In 2009, I took an eleven day trip to six cities in three European countries. On June 30th, we arrived in Barcelona, Spain. We stayed in Hotel Tryp Apolo. First we went to Las Ramblas where they sold everything from ice cream to jewelry and had an open air market that sold candy and fresh fruit. There were also street performers who pretended to be statues until someone walked too close! After dinner, we went back to the hotel to sleep off our jetlag and get ready for the next day. On July 1st, we took a bus to explore Barcelona and take pictures of everything we encountered. Our first stop was the Gaudi Park where we saw his creations and his house. We stopped at Sagrada Familia, his unfinished cathedral, and Casa Mila and then relaxed at the beach before having dinner on the waterfront. To celebrate our last night in Barcelona, we went to a Flamenco dance on Las Ramblas.
We woke up bright and early July 2nd to take a bus to Provence, France. We stopped at the walled city of Carcassonne to learn about its history and see the museum. In Avignon, we stayed at Hotel Bristol where the Papal Palace is. The next day, we went to NÃ®mes where we saw the ArÃ©nes de NÃ®mes and the Maison CarrÃ©e. After that, we practiced fencing and calligraphy before traveling to Les Baux Castle.
On July 4th, we took a three hour ride on the TGV to Paris, France. We stayed at Novotel Gare de Lyon). The morning was reserved for a bus tour around Paris. We saw the Eiffel Tower, stopped in the Quartier Latin, and visited Notre Dame Cathedral to see the rose window and visit the outdoor vendors. After dinner, we took the subway to the Louvre’s garden and rode a Ferris wheel until the Eiffel Tower began to light up. The next day, we took a bus to the Palace of Versailles and explored the inside of the Palace as well as the extensive gardens. We returned to Paris and traveled 500 meters below the city to the Catacombs. After climbing up the 83 steps to return to street level, we visited the Arc de Triomphe on the Champs ElysÃ©e! We discovered a crepe stand and stopped there for dinner before heading back to the Eiffel Tower. We watched the sunset from the topmost part of the Tower and then returned to the hotel. On July 6th, we went inside the Louvre Museum and saw the Mona Lisa and Winged Victory before traveling to the Paris Opera House that was the inspiration for the Phantom of the Opera. After lunch, we visited Montmartre, where artists sell their creations on the street. At the top of the hill is the Sacre Coeur church. After dinner, we took a boat tour and watched the sunset on the water.
On July 7th, we began the last part of our trip when we boarded the Eurostar and arrived in London, England. We took a bus tour around the city and saw Buckingham Palace, Parliament, Scotland Yard, and Big Ben. The bus then took us to our hotel, the Hilton Olympia. After dinner, we explored Leicester Square, where the Harry Potter premiere just happened to be! For our last day in Europe, we saw the changing of the guards and visited Camden Town, where shops were set up everywhere! After spending a great deal of money, we explored the rest of London until it was time for a fish and chips dinner and packing.
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