Over the course of May and June, social media platforms have been bombarded with pictures of Marian students in France and Spain. More than 100 girls flew abroad and experienced the diverse cultures of European countries and people. These experiences took on a whole new meaning to one of the core values: Marian Community. As senior Ashley Wilwerding said, “What stood out to me was embracing the new cultures with my friends.” is trip was the beginning of a series of unique experiences Marian is presenting to students.
The first group of students left on May 30. They flew from Omaha to Atlanta. After many hours spent at the Atlanta airport, students boarded Air France. The second flight lasted a lengthy eight hours, but the wait was well worth the travel. Following the 8-hour flight, students spent the afternoon in Paris, France. Most of the day was spent roaming and exploring the streets of Paris. Many students brought crepes, croissants and macaroons. Others spent their Euros on jewelry and clothes. The main goal of the first day was to fight jet-lag and get accustomed to the bustling city life.
The next two days in Paris were packed with sightseeing, shopping, and eating. Students took a bus tour around the city, gazed at art from the Musée d’Orsay and the famous Louvre museum, viewed the Eiffel Tower from a boat cruise, climbed up the Eiffel Tower, and explored the gigantic palace of Versailles.
The city of fashion did not disappoint. The streets were filled with extravagant stores and elegantly styled people. Lots of Marian students and teachers rose to the occasion. Senior Lily Shea said, “what stood out to me on the trip was everyone’s style, most Marian students dressed super nicely throughout the trip.”
Breakfast and dinner were provided in the initital trip fee, but students were able to buy and explore different types of food options during lunch. Most students ate typical Parisian food such as pastries and baguette sandwiches, while others expanded their taste buds by trying snails (escargot).
On the fourth day, students said goodbye to city life and took a train to a small city in France. Avignon was a breath of fresh air to the girls. The city was filled with beautiful architecture. Girls walked through the Pope’s Palace, saw the Pont du Gard (an ancient Roman aqueduct bridge), and enjoyed the fresh smell of lavender throughout the city. Students only spent a day and a half in Avignon until they were on their way to Spain.
Barcelona was the city of amazing food. Like many others, Wilwerding preferred the cuisine in Spain, “my favorite dinner was the tapas dinner in Barcelona, but it was a great experience trying new food each night”, as well as tapas, students enjoyed Gazpacho (a cold tomato cold) and Paella (a rice dish usually cooked with seafood). In addition to eating, students completed a scavenger hunt around the city, saw the Basílica de la Sagrada Família, and even attended a Flamenco Dance.
Students ended the 10-day vacation with a 10-hour flight from Spain to Atlanta, then finally a two hour flight from Atlanta to Omaha. Students arrived home extremely jet-lagged, but filled with memories and broadened horizons.