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A Week in Europe

By , Park Ridge, NJ

Since I was five I’ve always wanted to go to London and explore the world. After my fifteenth birthday, my parents let me go to Europe for a week with my sister and my dream was coming true. It was my first time going to Europe and I was excited and happy that I was finally going to visit London along with Paris. After an eight-hour long flight, we arrived at Heathrow airport at night and took the tube to London. As we got out of the station I stood in amazement. I couldn’t believe that I was standing in the center of London after all those years of dreaming it. We walked to our hostel which were like dormitories in college and signed in. The next morning, we got up early and went to the British Museum and say multiple works of art and artifacts including the Rosetta Stone and sketches from Leonardo da Vinci and Vincent Van Gogh. The building has beautiful architecture and everything there was detailed and fancy. Afterwards we walked around the city and went to shops and tried different foods there. We later went to King’s Cross station and waited on line for an hour to take a photo at Platform 9 ¾ from Harry Potter and went to the shop and bought some souvenirs. We then went to the British Library which was the biggest library in the world and saw journals from famous writers and people like Charles Darwin and music sheets from Mozart to lyric sheets from The Beatles. We then went to another art museum which was the Victoria and Albert museum and saw artworks from Raphael to Rembrandt. We then got dinner and walked on the Albert Bridge and strolled around the park near there and went home. The next day we saw the changing of the guards at Buckingham Palace and walked around the gardens we also walked around the city and enjoyed sitting down and sketching what we saw. The next day we did what every other tourist would do and go to Westminster Abbey and visit Big Ben and the London Eye. We also visited the outdoor book shop under the Waterloo Bridge and walked around the city until we came upon a popular gelato place where the line was outside. We went to it and got our desserts and walked into a market where there was an opera singer performing and there were many shops and one interested us which was Hotel Chocolat where we bought something unusual which was chocolate penne pasta. Afterwards we went back to the hostel and packed our bags and went to the bus station to go to Paris. We went overnight and slept the whole ride through except for the times where there were pit stops.

 

When we got out of the bus my sister was very excited and felt at home because she’s always wanted to go to Paris because she took French for about nine years and always loved the French culture. It was the first time for me going into a foreign country and not knowing their native language and for the whole trip there I was completely clueless and depended on my sister more than ever. We went on the metro to go to where we were staying but unfortunately got lost and accidentally left our souvenirs from London at the station. Luckily we got to our Airbnb and met with the person who gave us the key to the apartment we were staying at which was dead center in the city and was five minutes away from almost any landmark. We were recommended to try the falafels which were down the street from where we were staying and it was the first time I had tried a falafel and it was a long time standing in line waiting for them. They were great but we also saw another falafel place which had the same amount of people in it and there was a lot of competition going on between the two businesses. The first thing my sister did was go around shopping and then we went to the Louvre and saw the Mona Lisa. We got macaroons from Le Macaron Ladurée Paris and walked to the Arc de Triomphe and ate our macaroons there. We then later went to a famous cemetery where Oscar Wilde and Jim Morrison from The Doors were buried. We came back near where were were staying and tried the falafel from the other business and walked to Victor Hugo’s house and then called it a day. The next day we woke up early and went to the Palace of Versailles and waited in line for three hours to get into the palace. It was beautiful and luxurious with chandeliers in every room and gold designs everywhere. The walls had velvet coverings and my favorite part was the Hall of Mirrors. I got to see famous paintings of King Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette and other figures. We also got to go outside and see the gardens and enjoy the city of Versailles. The third day was my favorite because we went to the Musée d'Orsay and I got to see a whole gallery of Vincent Van Gogh paintings and he is my favorite artist and my sister got to see her favorite painting which is The Floor Scrapers by Gustave Caillebotte. We then took a boat ride on the Seine to a traditional French restaurant which was across the Notre Dame cathedral and had lunch there then went to look at the street market and saw the art people made. We then went to the cathedral and then went to one of the best bakeries and bought a traditional baguette and cheese and went to the Eiffel Tower and had a picnic there. We then went to the Palace de la Bastille and passed by the building which has Napoleon’s body inside and went to another cathedral  which was on top of a tall hill. After a million stairs we finally got to the top where you could see all of Paris and even the Eiffel Tower. Later that night we paced our bags and left to got to the bus station to got back to London. On the bus I was said leaving Paris because t was full of beautiful artwork and the architecture in the city was detailed and magnificent and the fashion there was great and the way things were put together made the whole city a beautiful thing to look at for days. Everybody was polite there and saying goodbye was especially hard for my sister because she didn’t want to leave at all. During the ride we had to get off because we were going over the river by ferry and it was my first time going on the boat at three in the morning but it was beautiful and peaceful looking at the city and water at night.

 

After the ferry ride and the bus ride to London, we arrived and I was happy to be back “home”. The first thing we did was go around the city and visiting music landmarks. I am a huge fan of rock music and I wanted to visit many places and I was happy I got the chance to visit the place where David Bowie shot one of his album covers, where the Beatles performed there last concert which was on a rooftop, Abbey Road Studies, Abbey Road and take a picture doing the famous walk the Beatles did on their cover album, and visit the café shop based on The Beatles. My favorite part of the day was when we went to the original Hard Rock Café and I saw so much memorabilia from my favorite bands like guitars and clothes from The Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, The Who, Elton John, Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, Queen and much more. The next and final day my sister and I visited the Queen’s house and went to an outdoor market which sold many homemade goods like pastries, paintings, clothing, and jewelry. Later we went to Shakespeare’s Globe and walked along Millennium Bridge. We then spent the last day relaxing, packing, and walking around eastern London. Going to the airport was hard because I fell in love with Europe and especially with London. It was artistic and had sculptures and paintings everywhere around the block wherever you went and so many great bands came from Britain that posters of classic rock bands were up everywhere and the music played everywhere and those were the things I was passionate about and loved. It was a life changing experience because it made me realized where I wanted to be in the next ten years and made me relive the feeling I had about traveling and how much I loved it. When we had a layover in Germany I looked out the window and saw the beautiful scenery and started to plan my next European trip.






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