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Group Travel Belgium: Brussels & St. Michael’s Cathedral

St. Michael’s Cathedral is a hop, skip and a jump from the Brussels South Central train station. The gargantuan of a church is built in an eclectic mixture of gothic and baroque styles that come to fruition in endless heaven-high spires and full glass windows. The doors appear too heavy for the average person to budge, but once you edge around the corner, there are light glass doors that offer an unobstructed peek into the building’s heart. Stained glass as bright and full as your elementary art classroom illustrates works too advanced to imagine the conceptualization. Flawless works … [Read more...]

Group Travel Scotland: A Trip to Edinburgh

  Edinburgh, Scotland appeals to a variety of personalities and interests. There are endless opportunities for the city people, shoppers, museum lovers, readers and writers, golfers and hikers. The beautiful, gothic city offers an exciting atmosphere with countless cashmere shops, tasteful restaurants and J.K. Rowling’s favorite reading and writing café. We explored the city for a couple days and took Sandeman’s free walking tour, suggested by our hostel, Caste Rock. This was a fitting name because we had a view overlooking the magnificent ancient castle of Edinburgh. The tour provided … [Read more...]

Experiencing Maastricht Carnival

Studying abroad has certainly been an enriching experience so far. I've been able to see world famous landmarks, make foreign friends and learn the ins and outs of traveling. One of my favorite parts, however, has been experiencing multiple different cultures in only weeks. Last weekend, I entered into the most exciting, and quite honestly strangest, cultural experience of my life by taking part in Maastricht's annual Carnival celebration. Carnival was originally recognized as a religious holiday, occurring every year just before the start of lent. In modern times, however, the … [Read more...]

Group Travel The Netherlands: Carnaval!

For the city of Maastricht, this past weekend marked one of the year's most memorable holidays. As the Dutch pronounce it, "Carnaval" is an annual event that gathers the community, plus visitors, in the city's central squares for celebration. As temporary residents of Maastricht, many of my fellow classmates and I couldn't resist the unity and creativity this festival brought to our new community. I couldn't picture a more unique way to dive into the culture of our new home. Sunday morning consisted of preparing our intricate costumes in attempt to blend in with the locals. I must … [Read more...]

Athens Part Two – The Islands and Mycenae

After growing accustomed to Athens over span of two days, our cozy group of 46 rose with the sun to embark on a cruise to the islands of Hydra, Poros and Aegina. We joined two other tour groups on a solid little ship that set sail out of an Athenian port and sailed straight on to our first stop, Hydra, an island known for its luxurious accommodations set in the middle of landscape and history, preserved from degradation by nature and nurture of the locals.   Initially, light rain showers dampened our voyage, but it turned around quickly as the island came into view, all … [Read more...]

4 Tips to a Successful Study Abroad Trip

Giving 45 college students with limited travel experience a Eurail train pass and free weekends to go nearly anywhere they want in an unfamiliar continent is a potentially scary thought. In the months leading up to our departure from the United States, we eagerly discussed the many places we wanted to see during our three-month time abroad. We all came to Europe with big expectations, a long list of target destinations and the feeling that everything was going to work out perfectly. Many of us, however, didn’t take into account how much planning goes into each weekend trip away from our … [Read more...]

Athens: Part One – The Acropolis

At 4:15 p.m., January 24th, I boarded my first international flight. The Baylor study-abroad group I joined is organized by Millennium Tours (a travel company based in Austin, Texas) and accompanied by three professors/guides/pseudo-parents. All bright eyed and hopeful, the students excitedly stepped aboard our first plane, all trembling hands and tapping toes. Fourteen hours and one layover later, I woke up in Athens. Despite the population of roughly five million, buildings never exceed twelve floors, a rule, explained by our guide Helenē, ensuring that no structure in the city blocks the … [Read more...]

Group Travel Greece: Beginning in Athens

Looking back on sixth grade, I remember daydreaming in my Greek and Roman history class on what it would be like to live in ancient times. Last week my dream became reality. Our semester in Europe began with a wonderfully organized group trip to Athens, Greece. Our first full day consisted of the most incredibly intriguing and informative tours on which I’ve been. I’d like to go ahead and point out the challenge of planning a group trip for around 45 students- let alone in a foreign city. Immediately, I was blown away by the impressive organization of our first tour. It was no doubt we … [Read more...]

Going Greek: Baylor University Group Trip to Athens

Although we have only been in Europe for a little over a week, our group of 45 students from Baylor University has already made friends and memories to last a lifetime. I was shocked at how quickly this group of mainly strangers began to feel like family. Even though I met a majority of these people 10 days ago, I feel like I’ve known many of them for years. I guess travelling in the tight quarters of a plane for the better part of a day while in desperate need of a shower, familiar meal and full night’s sleep really brings people together. We are travelling with Millennium Tours, a travel … [Read more...]

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