I am stoked to be heading back to Europe for almost all of the month of January with a class from Bethel to study World War I over J-term. I’ll get to revisit some familiar places with a new lens as well as explore a few new places too!
The trip will begin with about a week in London where we’ll visit sites like the Imperial War Museum, the Tate Britain, Trafalgar Square, and several war memorials. Considering we are currently in the 100-year anniversary of World War I, this will be the prime time to be there! Plus I’ll get to continue to explore this city I’ve already gotten to get a glimpse of a couple times. And eat my weight in scones, crumpets, fish & chips, tea, vimto, and all of the other amazing British foods and drinks I’ve missed desperately over the past year!
While staying in London, we’ll get to take a day-trip to Oxford and learn a little bit about how men like C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien experienced the war. And basically I’ll be geeking out hardcore the entire time.
Then we’ll chunnel on over to the continent and spend a couple days in Ypres, Belgium. There we’ll experience the Western Front and walk through the trenches used in WWI (talk about bringing history to life!). We’ll also get to attend the Last Post ceremony, a tribute done in the town every single night of the year to honor those who died defending the town during the war.
Next we’ll be on our way to Paris (aka a city I’ve DREAMED of seeing). Here we’ll hit up a lot of the typical must-sees: the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe, and we’ll also take a trip to Versailles (stoked to see the famous Hall of Mirrors!). And I definitely see a trip to the Louvre in my future!
Our trip will close out in Munich. There we’ll shift our focus to the transition from WWI to WWII as we learn about the rise of communism and fascism as well as visit the nearby Dachau concentration camp. This may be one of the hardest, but also impactful, places of the trip.
And on a lighter side, I’ll get to continue to explore one of my favorite cities in the world, fake my way through stores with some very shaky German, and eat my weight (sensing a theme?) in Milka chocolate!
And please, do not hesitate to let me know of any of your favorite sites visited, shows seen, or places eaten at in any of these cities! Visiting a new city for the first (or even second) time is always overwhelming, and I love building my plans around the recommendations of friends and family!