For my sixteenth birthday, I thought of many ideas to spend the “ideal age” of a girl’s childhood. I attempted to plan something huge that I knew would be remembered by my peers. My school offered a trip to Europe: London, Paris, and Madrid. I never travelled the world before, and I figured this would be the best trip of my life. My best friend and I pitched this idea to our mothers and next thing we knew, we were headed to London.
In England, I saw and learned so many things. I saw the rocks in Stonehenge, I saw beautiful cathedrals, and I went to Buckingham Palace. I learned that the London Bridge was actually relocated to Arizona and that the British drive on the opposite side of the road because soldiers rode their horses on that side in the early years. London reminded me of a more upscale New York City; it was very urban. The streets were so clean, and I, although never a habitual litterer, try really hard not to litter in the US.
I had the pleasure of taking a French cruise ship down the English Channel into Caen, France. I captured a beautiful picture of the sun setting on the water. Although I got a little sea sick, the food was great; there were stores, an arcade, and a movie theatre to help get my mind off the waves. In Caen, we visited many World War II sites. We went to the Normandy D-Day beaches, walked through a few museums, and walked through a city that was completely destroyed before. It was a very tragic moment, but I am glad I was able to recollect on those tragic moments. We drove to Paris, and that was the highlight of France. I saw Norte Dame, Arc de Triumphe, and the magnificent Eiffel Tower. The Eiffel Tower is beautiful at day and night. At the top of every hour, the whole tower lights up, and it was beautiful. I’m terribly afraid of heights, but I had to go up the Eiffel Tower, because who’s to say if I would ever make it back there. France had the best food; I ate CrÃ¨me Brulee, a French apple tart, and cheesy potatoes.
The worst part of my trip was the overnight train to Madrid. The cabin was extremely small, the train was rocking, and we thought the beds were dirty. It was very uncomfortable; the best idea was for us to sleep as much as possible. Despite the train ride, Madrid was my favorite city. I was able to communicate with people in Spanish, and it opened up my mind to strive to become bilingual in Spanish. We went to Toledo, Spain one of the days and it was beautiful. It’s basically a dead city and all the architecture was stunning. On our last night, we went to a Flamenco show, it was outstanding. I’ve never seen people move their feet so fast.
Overall, I really enjoyed Europe. Although the flight was long, it’s a memory I can keep with me for the rest of my life. I probably took about 300 pictures my whole trip, and I kept a journal to remind me of all the fun I had. I have great ambitions of going back to Spain, with hopes to master the language, and then branch out into other countries in Europe, such as Italy. It feels good to watch a movie and see the Eiffel Tower and be able to say I’ve been there. My trip to Europe was the highlight of my whole youth; I don’t think anything could compare.
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