European Mosaic Tour 2016

Thu, 05/05/2016

We have been anticipating this trip for more than year and it finally came. We had the time of our lives and took a billion pictures to show for it. This article will be a bit of a summary of our adventures in each city we visited.

London:

Our first city was a groggy start to our trip. Mostly everyone hadn't slept in about 24 hours the first day and there was pouring rain for most of the afternoon. We still managed to enjoy our free time though, some of us went out for fish and chips and later went to the National Gallery and looked at the beautiful artwork from all throughout history. We started our second day with more energy, some of us heading down Oxford Street to shop, the others  to visit many of the beautiful landmarks throughout the city. Finally, we all gathered to watch the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace.

Paris:

Woke up early next day to take a Eurostar train to Paris. I know it sounds crazy, because England is an island, but there is a tunnel running through the English Channel to get to Paris.  When we arrived, we went to the Catacombs of Paris - an underground collection of caves to store bones created in the 1700s to remedy for lack of cemetery land - and later took a walking tour around the city and tried our hardest to stay away from the Eiffel Tower.  We ended our walking tour at the Arc De Triomphe. The following day was my favorite day in Europe: We had a bus tour of the city, a photo opportunity at the Eiffel Tower, and ended our tour at the “oh-so-famous” Louvre Museum, where we saw the Mona Lisa (she was beautiful, by the way!).  We then went to the Eiffel Tower and headed to the very top: The stunning “City of Lights” gave us a wonderful show as we watched the sunset. We ended the day with a beautiful river cruise. As the boat floated down the river, the twinkling Eiffel Tower would greet us wherever we were.

Reims:

Another early start this day. We were off to Reims, a small city in France, on a coach. One small slip up though: we got home around one in the morning the night before and nine people woke up late for the day, making us late for the trip. Anyways, we drove to Reims for lunch and saw an elegant church where the French Monarchs were crowned kings and queens. We had time for lunch and continued on our bus journey.

Heidelberg:

We arrived in the charming city of Heidelberg for a wienerschnitzel (a breaded chicken and potatoes) dinner and went to sleep at a local hotel. On the following day we saw the famous Heidelberg Castle’s wine barrel and then went off on a walking tour.

Munich:

Our next stop was Munich: We went on a tour of the Dachau concentration camp. It was pretty depressing: The housing quarters that were still intact were difficult to walk through. We were then off to Marienplatz, a  church and city hall in the city center square. Here we watched the clock strike five o’clock and an elaborate performance by the dancing statues in the belfry.

Vienna:

We were off to Vienna where we visited a huge amazing palace, called Schonnbrunn Palace and got a walking tour around 22 rooms of its over 100 rooms to see. A grand Greek style garden encompassed the whole grounds and was a wonderful scenery for photographs.

Prague:

Upon arrival to Prague, we were taken to the presidential palace of the city (it being the capital of the Czech Republic) and got a walking tour of St. Vitus Cathedral and the Golden Lane. We then had free time for the evening and headed to dinner.

Berlin:

Our tour of Europe ended in the wonderful capital of Germany, Berlin. We were assigned an amazing tour guide which led us through the many monuments and memorials dedicated to the fallen of the Holocaust. We also visited what was left of the Berlin Wall which was torn down in 1989 and of Checkpoint Charlie, the most popular crossing of the Berlin Wall where foreigners were allowed to pass in and out of East Germany. We had a nice dinner that night and gifted our tour guide with a picture of what we hope was a memorable group with many sweet messages written on its back.

The plane ride home was dreadful, not only because of the 3 hour delay between flights but because time in Europe wasn’t enough for us, we needed more time in each place to explore, to enjoy the cuisine and scenery, but, that’ll have to wait until we are successful adults and are able to travel the world.

Thank you for giving us the opportunity to get a taste of what the world looks like.