Bentley students journey to Europe for 12-day tour

During spring break, 21 high school students and eight chaperones from Bentley School went on an incredible journey to Europe.

A group photo of Bentley students and chaperones in front of the Royal Palace in Madrid

A group photo of Bentley students and chaperones in front of the Royal Palace in Madrid

By Stephen Lush

Bentley School vice-principal

During spring break, 21 high school students and eight chaperones from Bentley School went on an incredible journey to Europe. The 12-day tour included stops in Madrid, Barcelona, Carcassone, Provence, Avignon, French Riviera, Rome, Florence, Pisa and Assisi. Mr. Lush, assistant principal and athletic director of Bentley School, organized the trip through EF Tours.

The days were full and busy with tours and activities —not to mention free time for students to shop. We wanted to give our students the opportunity to experience different cultures, people, languages and see other countries they have been studying about.

The group left March 21 during a terrible snowstorm and it took 3.5 hours to get to Edmonton International Airport. Once we safely arrived at the airport, it was smooth sailing from there on out.

The first stop was Madrid where we had guided tours of the Prado, Puerto del Sol, Plaza Mayor, Plaza de Orente and visited the Royal Palace. That evening we had an authentic Spanish meal of tapas and tunas. On day 4 we stopped in Zaragoza for lunch as we headed to Barcelona where we toured La Sagrada Familia, Montjuic Hill, Barrio Gotico, Barcelona Cathedral and Parque Guell. The group was also delighted to participate in a biking tour of parts of Barcelona where were ended up biking to the Mediterranean Sea.

On day 6 we had lunch and toured Carcassonne, a fortified city within a castle and stayed the night in Provence. We travelled to the French Riviera on day 7and toured Avignon, visited the Palais des Papes, Pont du Gard, and had a walking tour of Nice. Day 8 we travelled to Pisa and visited the Pisa Baptistery, continuing on to Florence, Italy. We toured Florence and visited sites on day 9 such as Piazza della Signoria, Ponte Vecchio, Chiesa di Santa Croce, Gates of Paradise, and the Duomo. We also saw famous works of art such as the statue David by Michelangelo.

On day 10 we travelled to Rome, stopping at Assisi and visiting the Basilica of St. Francis. We later had a guided tour of the Vatican City, Sistine Chapel, St. Peter’s Basilica, Roman Forum, Colosseum, and a walking tour of Rome. Rome was exceptionally busy as it was Easter weekend and everyone was excited to view the new Pope Francis and hear his address on Easter.

We were also fortunate to stop and tour Monaco which is the second smallest country in the world (two kilometres squared), the smallest being the Vatican City and visited a perfume factory in Eze.

This was a very special trip that I feel the students and chaperones will never forget.