Childhood Memories Friday: Europe

Worms Germany restaurant

A couple of weeks ago, I shared some memories of touring with Sound of America Honor Band and Chorus, the summer after I graduated from high school. How about a few more memories of my first trip to Europe?

I remember the situation of the photo above very well. We had flown over and landed in my most-anticipated European country of all, the home of my ancestors: Germany! The first town we drove through was Worms, and here we are in a restaurant there. I was sitting with Wendy and Christie, my friends on the trip, and Wendy’s mom. I remember on this trip feeling quite often that I enjoyed the company of the parents on the trip more than that of the kids my age. This has happened frequently in my life. This was particularly true when I was in a group of teens who were interested in drinking, partying, and carousing — never my interest. I am glad at this point to be an actual adult 🙂

Sound of Music

Sound of Music 16 Going on 17 gazebo

I loved so many things on the trip. We saw some sights from The Sound of Music, my favorite movie. Here’s the “16 Going on 17” gazebo, which I was distressed to see in such poor condition. I forget where it was located, but I went back to Europe in the next ten years and it had been moved to a different location altogether. Yes, I did go inside and leap from one bench to another, a la Liesl.

Charles & Diana

St Paul's London

Another highlight was St. Paul’s Cathedral, in London. Forgive the less-than-impressive photo, but again, such was much of photography back in the early ’80s. In 1983, Charles and Diana had been married just two years. As far as any of us knew, all was still a fairy tale. I was so excited when we stopped here and actually went inside. I remember walking slowly down the center aisle, humming “Trumpet Voluntary” and imagining Diana doing the same thing. It was a totally surreal experience!

Standing on a Cathedral Roof

Milan Cathedral on roof

Did you know that you can climb up a gazillion steps to stand at the top of some of Europe’s grand cathedrals? It’s true. Here I am with friends on top of the Milan Cathedral in Italy.


Versailles 1983

The trip didn’t include a visit to any of King Ludwig‘s castles (affiliate link), but we did get to visit Versailles in France, which inspired the king. Honestly, I don’t remember much about Versailles. It was huge, though.

Have you visited any of these sites? Which European country would you most like to visit (or re-visit)?




8 thoughts on “Childhood Memories Friday: Europe

  1. Great memories–I’d love to do one of those “Sound of Music” tours to see all the locations. I visited St. Paul’s in 1977–sadly I had no idea then why it was significant (I learned about it’s importance to the war-time sky line later–probably from all the hype for Charles & Diana.[Remember, I admired Diana at the beginning. The older man thing!]). I would also like to do a German Royal “tour” and see all the places The Princess Royal (Victoria’s eldest daughter) and Princess Alice (Prince Philip’s great-grandmother) lived in and the Prussian and Hesse royals in general.

  2. I’d love to revisit Switzerland and Germany, and visit Austria.

  3. What, what great trip! I have never been out of the country. For our senior trip our class went to Six Flags Over Texas. :-/

  4. Thanks for sharing your European memories! I have visited St. Paul’s Cathedral in London three times and found it to be very impressive. The American chapel part located behind the main pulpit area was neat, and it made me feel quite patriotic. Although I have been to Paris, I did not get to see Versailles.
    Of course, being a big fan of Sound of Music, I have always wanted to visit that location but haven’t made it there yet. There is always hope. My wise Mother always said, “Where there is life, there is hope”, which I heard rather often when growing up. 🙂 I’m happy that you have had so many good experiences while traveling abroad. London is still one of my most favorite cities to visit!

  5. What a great experience to have in high school! I was 34 when I got to go on a J Term trip to London with Huntington College. Love your pictures. I remember the beautiful cathedrals, especially Westminster Abbey.

  6. What an entertaining blog! I loved reading about your first trip to Europe. And your pictures are great. I have not been to Europe so enjoy finding out about the experiences of others. Please tell us more.

  7. Oh wow! So far I’ve only been to Ireland but I have dreams of making it into further into Europe eventually. Thanks for sharing your photos and memories.

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