The Experience of a Lifetime – European Experience

Our first week in Europe was a blast, and the good times kept right on rolling in week two. Here’s a quick taste of what we’ve been up to (and excuse the food puns, but our meals have been incredible and we can’t get them out of their minds).

Our last two days in Paris were a real treat (see?)! We had an amazing time at karaoke. Harry touched us all with a stirring rendition of “This Love”, and just for one night, boy and girl bands were back in style. Dylan may have a future in Justin Timberlake impersonations! Our collective minds were blown by the sight of the Eiffel Tower sparkling at night – and many of us ran up to the second level in order to get a view of the city (with Ben finishing first among all trip members!).

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After our stunning trip up the Eiffel Tower, we might have thought we’d already experienced the highlight of our trip, but little did we know the extent that our next stop, Annecy, would impress us. We loved biking along the waterfront to see the beautiful mountains in the distance, and the enthusiasm of our trip members had the counselors gasping to keep up. We also bonded over Annecy’s delicious food. Feeding each other fondue, with strings of cheese falling all over the table, made for a hilarious meal. Watching France play in the semifinals of the Euro Cup had all of us jumping with excitement. Darren could hardly sit still, rushing from table to table in our restaurant to talk over France’s plays, and Nick high-fived everybody in sight. We celebrated with locals in the streets after France won!

When it came to jaw-dropping beauty, however, nothing beat Zermatt. Perhaps the best moment of the trip so far was when we took a gondola ride to a peak near the Matternhorn. Our skiers and snowboarders made the most of the opportunity, with multiple trip members describing it as the “experience of a lifetime!” If you ask any of our trip members to describe their favorite hot chocolate ever, they’d be sure to say the one they drank while looking out over the beautiful glacier lake sitting among the peaks.

While the sights around us have been incredible, getting to know each other better has really brought the magic to our trip. The different personalities in our group are shining through – whether it was Matt and CJ doing their best Titanic impression on a white-water raft, or Harry reducing us to tears of laughter with his poetry over the bus mike, we’re discovering more wonderful secrets about each other every day. Can’t wait to find out more!

Until next time!

The Westcoast Blogger

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From the Mona Lisa to the Matterhorn – European Discovery

Hello! The European Discovery continued its journey through the continent leaving off our last blog in Paris! After viewing the highly anticipated half-length portrait by the famously talented Leonardo da Vinci of The Mona Lisa we said au revoir to the Louvre and continued roaming the streets of Paris. We trekked up the Eiffel Tower as a group via the stairs with a 360-degree view of the stars. The view of the entire city was at our fingertips and kept on getting better and brighter the higher we climbed. At the centre of the Eiffel Tower a giant soccer balled hung down in tribute to the European Cup and France still being in the tournament. There was no end to what Paris had to offer us- from The Thinker, to the beautiful gardens of Versailles and even the extra creamy and tasty gelato where Lily N got behind the bar and served some scoops!

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We then hopped on the bus and made our way down to Annecy. We were all pleasantly surprised by the striking views of the overlapping mountains and radiant reflections of the water. The quaintness of the architecture and entertainment of the street mimes, clowns and robots took part in our two days of fun and relaxation. We spent time under the sun, sliding down water slides, biking and rafting through the rapids of the alps. We were able to really bond as a group and work on our team building skills as rowing in synchronisation was key to not falling out or flipping over! We ended one of our nights with a scavenger hunt around the town.

Hallo aus der Schweiz! Hello from Switzerland! The train took us through the mountains and the trees where greenery covered the bottom of the hill with blossoming flowers and snow covered the tips of the rocks. Horses and goats trotted through the streets lugging baggage and welcoming tourists. Half of us hit the slopes of one of the tallest mountains in the world. The Matterhorn was covered in a sheet of snow with powdery conditions and the sun beaming down on our faces. Nicole was excited to find out that she was leaving the mountain with sun kissed skin to accompany her tired muscles from swerving through the glaciers! Later that evening we danced the night away at Hotel Post Disco, which was a private party for European Discovery.

After a few short hours on the bus, the doors opened and we walked off into a whole new country! Ciao from Italy, Venice! Venice was as charming as we all suspected it to be. We got to partake and see things that we don’t usually get the opportunity to do. The Jewish ghetto sparked an interest in many of the trip members – it was a very interactive and educational experience. We then got to watch the glassblowing technique in action at the Murano glassblowing museum.

Were excited to see what the rest of Italy has in store for us!

The Westcoast Blogger

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Lasting memories in London & Paris – ON TOUR European Experience

One week into trip 46’s On Tour European Experience and we’re off to a great start! We kicked off in London, England at Heathrow airport where trip director, Justin, and leaders greeted 51 teens. We immediately felt a great energy among the whole group – we could tell that we were all going to get […]

Living it up in London – ON TOUR European Experience

What a beginning to our trip! Six days in, and the memories have been piling up. We’ve loved every minute in Europe. Our four nights in London were incredible. One of our first activities was a ride on the London Eye, and not only did we have a bird’s-eye view over our new city, we […]

Greetings from London – European Discovery

Here’s a look into the first week of Westcoast Connection’s revitalizing cultural experience across Europe! It all began once we all arrived in Heathrow Airport- one of the worlds largest and most iconic airports that our trip members and staff immediately started becoming one large family; After getting settled into our London hotel we grabbed […]

European Adventure Made Sweeter with Friends

Riding along the Italian countryside, on our way to our second to last destination, Florence, we are all feeling a little bittersweet. This trip has been simply incredible, from new friendships built, cities explored, sights awed over, and delicious new foods discovered, this has been the summer of a lifetime. Nature made an impact on […]

Sights and Songs in Paris – ON TOUR European Experience

Bonjour, mes amis! Bienvenue à Paris! Taking the scenic route (is any route in Paris not scenic?) past the Louvre Museum, we arrived at Notre Dame. Trip members took in the gothic beauty that is the famed location of Victor Hugo’s Hunchback of Notre Dame. A quick walk later we arrived in the Latin Quarter for dinner, where some of our trip members […]

Falling in ‘Louvre’ With Paris – Backpack France, Switzerland & Italy

Bonjour parents, friends and family all the way from France! We don’t even know where to begin with how amazing the trip has been and the number of crepes we’ve eaten so far. When we first arrived, we were quickly thrown into the backpacking lifestyle, taking the train to our hotel as we looked out […]

Locking our Love in for Paris! – ON TOUR European Experience

Bonjour from Paris! On Thursday we left London and made our way to Paris. To get there we took the Chunnel. The bus drove onto the train and we all got off and played some soccer and volleyball in an empty train cart. It was definitely a great experience like no other. Upon our arrival in Paris, […]

Culture & Cuisine, from Paris to Tignes! – ONTOUR Backpack France, Switzerland & Italy

Our third day was filled with a tour of the Gardens of Rodin Museum and the iconic castle of Versailles. One of the highlights for many of the trip members, especially Erik and Greg, was assembling a picnic lunches from the various food vendors at the open-air market on the other side of the city. […]