A Trip to Europe with Emma St. Dennis
By: Marky Gray
After a year and a half of planning, saving, and hours of research, Conner Prairie’s Emma St. Dennis was off on an adventure of a lifetime to Europe where she visited numerous countries over the course of two and a half weeks!
Her trip came about as a high school graduation gift for her granddaughter. “Ever since she was young she had a bucket list and on that list, she wanted to climb the stairs of the Eifel Tower. I wanted to knock that off of her list for her as a graduation present.”
The trip started out with a few days in Frankfurt, Germany, because Emma has a friend who is originally from Noblesville, Indiana currently residing in Frankfurt. “Staying with my friend really helped us learn the ins and outs of Europe, and really how to function while being there.” Whilst visiting Frankfurt they took a boat tour of the Rhine River and even visited a museum that Emma’s friend called, “their version of Conner Prairie.”
“It was really cool to see that somewhere else in the world there’s a living history museum that was doing kind of what we do.”
After spending a few days in Frankfurt, Emma and her granddaughter were off to Munich, Germany for a few days. There they went to breweries, did some shopping, and even visited the Neuschwanstein Castle, which is the same castle that Sleeping Beauty’s castle at Disneyland was modeled after.
Once they were finished exploring Germany, the next stop was Salzburg, Austria. This visit had them seeing the house of Mozart and going to a Mozart themed dinner where they sang, wore period themed clothing, and even ate period themed food. While in Salzburg they also visited where The Sound of Music was filmed, “Yes I now have pictures of me in front of where some of the scenes were filmed, that was definitely important.”
The next stop after Salzburg was Venice, Italy for a couple of days. “I think my granddaughter liked this stop the most. From the scenery, the sun, the buildings, it was absolutely beautiful there.”
While in Italy they stopped in Florence where they visited Galleria dell’Accademia and saw the iconic David statue by Michelangelo and other historic pieces of art. “After seeing pictures of it for so long, seeing it in person was just breathtaking.”
Once they explored all they wanted to in Italy, it was finally time to travel to Paris, France. “The first thing we did was go to the Eifel Tower. My granddaughter finally climbed the stairs to the top, but I took the elevator!”
“We experienced a lot in Paris. Even the dynamic of eating and drinking was so different there. Food is fresh, attractive, and tasty versus here in America, and when we were out to eat I had to remember to ask for stilled water otherwise they’ll serve you sparkling water.”
It was while in Paris that Emma realized everywhere they traveled they seemed to be following the World Cup games. France ended up playing whilst they were in Paris and even won the game! They ran into lots of partying and celebration of the win while there, “People were 3 or 4 levels up in their apartments waving flags outside of their windows and singing their national anthem on the streets. It was really cool to see.”
Overall Emma felt that her and her granddaughter truly immersed themselves in the cultures of the countries they visited which resulted in an unforgettable trip. “We didn’t stay in a Holiday Inn or rent a vehicle. We actually took the train everywhere or walked with the help of the maps on our phones or local info booths. I really wanted us to have an authentic experience and I believe we did.”
Be sure to stop and ask Emma more about her trip and even add her as a friend on Facebook to see some cool photos from her time in Europe!