Country 4, Germany

I’ve skipped a few countries, but that’s because they weren’t as important to me. The final country we visited was Germany. We stayed in the city of Rothenburg. It is a beautiful city from medieval times. Because it’s from medieval times, the main town square has a wall around it. You could take a walk around the wall or get a night tour of it.

The buildings were beautiful and looked like doll houses.

Here’s a crazy story about Germany: We had just gotten done playing our concert at the town square and this random guy walked up to us. Nothing out of the ordinary there, random people were talking to us the entire trip. Turns out this guy was from Shell Lake! He was visiting family in Rothenburg! How crazy is that?!

This entire trip was truly a once in a lifetime opportunity. I sure hope that I get the oppotunity to travel more in the future.


Country 3, Switzerland

Where do I even start with Switzerland? Do I start with the breathtaking views everywhere you look? The super nice and inviting people? The castles on top of mountains and IN lakes? All of it was absolutely enchanting. I’ve always loved the mountains so, naturally, Switzerland was my favorite part of the whole trip.

I’ll start off with the people. Everyone in Switzerland was so friendly and loved us. We stayed in the small town of Crans Montana and were basically treated like celebrities. The locals wait each year for the different groups to come through and while we’re there stores have sales and some even make special shirts just for us. The night of the concert I’m pretty sure the entire town showed up. We played in a tent in the center of town and there were people filling up the parking lot around the tent just to hear the music. We were in Crans Montana over 4th of July and the locals put on a firework show for us over the lake. I was overwhelmed with appreciation that they would think to put on a show for us so it wasn’t like we completely missed the festivities back home.

My favorite thing about Switzerland was by far the views. Crans Montana was a small town on the TOP of a mountain! We had to travel up the side of a mountain through switch backs with coach busses to get to the town. It was CRAZY!

Here’s the view from Crans Montana

Another thing I loved about Switzerland was the castles. There were some on top of mountains and some IN lakes. We went to Montroe and toured a castle that was in Lake Geneva. Yes, THE Lake Geneva.

Switzerland is a place filled with so much raw beauty and I hope I can make it back there again.

Country 2, France

They say the French countryside is full of rolling hills and is a breathtaking site. Well whoever “they are”, they’re right. I would’ve stayed in a small town in the French countryside forever. However, we had to stay in Paris. Paris was cool and all but honestly, it was kinda gross. Around the Eiffel tower, Montmartre, and the Louvre was nice and clean, but once you got away from there, it was straight up trash. And yes, I mean literal trash. There was physical garbage everywhere. It was disgusting. The people there were also a little bit sketchy. As my pal Cassie said, “They say Paris is the city of love. I say it’s more like the city of I’m gonna get mugged.” Paris wasn’t all bad however, here are a few cool pics of stuff.

The famous Eiffel Tower was built in 1887
Looking at the Louvre from the top of the Eiffel Tower

Last but certainly not least, we saw Notre Dame. RIP. Notre Dame was absolutely breathtaking. I have never seen any architecture as pure and beautiful. The day we visited Notre Dame was my band director’s dad’s birthday and we lit a candle in memory of him inside the chapel. While inside, barely anybody talked. There was so much to take in that no one wanted to say anything because you might miss something. The day of the Notre Dame fire, my heart absolutely sank. So much history and beauty was lost. I’m just glad and consider myself lucky that I got to see it this summer.

The front of Notre Dame

Sure, France was fun, but I feel no need to go back to Paris. The main sites were cool but other than that it was kind of a bust. Plus it was super stressful and jam packed with things to do. With only 3 days in Paris we were very rushed and I just don’t enjoy that. On to the next country!

Country 1, England

This summer I was fortunate enough to be selected to perform with the Wisconsin Ambassadors of Music (WAM) band in 7 different European countries. The first of which was England. We stayed in London so we didn’t have to drive into the city each day. While in London I saw the Phantom of the Opera at Her Majesty’s Theater, performed a concert, went on a boat tour, toured Winchester Castle, and learned a ton! In London we also saw many famous sites such as:

The London Eye

The London Eye, built in 1999, looks over the river Thames. While in the Eye, you can see most of London from a bird’s eye view. Here’s some more info on the London Eye-

The Tower of London

The Tower of London, built in the 1070s, was originally a fortress built by William the Conqueror. Today, it’s a common tourist attraction and home to the crown jewels. Here’s the full story of the Tower of London-

Buckingham Palace

Buckingham palace is the Queen’s office. Buckingham palace was built in the early 1700s and has had multiple renovations done overtime. Today, the 830,000 sq. ft. building has 775 rooms, including 19 state rooms, 52 royal and guest bedrooms, 188 staff bedrooms, 92 offices and 78 bathrooms. Here’s some more info on Buckingham Palace-