This past year, I have had the amazing opportunity to experience Europe on two separate occasions: the first, when I studied abroad in London throughout Fall Semester, and the second with my Glee Club bro’s just over two months ago (Wow, summer has really flown by!). So, when we hopped off the bus in Paris and upgraded to the Eurostar—descending by train into the shallow depths of the English Channel—it was like a homecoming of sorts for me. As a seminarian for the Congregation of Holy Cross, I had studied for 4 months just South of where the Glee Club stayed during our visit. I even took classes at a college situated right across the Tube tracks from our hotel! I guess you could say that being back in my former “stomping grounds” was pretty unreal and hard to put into words—I’ll try to do my best here.
When we finally pulled into King’s Cross Station and hit the city, I was almost thankful for the roundabout bus ride to our hotel, in spite of having to spend even more time in a moving vehicle than we already had. It gave me a chance to mix this visit’s sights and sounds with memories and flashbacks of what I remembered from my previous experience in this historic place. This trend continued as the visit went on, for as widely as I had explored London while studying there, these few short days back in the city found me enjoying brand new experiences, like singing in St. James Church in Spanish Place, and having an epic rock-paper-scissors contest at the Italian fountains, and renting a street bike and speeding past the city traffic at night, and eating at a German bratwurst fast food place called “Herman ze German” while drinking Fritz-kola (which is really just Coca Cola with a little spritz of Fritz). Even our daytrip to Cambridge was memorable: visiting Trinity College chapel, with its stained glass windows depicting men of Faith and men of Reason, was cool and all; but giving our last concert of the Tour there was another thing entirely. Just walking through the college town and taking in the pub culture and street markets was enough to make us feel simultaneously excited and at home.
We were definitely tired and exhausted from the journey it took to get here from Rome—across winding roads, mountain ranges, and many twists and turns we thought our bus would never get through (or wished it wouldn’t try to get through…)—but after all of the traveling and all of the concerts, spending over three weeks road-tripping across Europe was the perfect way to kick off summer. Truly, it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience that both enhanced my old memories and added new ones to my collection, giving me a new and different taste of the same European flavor I had come to love so much. Until next time…
Ciao! Poslovite! Búcsú! Auf wiedersehen! Au revoir! Goodbye.
Andrew Fritz is a rising senior studying Anthropology and Philosophy. He is currently a seminarian in the Congregation of Holy Cross, and will be moving across the lakes this year from Old College to Moreau Seminary.
This is the twelfth post in a twelve-part blog series chronicling the Glee Club’s now-not-so-recent tour of Europe. Thanks for reading!