After taking the train out of Munich, we arrived in the small town of Traben-Trarbach around lunch on the 13th. We dropped off our things at the quaint little hotel, and headed up to Mont Royal for our glider flights! I was a little nervous about being shot up in the air, and I let a lot of people go before me. However I finally gathered my courage, put on my parachute, and climbed into the glider. The take off was pretty intense, but it was a beautiful view and definitely a fun ride!!! I am very glad to have done this, and I definitely believe this was one of the highlights of the trip. You can check out the video of my take off from the airfield at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7618HEPPTco . The next morning we were given a great lecture on German Air Traffic Control, and later that day we took a 23 km bike ride through German wine country. I really enjoyed the small town of Traben-Trarbach and the beauty of the German countryside.
Unfortunately, after our wonderful two days in Traben-Trarbach, the official school trip was complete. I really had enjoyed the group and Professor Kirton, and it was sad to say goodbye. Some students chose to fly home, while others, like me, decided to continue exploring Europe. On the 16th, three of us took the train to Stuttgart where we got to see a friend from ERAU. Our friend (and my roommate for the fall) showed us around the area and opened his house to us for a night. We only stayed one day however, and the next evening two of us flew to Milan, Italy.
My friend and I had a great time while in Northern Italy. We saw so many things: the Duomo, Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, Castello Sforzesco, Santa Maria Della Grazie. Also, we did some shopping in what is considered to be the world’s center for high fashion. After taking in all of those sights on the 17th, we headed up to Lake Como the next day. The train ticket was cheap and we spent the day around the beautiful lake at the base of the Alps. My favorite part of Italy was standing on the lookout tower at the top of a mountain. We could see all of Lake Como, the snow-capped Alps, Switzerland, and much more. The view was breathtakingly beautiful, and I wanted to stand up there all day! After two great days of history, nature, shopping, and pasta, we headed back to the airport to make our final stop before heading home. We flew to Frankfurt on Sunday, July 19, and met another friend of mine who lives near the city. For two days he showed us all the main sights in the area and gave us yet another local’s view of Germany.
Sadly, after three amazing weeks it was time to head back to the U.S. I was not ready to come home but I knew I had a lot to do before heading back to Daytona for the school year. I loved every minute of the European Aviation Study Abroad program, and I would certainly recommend the program to everyone. Not only do you learn about aviation and its affect on Europe, but you also broaden your horizons and truly begin to think globally. I have not only gained six credits from this program, but I have gained an experience of a lifetime I will certainly never forget. If you have any questions about the summer program or about ERAU in general, do not hesitate to email me. Thanks for reading my journal, and I will see you on campus in the fall.
Goodbye from Missouri,