Paris certainly did not disappoint and together we experienced the very best of the city, where the charming streets and banks of the Seine River soon became our playground. Our first stop was the Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris’ most visited monument and famous for its artistic features and role in literature over the centuries. For dinner we feasted among the locals in the Latin Quarter and enjoyed watching the Parisian lifestyle from our cafe tables. Next we saw the jewels of Paris by water on a boat cruise on the Seine. As the sun began to set, we boarded our river boat and cruised by the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, Musée d’Orsay, the Tuileries Garden, and many more of the city’s best landmarks.
The following day we appreciated art at the Rodin Museum, where the artist used to live and create his work. We thought alongside The Thinker, and explored the beautiful sculpture gardens. Later we headed to Versailles; where the cobbled streets were filled with markets! We loved exploring the elaborate Palace of Versailles and being guided through France’s history and walking where the many royals once walked. Later that night, we seized the opportunity to sing our hearts out with some karaoke! The trip members took the stage by storm and belted out some classic renditions, with artists ranging from Frank Sinatra to Kanye West. We finished the night collectively singing Wonderwall.
We fell in “Louvre” on Wednesday when we went to the world’s largest museum. The Mona Lisa smiled for our selfies and Winged Victory stood triumphant above us. Then it was over to the Champs Elysées, one of Paris’ most famous streets, where we took photos by the Arc de Triomphe. Montmartre was our next stop, where we wandered the quaint area filled with restaurants and shops. Our group took pleasure in exploring the streets around Sacré Cœur, where legendary artists such as Picasso, Van Gogh, Monet and Degas once lived their vie bohème!
We finished our time in Paris in the best way possible, at its most magical landmark! Climbing the stairs of the Eiffel Tower gave us a great sense of accomplishment and the sunset views from the top were an extra reward. We made it back down just in time to see her light up and illuminate the sky as if saying goodbye.
The next day we headed for Annecy, a unique and lovely little town in the French Alps. Dinner that night was filled with fondue and many of our trip members partook in some delicious French cheese via raclette. During our time in Annecy, we rented bikes and cycled around the beautiful blue water of the lake-complete with swans!
Next it was time for some white water rafting and we paddled like champions as our guides lead us expertly through the waters. The rest of the day was spent relaxing beachside with stunning canal views and (lots and lots) of gelato. We now all understand why they call one of the best kept secrets of Europe, “The Venice of the Alps”.
Our next destination was the pedestrian Swiss village Zermatt, where many of our trip members had the incredible opportunity to ski or snowboard down the snow-capped mountains! The sun was bright as we navigated the slopes with views of the clouds below us. Afterwards the gondola took us right by the peak of the Matterhorn!
We’re now on our way to Venice, where gondola rides are on the horizon!
The Westcoast Blogger