Europe Tour 2000

(the half-decent photos)

At the high school I attend, it's generally accepted that every 2 years a choir of music students (grades 10 - OAC) will head off on a 2 week European tour, accompanied by Mr. Slonetsky (aka Sloan, head of the music department) and one of the other two music teachers.

This is why from March 12-26, 2000, about 50 of us wreaked j-walking, mooning, singing-in-public-places havoc in various European locations.

We began in Prague, Czech Republic, where we stayed for 4 nights in the Hotel Luna, aka The Turquoise Monster. It was amazing, despite the feeling of complete and utter illitteracy that comes from trying to read signs in a language that has almost no relation whatsoever to any other language you may happen to speak. (Granted, English is the only language I really *know*... but neither my 11 years of schooling in Quebecois French NOR my limited knowledge of German, Italian, and Spanish helped at all.)

From there we moved on to Vienna, Austria (and, incidentally, a much nicer hotel), where we stayed until Tuesday morning. The highlight, at least for me, was attending "Tales of Hoffman", a French opera by Offenbach, at the Vienna Operahouse. An amazing performance of a wonderful story, and in a gorgeous building to boot. :-) Some of us also visited (and rode on) the world's largest ferris wheel. Nearly everyone visited the spa on Sunday, many taking advantage of the nude sauna part (not me - I'm not really into the whole public nudity thing, thank-you-very-much).

Tuesday morning we said goodbye to Vienna and headed off for Ried im Innkreis, Austria, a small town near Salzburg. We were staying 2 nights with students from the local school - I was placed with a wonderful 17-year-old girl named Agnes. She and her family were incredibly kind to me, and I really enjoyed our time there. Agnes, if you're reading this by any chance, THANK YOU!!!

Next on the agenda was 3 nights in Fuschl am See ("Fuschl by the sea"), a small town in the Austrian Alps. The hotel was great (mmm, wonderful apricot jam...) but we didn't get to see much of the town itself. I get the sense that it only really exists because tourists think it's quaint looking. But I could be wrong, of course, since we only saw the town from the tour bus in the early morning and again in the afternoon. From there we took a cablecar up the Zw:olfenhorn (sorry, I don't feel like messing with character map right now), where we walked the rest of the way to the top. Anne, Kristen, and I built a snowwoman named Isabella. We were all amazed to see a paraglider jump from the area nearest the peak - it took him about 10 minutes to reach the ground!! That guy had the right idea; it's probably *way* more impressive to get down that way than it was taking the cable car down.

The plane ride home was probably the worst - of course we all wanted to stay but we wanted to go home, too, but that's the least of it. I don't know why, maybe it was just because I was so much more tired than when we'd come over in the first place, but it seemed to take forever to get back to Toronto. At least we had a good laugh when we landed - the plane bounced a little more than usual on the runway, and one of the trap doors opened, dropping 4 oxygen masks down in front of people right in the middle of the section we were in. click click click went the cameras, as everyone took pictures. :-)

Sorry if that was a little longwinded - there are SO many stories it's incredibly dificult not to tell all of the ones that come to mind as I write this. They're all (well, almost all) in my journal, not to mention in my mind and my heart. It's an experience none of us will ever forget.

Well, enough chatter, on to the pictures!!

Intro -> Prague -> Vienna -> Ried -> Salzburg -> Fuschl -> Wrap-up

go back to the main menu OR go back to the scrapbook.
Or, you could just go away. Your choice. <g>

This page last updated May 6, 2000.

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