This has been an amazing trip with an amazing bunch of young women! I am so proud of how they presented themselves on this trip. I am thankful that I had the opportunity to go on this European adventure with them. I am also thankful for all of the hard work Mrs. Mayer put into preparing this trip and preparing the girls for it. We have all learned so much and have had the experiences of a lifetime.
Look out world! These small-town girls are ready to take you on!
Today was an amazing day to end our trip around Europe! We started off with a good breakfast that would help us jump start our day. After breakfast, we discussed what everyone would like to do and we figured out the maps for the city and the metro to go where we needed to go.
We split into two groups because we wanted to do different things. One group of us started off our day with a wonderful 3 hour biking tour around London. We got to see many famous & not so famous sights of the city which was very cool because we learned a lot about the city that many people wouldn't normally know. Many memories would made on that trip that's for sure! After that we had crepes at a little crepe cafe and they were super good! We then headed on our way to The London Bridge and The Tower of London. It was really neat to walk across the London Bridge and look across to see The Tower Bridge!
At the Tower of London, we got a guided tour of all the buildings and learned a lot of interesting facts. We also got to see The Crown Jewels! Which by the way are very, very beautiful!
We then made our way back to our hotel via The Tube one last time. We bought some snacks for dinner because we had such a big & tasty lunch. Some of us also went in to Kensington Park to enjoy the scenery and caught up on some reading.
Today was our first full day in London! Our first stop was Big Ben and the House of Parliament. We heard Big Ben toll which was really cool. Then we went to see the Changing of the Guard, but it was called off because of rain. On our way to the next stop, we ended up at King's Cross Station where we saw Platform 9 3/4 from the Harry Potter movies. It was here where I made my big purchase of the trip and bought the Harry Potter books in a box set! After that we went to the British Library and saw original compositions by Jane Austen, Beethoven, Bach, Mozart, the Beatles, DaVinci, and so much more. Then we went to the British Museum and saw the Rosetta Stone. Next we split ways and some went to the National Gallery and others to Foyles bookshop. The National Gallery had beautiful artwork by Van Gogh, Monet, and a lot of others. Then some of us headed in for the night while others went on the London Eye. Needless to say we all slept really well last night. I can't wait to see what our second full day in London has to offer!
Today we mastered the London tubes with our luggage! They aren't much different than the metro in Paris, but all of the signs are in English. That's pretty helpful. Once arriving in London, we had a kick back relaxing afternoon. We checked into our hotel and are all roomed cozily in two rooms. After that, our evening consisted on one group going souvenir shopping with Mrs. Mayer and another group going off to find the Hard Rock Cafe with Jody and my mom. I was with the latter of the groups and I must say that it was fun. We walked the streets trying to find which one we had to be on and we got to hear many British accents. The Hard Rock was great too. Sitting down and listening to music while we ate, was a great way to start off our stay in the UK. We also went to the Hard Rock shop to get some nice souvenirs. More to come tomorrow!
We started out our day by saying goodbye to our amazing tour director, Bea, as we headed out on our own. Then, we successfully concurred the metro system with our luggage. I thought that was a huge accomplishment and it was actually pretty fun. At first I didn't like them, but after using them, the metros are pretty easy to navigate and it's fun figuring out where you have to go, what lines you have to take, and which direction you have to travel. We made it safely to our new hotel and went out to the Palace of Versailles. It was really crowded in there, but the different rooms looked really cool. I especially liked the Hall of Mirrors. To end our day, we came back to the hotel early. Now we can get a good night's sleep and be ready for tomorrow!
In the morning, we got up bright and early and went to the train station in Nice. Once there, we boarded the train for Paris! After a pleasant 4-5 hour train ride through the countryside of France, we arrived. Everyone was very excited. First, we dropped off our luggage at the hotel, which had really nice, large rooms. In our first hour in Paris, we had already caught glimpses from the bus of the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, the Egyptian obelisk in Place de la Concorde, Les Invalides, and the Seine, which is the river running through Paris. Anyway, after dropping off our luggage, we ate dinner on the Champs Elysees. Then, it was time for our evening boat cruise of the River Seine. It was really just beautiful, and, at the end, we saw the Eiffel Tower sparkle. It was a great way to spend our first evening in Paris.
We left our hotel this morning bright and early to go on a bus tour of Paris. We first saw the Arc of Triumph and then the Eiffel Tower where we got a group picture which is placed below. Next we stopped at the place of Napoleon's tomb. We didn't get to go inside to see it, but it's exciting regardless. Next we got free time around Notre Dame, and I ate a Nutella Banana Crepe! Also, the inside of Notre Dame was gorgeous and one of my favorites so far.
After lunch we finally went to the Louvre! I walked with Miriam and Aubrey and we saw all the great pieces of work including the Mona Lisa and Venus de Milo! Then went to the Opera house and sat on the steps listening to a man sing and play guitar which was very relaxing, and we had a good talk with our tour guide, Beate. We are all pretty bummed about not having her around for the rest of the trip.
And last but not least, we went to the Eiffel Tower and got to go all the way to the top! We had more crepes and saw it sparkle! It was a great ending to a great day!