Trek to Europe: Northwest students and staff spend their spring break abroad


Spring break is a time for the students and staff of Northwest to travel, spend time with friends and family, and just have a good time away from school facilities. This year, English teacher Alexander Wertz, along with Curriculum Facilitator Susan Orr, Front Office Support Sherry Brooks, and a group of 15 upperclassmen did all of those things in an excursion to Europe.

Throughout the trip, the group traveled all throughout Europe taking tours and visiting many historic landmarks. One of those landmarks happened to be the Notre Dame cathedral which fell victim to recent events and burned to the ground making their visit a little more complicated.

“We went to Notre Dame,” Wertz said. “But you can’t go in right now, but we took a riverboat cruise on the River Seine. We drove past it, so we saw it from all different angles. “We also went to London, England; Paris, France; Lucerne, Switzerland; Munich, Germany; and Zurich, Switzerland.”

The group was able to see the classic sights of Europe such as the changing of guards at the Buckingham Palace, got to climb to the top of the Eiffel Tower and saw the famous Mona Lisa at the Louvre, along with other artwork.

They did a guided tour of Versailles, which is the home of  Louis XIV, XV, and XVI, where the treaty of Versailles was also drafted.

“We did the Mount Pilatus excursion (in Switzerland),” Wertz said. “We took Gondola cars up to the top of the mountain. When you get out in the top, you can see the alps in every direction, it was very pretty and as we were going down we did the slides, where we get on these little toboggans and rails and we slid down and that was pretty fun.”

Mount Pilatus is a mile and a half high and has the steepest incline of any Gondola car in the world. Leaving Switzerland on the way to Germany, the group stopped at a castle, one that is known for the inspiration of a popular brand-Disney.

“We di a guided tour of Neuschwanstein Castle,” Wertz said. “ It was pretty cool, it’s also known as the fairytale castle because it was what the Disney castle was based on, but it was the only day it rained, so we had to hike 40 minutes, up to the mountain, in the rain, but it was still fun.”

Included in the rest of their trip, they shopped and visited parks in the famous areas of Europe. In Germany, the group went to the BMW headquarters, the glockenspiel clock and lastly saw the Dachau Concentration Camp.

Wertz loved everywhere they went, but he recommends two specific places every tourist must see on an excursion to Europe.

“London is a really good stop on any tour,” Wertz said. “You know the language, also British History encompasses a lot of our own history, a lot of our government structure comes from theirs. Although, I really recommend going to the Alps and to Switzerland, because that was a lot of the kid’s favorite part of the trip, especially going to the top of Mount Pilatus. This year it was my favorite part too.”