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German club returns from Europe

Neuschwanstein Castle ... This palace, King Ludwig’s first castle, was the inspiration for Walt Disney’s Fantasyland Castle. From left: Brad Pfeifle, Carl Poss, Allison Stahl and Gavin Snook.

The Philip High School students who participated in this year's annual trip to Europe were Gavin Snook, Allison Stahl, Carl Poss and Brad Pfeifle.

They and their chaperones visited places such as the Rhine River, the Swiss Alps, the Berlin Wall, a salt mine and Dachau Concentration Camp. They also toured Neuschwanstein Castle, the palace that inspired Walt Disney to create his own Fantasyland Castle. They also visited King Ludwig's second castle, Linderhof. They all hiked up to Jungfrau - the glacier in the Alps at the "Top of Europe." Brad said, "All of it was amazing!"

The group left Philip, Sunday, June 12, by way of Minneapolis. They left the United States the next day for Frankfurt, Germany, arriving there actually Tuesday, June 14. They stayed and dined in hostels. They rode coach busses, trains, cable cars and bicycles. There were daytime tours, as well as nighttime tours. As well as Germany, the group visited Lucern, Switzerland, seeing such places as the Lion Memorial and Chapel Bridge. They toured castles in Austria. The return home began Saturday, June 25.

The tour was full of activities and humor. Allison said, "Only in Munich can you yell 'mullet' and humiliate someone and them not know it!" It was a game played by the guys who were the tour guides with Mike's Bike Tours in Munich.

Carl said, "I really like the food. I'd go on it again. Touring the castles was pretty cool. I would like it (the entire tour) to get better hostels. All the restaurants and most of the hostels were pretty good." He said that a hostel is a cheaper version of a hotel. The students had to help the adults with the language. "Most of the people spoke English, but we were translating for them a lot."

Cliff Poss, one of the chaperones, said, "It's a beautiful country. We say a lot of castles. The bike tours were a lot of fun.The food ... I don't think we want to talk much about that. I would have spent more time in the park."

Kim Petersen, one of the chaperones, said, "Climbing the Jungfrau, a glacier signifying the Top of Europe, is one of the most difficult and most rewarding things I have ever done. The sun is close, the air is thin, and you are above the clouds. Absolutely breathtaking ... and exhausting!"

"This is my second trip," said Deb Snook, who was the local organizer for this trip. "We visited many of the same places as my first trip, but this experience was different from the first. You are experiencing these wonderful places with different people and learn new information about the sites that you are seeing. When visiting the various sites you have different tour guides and they provide some of the same information, but may also provide new information. One advantage of attending the tour more than once is this time I knew how to navigate the cities better and was able to remember how to find the location of important sites when we were given free time to investigate on our own."

"Although I have been on this trip two times already, I may attend again when my youngest son is old enough to go on the trip. My favorite part of the trip is the Swiss Alps. It is breath taking!" said Deb.

"The students are able and encouraged to use the German language, but many of the German people like to practice using their English so the students found that many of the people would speak English with them despite their attempts to use German.

"The food is amazing, and all the students were very adventurous. They were very willing to try new foods. Brad was the finder of the food. He was able to spot the local food stands and wanted to try just about everything," said Deb.