Europe 2015 Travels

This past summer I had the amazing opportunity to travel abroad and go to a few different places in Europe. Needless to say my first trip out of the country is something I will remember for the rest of my life.

Our first stop was a city I’ve been dreaming about visiting for years, Paris.

I’ve wanted to go there since I was a little girl. My bedroom used to be Paris themed. I had Eiffel Tower figures, pictures on my walls, and even key chains. So to finally be getting to go was a huge deal for me.

This trip was a High School graduation present from my parents and I had been looking forward to it for months. The waiting was too much, so I began to look on Pinterest for activities, pictures, and tips from people who had already visited Paris, Florence, and Rome.

I found a few pins on Pinterest here, here, and here.

The first link is for a list of things to do in Paris, the second is a blog post about tips for spotting real vs. fake Italian leather, and the third is a list of activities in Florence.

Finally the day arrived, after dreaming about it for months. I met my teacher and 3 other students from my high school and we boarded our first plane. Had a 3 hour layover and then got on the biggest plane I’ve ever seen in my life.

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7 hours later I watched the French coastline come into view and at 2:30 in the afternoon (Paris Time) we landed in Paris! And the whirlwind of exploring and making unforgettable memories began.

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After stopping at the hotel to drop our stuff off we headed to Notre Dame.

Now, I have seen pictures of the Cathedral in my Art History class when we studied it, but my breath was taken away. Standing in front of Notre Dame I knew I finally made it to Europe.

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The inside was incredible. The stain glass windows were some of the most vibrant colors I have seen before.

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Not to mention how tall the ceilings are. My neck started to get sore from looking up for so long.

Notre Dame was built in phases over a span of many years. The builders would complete it and then over time someone would come along and add something or renovate a part of it.

We wondered around the Cathedral admiring the windows and other works for around an hour. And then walked outside to find a love lock bridge. DSCN0285

The Love Lock Bridges are a big attraction in Paris. It was started from a book and people began to go with their loved ones to the bridge and lock it to the bridge railings, then throw the key into the Seine river. These locks are actually starting to be removed from the bridges because the weight is beginning to cause damage.

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Our flight landing in the middle of the afternoon left us a small amount of time for exploring, so that was all we did for the first day. There was one thing that really surprised me the first day, how long the sun was in the sky. I know that in the summer the days are longer, but the sky didn’t even turn fully dark until 11 o’clock at night and the sun was rising again by 5 in the morning. I have never been at such a high latitude and it blew my mind.

 

The next day our itinerary featured the Palace of Versailles.

The palace is enormous. There are rooms upon rooms, numerous detailed and gorgeous paintings and sculptures, and expansive gardens.

It starts of with golden gates. Yes, gold gates… I’ll just show you.

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^The entrance to what I wish was my not so humble abode.

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^The King’s Bed Chambers

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^The King’s Throne Room

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^The Queen’s Bed Chambers

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^Entering the Hall of Mirrors

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^Only a peak at the expansive gardens.

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We didn’t get to explore the gardens as much as I would have liked, but that’s okay I will just have to go back again!

From there we stopped to take pictures at the Eiffel Tower and then on to dinner.

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It was a day well spent in Paris.

Stay tuned for my next post about Florence, Italy. My favorite day of the trip. I will also include tips on how to make sure you purchase real Italian leather and how to spot fakes.

 

 

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