St. Luke's Abroad.
t. Luke’s hosted its first abroad trip during Mardi Gras break. A group of sophomores, juniors, and seniors with Mr. Box, Mrs. Box, Coach Russell, and Mrs. Jackson embarked on a ten-day trip to England and France to explore new places, cultures, cuisines, traditions, and ways of living!
Our first adventure was in England. To enjoy all of what London had to offer, we first had to learn more about London’s best-known public transportation services. It took us a while to fully grasp the ”tube,” which is the underground railway system that services the London metropolitan area. We were lucky to also use a very new line of transportation, (which opened in May 2022) The Elizabeth. The Elizabeth was recently built to serve more than 200 million people a year, it connects to more places, allows for shorter journey times, and is more comfortable and spacious. And, of course, you can’t visit London without experiencing the iconic double-decker buses!
Our tour took us to the Tower of London, Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, 10 Downing Street - the UK White House, Covent Garden, National Gallery Museum, Tower Bridge, St. Paul’s Cathedral, and Buckingham Palace for the changing of the guard. One of our favorite stops was
Camden Market, which is one of the main tourist attractions in London due to its alternative style.
To fully experience British dining, our first bloody delicious traditional meal was fish and chips! We couldn’t leave London without experiencing another integral part of British life, their pub culture. We felt like true Brits while socializing, relaxing, and eating at a local pub. After such a fun British experience (and still suffering from jet lag), we were “knackered!”
For the next leg of the trip, the Eurostar train took us to the French capital….Paris! The Eurostar is a high-speed passenger train that links the 305-mile trip from London to Paris in about 2 hours and 20 minutes. During our city tour, we visited almost every landmark: the Opera, the Louvre, Notre Dame, Versailles, Arc de Triomphe, Les Invalides (where Napoleon is buried), and the perfume factory.
Next, we went northwest towards Normandy to visit the batteries de Longues - German defense positions during WW2 and paid our respects to the brave US soldiers at the American War Cemetery. We then traveled further west to Brittany and visited the beautiful St. Malo (also known as the Pirate City!). There we saw one of the top tourist attractions in France, Mont St. Michel, which is a monastery on top of a rock surrounded by the sea. Stunning!
Next, we went southeast and visited the Loire Valley with quaint little towns and beautiful castles. One castle was Chenonceaux, the second most visited castle in France after Versailles. We also visited Chartres, the biggest and best-preserved medieval cathedral in France.
Besides feasting on every flavor of macaron, beautiful pastries, croissants, and baguettes, we also dined on CousCous and galettes (buckwheat pancakes). For our final meal in France, we had a unique dinner in a crypt of flammekueche!
We made one last stop in Paris to take a Seine River Cruise that started at the foot of the Eiffel Tower. The Eiffel Tower was adorned in beautiful blue for Ukraine. Paris by night was as beautiful as it is in the movies! Au revoir - France!
We were so pleased to share this unique and invaluable life experience as it is from experiences in life that we learn and grow. We learned a lot about other cultures and made lots of memories!