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Local students enjoy Europe trip

Thirty high school students, parents and teachers visited three nations in Europe from June 3-12 as an “educational tour” led by Andalusia High School foreign language teachers Maria Smith and Dawn Thompson.

The visit included stops in London, U.K.; Paris, France; Florence, Italy and Rome, Italy.

“We know the kids get a lot out of these trips,” Thompson said. “It’s a mixture of learning about culture, history, art and language.”

In London, the group saw Big Ben and the House of Parliament, St. Paul’s Cathedral and Buckingham Palace. In Paris, they saw the Champs Elysées, the Palace of Versailles, Arc de Triomphe, Montmartre and the Eiffel Tower. In Italy, some of the sights included the Duomo Museum, the Medici Palace, the Roman Colosseum and St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City.

One highlight of the trip included traveling on an overnight train from Paris to Florence.

“Try to picture six people asleep on bunks all in the same room that’s the size of a car,” Thompson said. “It’s certainly a unique experience.”

Smith said the trip also serves to teach high school students important life lessons.

“They learn how to sign up for a passport,” she said. “They get to experience life in a big city for a while, and learn how to read a subway map or find their hotel.”

John David Thompson, a rising ninth grader at AHS, said the highlight of his trip was hearing the “Evensong” concert at Westminster Abbey in England. Christopher Smith, also a rising ninth grader at AHS, said he enjoyed getting a chance to see the stadium where the English soccer team Chelsea plays.

Students who took part in the trip were Clara Bass, Carly Brown, Charlotte Patterson, Jeffery Moore, Michael Tyler, Travis Kilpatrick, Gillis Jones, Evan Brooks, Tally Morrow, Anna Locklier, Lee Enzor, Jessica Smith, Hiten Patel, Hiren Patel, Samantha Hill, John David Thompson, Christopher Smith, Aubrey Boyington and Reid Taylor. Adults who also attended were Smith, Thompson, Kathy Jones, Gilan Jones, Richard Jones, Kathy Enzor, Lisa Locklier, Tripp Bass, Suzanne Boyington, Bunny Williams and Beth Taylor.