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Group Tours to Europe: Get Lost!

As I travel around Europe on this student group travel tour, getting lost has been a regular occurrence. I definitely consider myself directionally challenged, and city maps and street signs here might as well be Egyptian hieroglyphics. My past two weekend destinations have been Zermatt, Switzerland and Prague, Czech Republic.

Zermatt, with its cliff-hugging alpine hiking trails and Prague, with its winding cobblestone streets, offered plenty of opportunities to get lost.

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As soon as Patrick and I arrived in Zermatt, in an impulsive decision, we decided to hike towards the Matterhorn. The monolithic, stand-alone peak is why we were in Zermatt. The posh ski-resort village offers the best views of the world’s most iconic mountain.

We soon learned that hiking towards the Matterhorn was both easier and harder than we imagined, easy in the sense that we covered a lot of ground quickly, hard in the sense that we had no idea where we were. We soon found ourselves on a narrow gravel road flanked by massive snow drifts left over from the winter.

Following that for ten minutes, we arrived at a deserted hodgepodge of mountain huts and restaurants collectively called Schwarzsee. We walked to a patch of grass just past the city and pulled out some carrots and kit-kats for a makeshift dinner with an incredible backdrop.

As dusk approached, the low sun cast a magnificent glow on Matterhorn’s southern face. Our vague plans for getting back were hiking through ridges and forests to the ant-sized village below. You could say we were lost, but in the best way possible.

Guided Tours to Switzerland Student Guided Tours to Matterhorn

Saturday morning in Prague, we set out to get a feel for the city. After a long brunch at Café Louvre (a place where Albert Einstein used to catch a cup of joe), we ambled around the cobblestone streets and gawked up at the beautiful yellow, red, and cream-colored apartments lining the narrow streets. After a little bit too much ambling and gawking, we found ourselves on a random street in front of a massive Czech bookstore.

We decided to Czech the place out (apologies for the Czech pun: the weekend was full of them).

In the sketchy back corner of the huge shop, we leafed through thousands of used vinyl records. Lost in the back of the Prague version of Barnes and Noble, I found a record-collectors version of jackpot. John Mellencamp, Hall & Oates, Neil Diamond, and wait for it, THE BEATLES.

Lost in Prague, thousands miles from home, I found the missing pieces to my record collection.

Group Travel Shopping in Europe

This group tour to Europe is flipping some paradigms in my head. For example, growing up playing basketball and American football, I used to think soccer was boring. That was until I witnessed my “home” country of Holland destroy Spain 5-1 in a British pub. I also used to think that everybody put sweet things on pancakes, like syrups and fruits. Here, they load them up with deli meats and cheeses for any meal of the day.

There’s one big paradigm that Europe is shifting in my mind, and that is the idea of lost.

I used to think getting lost was a bad thing, and I suppose it is sometimes. One time, my family and I got lost on a hike in Yellowstone. Miles from the trail or road, we ran into a very sweaty man warning us of a bear that he had just seen over the ridge.

I suppose that’s an example of a bad type of lost, but over here, getting lost means you’re doing things right. Getting lost means you’re allowing yourself to wander.

Getting lost means risking the familiar to discover the fantastic. 

Here’s what I believe now: You haven’t immersed yourself in a new culture until you’ve gotten lost in it.

Group Travel  Matterhorn Switzerland


 

Vince Greenwald is spending the summer on a student group travel tour with Baylor University, arranged by Millennium Tours.  Follow along with his international adventures and other fun happenings on group tours to Europe. Subscribe below:

Imagine what you’ll discover when you leave your group travel arrangements to the group travel planning experts. When you book your group travel tours with Millennium Tours, you’re not only getting premium service at competitive rates, you’re traveling with the pros. Send us an RFP today!

 

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