Mary Murphy, French teacher at Streetsboro High School, students and chaperones have just returned from a 16-day trip to France. The June 18 through July 3 trip, "Le Grand Tour de France," was through EF (Education First) Tours.
The tour included stops in 30 different locales, beginning and ending with Paris. The Streetsboro group of 11 toured with students and chaperones from four other schools from Ohio, Michigan and Minnesota.
Tour guide Pascal Lecrivain led the group through sites in Paris -- the Latin Quarter, Île de la Cité, Notre Dame, Les Champs Élysées, Montmartre, and Le Louvre. An optional tour of the Palace of Versailles was also enjoyed by many. A ride on the TGV took the group to Lyon, where everyone enjoyed "La Fête de la Musique" -- Lyon's music festival.
The Route Napoleon took the group by coach to the French Riviera with stops in Grasse, Eze, Nice and Monaco. Next, it was on to a market in Aix-en-Provence to purchase a picnic lunch to enjoy at the Pont du Gard.
The group also visited Avignon and the Popes' Palace; Camargue, a nature preserve; Arles, the site of many Vincent Van Gogh paintings and the hospital where he was taken after cutting off his ear; Nîmes, one of the best preserved Roman amphitheaters; and Aigues-Mortes.
Stops were also made at Valras Beach for another opportunity to swim in the Mediterranean; Carcassonne, the best preserved medieval village in all of Europe; Dune du Pilat, the tallest sand dune in Europe; Saint Émilion and Bordeaux; the Loire Valley, for wine tasting and visiting castles at Amboise and Chenonceau; Mont Saint Michel; Saint Malo, the Normandy beaches and the American and German cemeteries; and Rouen, where St. Joan of Arc was burned at the stake.
The trip and the differences in French cuisine around the country were enjoyed by all. Many friends were made along the way. Some of the travelers are using the trip for high school and/or college credit,and it is agreed by all that this trip will be a lifetime memory.