was a very eye opening experience to see how people who worked with (Winston) Churchill worked/ lived during the war (World War II),” said Neinfeldt.
Their last day in London, England, the group visited the Natural History Museum and the Tower of London.
“It was amazing to see these great attractions and the Crown Jewels did not disappoint,” said Neinfeldt, adding they hopped on a bus and traveled to Portsmouth, to get on the overnight ferry. “It was quite the experience, to say the least.”
“The best part of the trip, was seeing how different Europe is than the Unites States,” said student Jada Kowalczyk. “One example, would be most places we went to, you had to pay to use the bathroom.”
Once arriving in Normandy, France, on Day 5, the group entered Saint-Malo, France, then traveled to Pointe du Hoc to see the craters and remnants of the fighting from D-Day. They also visited Omaha Beach, one of the U.S. landing points during World War II.
“It was a sobering experience to be in a place where so many people died fighting for freedom,” said Neinfeldt. “We had lunch at Aromanchies, where you can still see floating bridges on the beach, before visiting the American Cemetery.”
The crew ended the day by going to the Caen Memorial Museum, before having a potato and ham dinner.
It was on to Rouen, France, for Day 6.
“Our long drive to Rouen, France, was worth the wait to see the beautiful cathedral,” said Neinfeldt. “It was the largest church that all of our students have ever been in. The stained glass and the height of the building, was overwhelming.”
Another thing that “overwhelmed” the kids, was using a selfcleaning bathroom on the street, something none of the group had ever experienced.
“We also couldn’t get over the number of pigeons that we saw everywhere and how plump they were,” said Neinfeldt.
Once they arrived in Paris, France, they ate dinner and had free time to see the Louvre Museum, viewing the famous Mona Lisa, as well as the Napoleon Rooms. Afterward, they traveled back to the hotel using the Metro, which Neinfeldt says students enjoyed much better than the Tube in London, England.
Day 7 saw the group still in Paris, France, with local guide, Veroniqué, who gave a tour of the city before having lunch outside the Palace of Versailles.
“You haven’t seen gold until you have visited the Palace of Versailles,” said Neinfeldt. “The place was stunning and extremely rich, just like the history that we learned about on our tour. The famous Hall of Mirrors did not disappoint; we were pretty shocked that this palace wasn’t destroyed during the French Revolution. The gardens of Versailles were so massive, that we didn’t have enough time to walk through them all.”
Before dinner the group visited a public garden, which gave students an opportunity to see what culture and relaxation looked like in France.
“My favorite city was Paris, because of the rich French culture and the architecture of the city,” said student Jordan Gilles.
After a dinner of meat and potatoes, the travelers went straight to the top of the tallest building in Paris, France, the Montparnasse Tower.
“This gave us an amazing view of all Paris has to offer, with an especially fantastic view of the Eiffel Tower,” said Neinfeldt. “We ended our evening going on a river boat cruise and then seeing the Eiffel Tower sparkle. It was a late night, but a wonderful day.”
Bidding goodbye to France, the group then headed to Bas- togne, Belgium, on Day 8.
“We had a very knowledgeable guide, named Jean-Luc,” said Neinfeldt. “He could put history into words that our students understood and he had them captivated. He took us to the American Memorial and to see foxholes that were still visible from World War II.”
On the way to the hotel, they stumbled into a festival in the town, where everyone was dressed up and celebrating.
“I think our students enjoyed seeing what town celebrations looked like,” said Neinfeldt. “Some things were similar to what they know from home.”
The group’s hotel was tucked into the mountainside and they were treated with fireworks in the evening from the local celebrations.
Day 9 arrived, bringing with it Cologne, Germany, to catch the train to Berlin, Germany.
“Once we arrived, we had time to explore the cathedral, which was just as impressive as the one we saw in France,” said Neinfeldt. “We got on a regional train (which was a bit warmer than we would have liked) to Berlin; after a short delay, we finally arrived to our hotel. We were exhausted, but happy to get some sleep.”
Waking up to Day 10, the Wisconsin group found that Berlin, Germany, was a unique city with a new and industrial feel. Their guide, Ben, took them to the East Side Gallery to see artwork that was painted from when the wall was first put up.
They were able to visit the location of Hitler’s Bunker, which was not accessible, but they could stand above the place it used to be before it was filled in with concrete. The group then walked through the Holocaust Memorial Statues on the way to Brandenburg Gate.
“It was so cool to see where (Adolf) Hitler had his house and to be up in the mountains,” said Kowlaczyk. “The view was incredible.”
Day 11 saw the group in Berlin, Nuremberg and Munich, Germany.
“We had a long, but welcomed, travel day in the rain,” said Neinfeldt. “The kids had a chance to catch up on their journal writing and relax a bit on our way to Munich. We stopped in Nuremberg to see the center and view the place where Hitler held his rallies in the days before the war.”
They also had a traditional German dinner of pork and potatoes, something Neinfeldt said the kids were really happy about.
On the 12th day of the trip, while still in Munich, Germany, the morning started off on a sadder note when the group visited Dachau Concentration Camp.
“Visiting this place is hard to describe, but I know that the students learned a lot and have a much greater understanding about the terrible events that took place there,” said Neinfeldt.
The students shook off their heavy hearts, as they traveled to BMW World, then Nymphenburg Palace, which is modeled after Versailles, but is a much more “country like” palace. While there, many in the group climbed up to St. Peter’s Church Tower to see the view of Mariane Platz, the square with the Glockenspiel, a unique clock that puts on a show each day at 5 p.m.
View of the Alps from Eagle’s Nest
“The crowd was pretty packed to see this great work of art in action,” said Neinfeldt. “The rest of the night was used to reorganize things and relax.”
The next to last day, Day 13, began in Salzburg, Austria, which featured making the drive to the Eagle’s Nest, in Berchtesgaden, Germany. “The views of the Alps and the natural landscape was breathtaking,” said Neinfeldt. “We made it to the bus check point and got to see where Hitler’s home in the mountain was located, before taking a special bus to the top. We got to walk down the long corridor to the famous brass elevator to take us to the Eagle’s Nest.”
Once there, the group ate lunch and got to experience the view from the top of the mountain. After enjoying the morning and early afternoon there, they got to experience Salzburg, Austria, the city made famous by The Sound of Music.
“The city was beautiful and exactly what you would expect to be tucked into the side of a hill,” said Neinfeldt. “Between the fun and unique artwork spread around the city, and all of the references to the musical ( The Sound of Music), the city was a sight to see. As the day wound down, we were all exhausted, and ready to go back to the hotel and pack for our journey home.”
A 5 a.m. bus transported the group to the airport on Day 14, where the group said goodbye to their European adventure and turned their eyes toward home.
“We were happy be on our way home, but sad to leave our amazing adventure behind,” said Neinfeldt. “My favorite moments were when I got to see the genuine smiles on my students’ faces when they were excited about seeing new things, or when they were having fun together. I really enjoy sharing travel moments with students, because it is some-
Glockenspiel in M unich
Pizza Night Working on journals on the train.
Brett Schofield and Megan Fasbender chowing down in Belgium, Germany.
Group in Paris, France, at the Eiffel Tower