West Tennesseans travel oversees
Posted: Wednesday, October 24, 2012 8:02 pm
By JOSEPHINE KEIGHTLEY
Special to The Messenger
While the county was sweltering from the hot July heat, Brandi Cantrell, librarian at South Fulton High School, was leading a tour through Northern Europe.
Mrs. Cantrell has led these tours eight times in conjunction with EF (Education First) Tours from Massachusetts.
This summer’s travelers included Mrs. Cantrell, James and Patsy Butts, Kathy Waycaster, Jill Waldron, Jean Clark, Kris Dunn, Nick Dunn, Katie Gray, Tyler Gray, Josephine Keightley, Haley McKinney and Joy and Paul Olexa.
Mrs. Cantrell’s group had toured in France in October 2010. Therefore, Paris was not a new experience. However, it was not long before unexplored sites were found. This year the group had time to visit the Louvre in more depth than during the last trip. The highlight was the living quarters of Napoleon III. From there a long walk was taken through the Tuileries Garden and along the Seine. This walk led by the square where Marie Antoinette was beheaded, as well as, a visit to the Rodin Museum where Rodin’s statue of The Thinker is located. After a walk through the gardens at the Rodin Museum, several from the group went to the military museum which holds the tomb of Napoleon Bonaparte.
From Paris a bus ride took the group to Brussels. Along the way the group saw the Atomium, which was constructed for the 1958 World’s Fair. Then it was on to the Netherlands with a two-day stay in Amsterdam, a beautiful city with canals and flowers. The first day started with a visit to Ann Frank’s house. Everyone agreed that this was a humbling experience that brought to mind the horrors of World War II. The next destination was to the Dutch countryside along with a working farm. This particular farm produced Gouda cheese and made wooden shoes. The afternoon was spent seeing windmills, one of which has been in existence for several hundred years. The last stop for the day was a walk through a seaside village where several in the group enjoyed Belgium waffles and fresh strawberries.
After leaving Amsterdam and a day on the bus, there was an evening in Lubeck, Germany. The next morning a short ferry ride carried the group across the Baltic Sea to Denmark.
Arriving in the Scandinavian countries, there was a chill in the air that made the group realize they were getting closer to the North Pole. After a short jaunt on the bus, the group arrived in Copenhagen where two nights were spent at a hostel. Copenhagen was a busy city and the group enjoyed the outdoor cafés, as well as, having time to see the city. A few in the group even went kayaking during free time. One of the highlights of Copenhagen was seeing the statue of The Little Mermaid. The Little Mermaid was a character in a book by Hans Christian Anderson.
Since Sweden was so close, part of the group took an excursion to Malmö, Sweden. It was a 45 minute train ride. Malmö is known as the city of parks.
Returning from Sweden, Mrs. Cantrell directed everyone to a cruise ship. The ship cruised overnight to Oslo, Norway. Morning comes early in this part of the world so several people woke to see the sites. Weary travelers awoke to the sight of the fjords as the ship ported in Oslo.
Ivana was the tour guide in Oslo. She took the group to the Viking Museum and the Tryvann Winter Park, one of the best Alpine ski centers in the world. The group also spent time at the Frogner Park, which included 200 sculptures depicting human relationships.
By the time the group reached the hotel, everyone was exhausted. On the last evening, many of the group members reminisced about what had been seen and experienced on the trip. According to Tyler Gray, one of the travelers, “to sum it all up, a group of people from West Tennessee traveled around the world to see the sites, experience the culture, and in general have a great time.”
Next June, Mrs. Cantrell will be taking a group to Switzerland, Austria and Germany. Anyone interested in joining the group can contact her via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone (731) 415-3233.
Published in The Messenger 10.24.12