Spring Break in Europe

This spring break (and a little after) I went on a trip to England and France, to explore parts of the world that I haven't seen yet... and to see my boyfriend (long distance relationship... OVERSEAS OMG). The only time I have ever been out of the country before has been to go to Mexico, and those were easy trips. This was a whole new ball park. 

Being terrified of both heights and flying, I wasn't stoked that I had to sit on a plane for ten and a half hours. This was also the first time I have ever traveled by myself, and that by itself was scary as well. But it turned out to not be so terrible, once I stopped freaking out and landed safely at Heathrow Airport, London. 

The first part of my trip was spent in London. For four days, my boyfriend and I got do and see such amazing things. The first night, I was too tired to do much, so we went to dinner and walked around. We didn't know where we were, so when we came up on the Tower Bridge, both of us were surprised to have been so close. Because it was dark, it looked absolutely beautiful lit up. On a tour we later went on, the guide told us that a man once jumped that bridge in a bus, because he didn't want to wait while the middle section was lifted to allow boats to pass underneath. The queen gave him a medal for his bravery, and then later there were laws set in place prohibiting the jumping of bridges. 

                                                                        Tower Bridge!

The next day, we took the tour via a speed boat called The Thames Rockets. It's half a guided tour, half a speed boat with awesome music and sharp turns. It was super fun but also incredibly cold and windy. While we were on this, we got to see some pretty cool things, like Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament, and Shakespeare's Globe (where we saw a play later that night). Unfortunately, Big Ben was under construction and we were only able to see the clock bit of it and not the rest. 

                                                                       Big Ben!

After the Thames Rockets, we took the tube to Buckingham Palace, which has these enormous gates that are absolutely beautiful. There was no Changing of the Guard ceremony that day, so we missed that, but it was really amazing seeing the palace and the beautiful Queen Victoria Memorial that sits out in front of it. 

                                                                       Buckingham Palace!

Later that evening, we went to Shakespeare's Globe to see a performance of Romeo and Juliet. I absolutely love Shakespeare and it's always been a dream of mine to see one of his plays performed at The Globe. The performance was put on by a theatre group that is separate from the Globe, so it wasn't a traditional production, but it was actually very interesting to see. The Globe is so beautiful and though it is a little uncomfortable to stand for an hour and half, it is so worth it to experience it the way the not-so-fortunate experienced it when The Globe first opened. 

                                                                       Shakespeare's Globe!

The fourth day, we went to Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum, which sounds like a waste of time while in London and there's so much to do, but I've gone to the one in San Francisco and I loved it, so I had to see this one as well. We also went to the aquarium and I got to see some pretty cool creatures that I don't typically see back in California. We ended this day by traveling to King's Cross Station to see Platform 9 3/4 (I am a HUGE Harry Potter fan and I just had to see it). I loved getting to see one of the iconic areas from one of my favorite franchises, and to be honest, I almost cried.

                                                                       Platform 9 3/4 From Harry Potter!

Then we left London and headed to Paris on the train that travels under the English Channel. This was my first time on a train and it was... different. But I also slept for most of the time, so I can't exactly form a strong opinion on it. It's been my dream to travel to Paris for so long, so I was so excited to finally be on my way to doing it. 

We only had two days in Paris and there was so much that I wanted to see. Our first night, I got to see the the Eiffel Tower lit up and to my surprise, it glitters every hour on the hour. It's so beautiful. 

                                                                       The Eiffel Tower! 

We also went to the Louvre museum, where I got to see the Mona Lisa in person. It was a lot smaller than I thought it was. We also saw the Arc de Triomphe and went to Laudrée, where we got tasty macaroons. They have so many different colors and flavors, I found it very hard to pick just a few.

                                                                       Laudree!

While it doesn't seem like much has happened on my trip thus far, it has been such an incredible experience and I wouldn't trade it in for the world. I've always dreamed of traveling the world, and now that I've started, there is no way I will be able to stop. I'm too in love with the cultures, the food, the languages, and the atmosphere with each of the countries that I encounter. I'll be back, Europe.

All photos courtesy of author.