It was a chance of a lifetime and Nicole Agins and Jessica Davis worked very hard to raise the money to be able to go on a 19 day excursion representing "People to People."
Both girls recommend the trip highly and thoroughly enjoyed themselves, stating they were too busy to get homesick.
Walking at least two to four miles per day was easy when they were able to see so much but once nightfall came they were tired.
While in Germany the girls stayed with a family three nights and two days and really enjoyed their stay there experiencing the culture. The said the food was heavier there, like Austria and definitely a bigger amount than Italy where the food was lighter. They both said they loved Germany the most of all the countries they visited. Staying in a stranger's home was the best experience they said. The family took them to a night club because, although they didn't partake, young people are allowed to drink at 16 in Germany.
Of course traveling for 19 days can be tricky when it comes to packing and deciding how much you can bring home as souvenirs with a 50 pound weight limit.
In Switzerland, some students chose to buy Swiss army knives but had to have them shipped home. Though the two girls were only able to spend two days there, they said it was beautiful scenery and beautiful weather, in the 80's most of the time.
They were happy to report that the people were nice everywhere they went.
Of course with cell phones, taking pictures was a breeze which was obvious when hearing that Nicole took 891 and Jessica took over 1,000.
Both of the Gridley travelers have a picture of themselves with the Leaning Tower of Pisa, Italy in the background, appearing like they were holding it up. She said it wasn't as high as she had originally thought but it was very interesting. Stating that the Eiffel Tower in Paris was exciting to see both felt The Louvre was their favorite destination although it was very crowded with too many tourists.
A total of 40 kids went on this excursion with 20 from the Sacramento area. The trip moved so quickly the group was in Austria and Switzerland in the same day and while in Switzerland the girls learned to make apple strudel.
If anyone had told them they would be eating snails in France they no doubt would have balked at that but because both gals are very sweet, they tried them but said it definitely was not their favorite food.
Looking back on their first day of the trip, they remember it being very rough as they left Gridley at 4 a.m., for a 7 a.m., flight out of San Francisco to layover in Detroit for three hours before arriving in Rome at 9 a.m., the next day. They couldn't have been too tired as the group went straight to the Coliseum from the airport. They said their exhaustion was evident when they had their pictures taken at the Vatican in Rome. They were both surprised how big the statue of David was at eight feet tall. They absolutely loved seeing Michaelangelo's paintings and Nicole was surprised that "Judgement Day, " took up one entire wall.
Page 2 of 2 - For the rest of the article, please pick up a copy of the Friday, August 30, 2013 issue of the Gridley Herald.