Friday, 12 August 2016


We ended this incredible journey in the city of love and light and it really lived up to it's name. I was taken aback by this beautiful city but it was also bitter sweet. This was the last city our group was spending together and after twelve joyous days we would be going our separate ways and back to our different countries and different cities. Everyone always says Paris is super dirty, but I didn't find it to be dirty at all. I actually found it to be incredibly beautiful. We walked the Champ De Elyeese, which is much longer then I thought it would be. One thing that absolutely surprised me was how far away everything actually was from each other. In most other cities we could walk to almost everything, but in Paris we had to take the metro almost everywhere, which was quite easy. 

We saw everything you would want to see: the Notre Dame, the Arc Di Triomphe, The Louvre, and of course the Eiffel Tower. I think seeing the Eiffel Tower in person is so undesirable. It is just a feeling you get and it is very hard to describe that feeling. It is a magnificent architectural feat. You may think you know how big it is just from photos but to actually see it in real life is one of the most magnificent things you can ever experience. Going up the Tower was breathtaking. To be able to see all of Paris from the tower was beautiful, I was speechless. Photos and videos just do not do it justice and it is something every person should see in their life. 

One of the things I quite enjoyed about being in Paris for an entire day where we could walk around and do what we wanted was that a group of us spent the day walking around. We ended up going to a cafe called Angelique's and it had some of the best pastries I have ever had. Then we walked over to the beautiful Tuileries Garden. I loved spending time and just walking around at the how immaculate it was. One more thing that impressed me so much was the architecture. Every building was built essentially the same, but the architecture was so impressive. I just couldn't believe it. 

There is just so much to say and then nothing to say. There are so many words to describe it but then when someone asks you about it you just trip over your words because you are not sure what words to use or how to even say it. 

This was really a trip of a lifetime and I honestly cannot wait to get back to Europe to experience more. 


Switzerland stole my heart, and my money, but mostly my heart. I could not believe the beauty of this country and just how imaginative this beautiful place is. Also, Switzerland is incredibly expensive and I was somewhat thankful that we only spent about eighteen hours here, although I do wish that we could have stayed maybe one more day. And again we stayed in a converted jail and it was, umm, interesting to say the least. We also took a lake cruise around Lake Lucerne which was a lot of fun. We got a lot of photos together and a lot of memories were made. I loved the lake cruise because we started it when it was light out and finished it while watching the sunset and the hotels along the lake starting to light up. Really, really beautiful. 

Going up to the top of the Swiss Alps was so beautiful. I loved going up on the train it was really cool experience. And of course actually going up to the Alps by the only roofless motor car. It was really awesome to stand up at the top and see the Alps as we moved closer and closer. One of the girls on our trip, from Australia, had never seen snow before and so I am very glad to have been able to be a part of that memory with her. She was very excited about seeing snow for the first time, especially when we were heading up to the Alps and it started to snow a little bit and she finally saw snowflakes fall in real life. 

The hotel was really cool, although at first everyone was a little creeped out by it. We were staying in a jail that literally had been closed down in the 90s. It was a women's prison who had committed petty crimes. The doors for the room were still the old jail rooms and you needed a passcode to get into each room. The WIFI situation was not that great, but it created a funny environment for us, we would spend a lot of time hanging out in stairwells and down in the lobby trying to stay connected. 

Random point: the top of the Alps has excellent cell phone service and the WIFI is impeccable up there. 


Oh gosh, what is there to even say about Florence. It was so hot that day and sunny and perfect that it made walking around the small and beautiful city even better. What I liked the most about Florence was it wasn't too busy and yet there were still a lot of tourists. It wasn't as congested as Venice and Rome, especially Rome, but it still had a lot of people. I liked the views and easiness of getting around. I liked just walking around and seeing the architecture was really beautiful. I think the best part, again, was the walking tour. I liked that we were walked around the city with the tour guide and she was able to give us little tidbits of information (none which I can remember now of course!).

The one thing I absolutely loved, which I'm sure everyone else did as well, is the view from Piazzale Michelangelo. Just seeing it was absolutely beautiful. How amazing is the view, how amazing is it to see absolutely everything in Florence and to be able to see it all in one look. Panoramas do not do this place justice. One of the unique things we were able to do here was get a group shot, which is one of my favourite things that we got on this trip. It's a way in which I can have a photo with every single person from our trip. It's a very nice memento to have.


Oh Rome, what a place to visit. It is a must see place, you have to visit Rome. It is really the centrepiece of Europe and the beginning of everything. The Roman's came, saw and conquered and boy did they leave their footprint everywhere they went. I enjoyed Rome, only for the history aspect. I loved seeing the Coliseum and the Roman Forum and the beautiful cobble stone streets. It really was breathtaking to finally see the buildings and the stories I have read about and studied for years. The Coliseum was just awe-inspiring, you would never think that something could be as big as this place. The sheer size of the Coliseum was amazing, but also seeing the building and the place where everything played out like the gladiator fighting was amazing. To actually see where they stood and how far people would watch it. It was just eye-opening. 

The Roman Forum was another beautiful place to visit. Granted the day was very very hot, but it was definitely better then rain. I loved seeing the buildings, or what was left of them, just to see how big they built these buildings. It's not like the Romans were giants compared to us, but they built buildings that were so big they intimidated any person who would have to walk into them. And the fact that some, if not most, of these buildings are still standing, or at least most of it is still standing. The pillars I think were the most fascinating to me just because of how tall they were and the fact that every single one of them that I saw did not have a crack or any sort of decay among them. I was surprised and shocked to see that these pillars had literally stood the test of time. 

Would I go back to Rome? Probably not. Do I think you need to see Rome? Yes, 100%. Rome is a city in which every person should visit at least once in their life. 


Oh Venice! What a place to be. Granted the entire day we were there it rained and it literally poured. The only time it stopped was when we took our 30 minute gondola ride and the minute we stepped out of the boats it began to pour again. But aside from the rain, Venice was a beautiful city full of history and beautiful architectures. I could not believe the canals. I have seen photos of them and I have heard about them, but there is nothing compared to actually seeing them and taking a boat through them. Also I got conned into feeding the pigeons and ended up having to pay 10 euros for it. Not fun, I would recommend running from the men with the bird seed. 

One of the these I loved was a really cool walking tour with a local guide. It did rain for the whole day and I of course didn't pack a rain jacket or thick sweater, so I only had my thin sweater. Aside from my atrocious clothing choice, I really enjoyed the walking tour. It was a way to see the city through the small walkways and random little shops. Another cool thing about Venice was the dinner we had that night. It was optional but almost everyone chose to go to it. Our trip manager told us to grab masks that were quite popular in Venice  during the 16th century. We all bought little masks from stores around the city and at dinner took photos of our Venetian masks. It was a really unique experience.  

One question I do have: do/can people swim in the canals? Or is that something people just don't do? 


We drove then on to Austria and driving from country to country was one of the best parts of the tour as we were able to see small villages and towns and the landscape of all of these beautiful countries that you just would not see flying from place to place. It also gave a lot of time for sleep or just relaxing time before hitting up the next city. In Austria we went to Innsbruck and being there just felt like a dream. It just didn't seem real, the landscape and the beauty of Austria just didn't look like it was really there. The best way I can describe it is that it looked like CGI animation, pretty much green screen. But it was real and it was beautiful and inspiring and breathtaking. 

Also, Austria has some of the best dessert, especially the apple strudel, that I have ever experienced. I am not ashamed to say that I had it three times in the 18 hours that we were in that beautiful country. The group went white water rafting, and I was not so keen on it, so my sister and I decided to just hang out with some of the other group members. This was nice as it was a chance to get to know some of the other people on the trip and hearing the stories and seeing the videos afterwards was really cool. 

Coming home, people asked me what countries I would definitely go back to, and Austria is one you can never see enough of. Granted, every single one of them is like that, but there is something about Austria that just pulls at me to come back.