Europe or Bust! - My Family Travels

It has always been my dream to travel to "The City of Light", and in 2010 I got my chance! My school offered a trip to France using Promé Tour company. For a reasonable price, my classmates and I were able to tour Paris’s most famous landmarks. After a 7-hour flight from JFK International Airport, we arrived at the famous Charles du Gaulle Airport and took a bus provided by the tour company into the city. The view as we drove into the city was incredible! As the city grew around us, so did our mounting excitement. After checking into the Adagio P&V Tour Eiffel Hotel, we began our trek through Paris. First, to ease us into the beauty that is Paris, we took a boat ride up and down the Seine. However, because I had not slept for 30 hours, I used the boat ride as nap time! After our “rest”, we made our way to the nearby Eiffel Tower. Even though there were large crowds, nothing can beat the view from the top of the Eiffel Tower! We had a panoramic view of the city, a definite photo-op! The next day, we toured the famous Musée du Louvre. It’s too much to see in one day, so I suggest conquering it in several visits! First, our guide took us through the basement of the museum where we got to see the original floor plan and foundation and walk through the moat. Also, don’t plan on getting an up close and personal look at the “Mona Lisa”, because the room in which it hangs it always crowded. Next, we toured the Ile de la Cite where the famous Sainte Chapelle and Cathedral Notre Dame are situated. Sainte Chapelle is a must-see because of its magnificent stained glass windows. Cathedral Notre Dame offers incredible views of the city, but be prepared to climb all 387 steps! Also, there is a bridge near the exit of the cathedral that takes you a small section of the city full of quaint cafés and great exploring! That night, we walked the magnificent Champs Elysees and shopped til we dropped! We had the intention of going to the top of the Arc de Triomphe, but it was closed for security reasons. Instead, we got our picture taken with one of the red berets! Because of a metro strike, we had to change our plans and visit the Musée d’Orsay on the third day. That was one of my favorites because I love impressionist art. I suggest touring it at your own pace and picking exactly what you want to see because our guide was sub-par. Also, there are no cameras allowed, so buying postcards is a must! Next, we toured the perfume company Fragonard, which is located near the Opera. That was great, but sensory overload! Our final day in Paris was my favorite! We took the train to Versaille and toured the amazing palace by audio guide. Later, we rented bikes and toured the garden. That is an absolute must! We got to see Marie Antoinette’s play home and the beautiful grounds, guest houses, and buildings. The included picture is of my best friend and I on one of our stops on the tour. If you have time, I also suggest stopping in La Quartier Latin for an hour or two. Sit at a café and watch Paris pass by you. This trip was an amazing experience that broadened my view of the world, taught me to appreciate new cultures, and sparked my interest in studying abroad in college.

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