The first stop on our European Experience was London! London is proud to call itself one of the most multicultural cities in the world and an international hub for European travelers. Excited and eager to explore all that this amazing city had to offer, we all gathered in the beautiful Kensington Gardens. We admired the amazing Kensington Palace which is home to many Royal Family members.
We played some games in the park and then ventured to downtown London where we enjoyed a delicious dinner. Next, we walked over to the iconic London Eye. If you have never seen the London eye before, think of it as the world’s largest Ferris wheel. As we soared into the sky, we all enjoyed the breathtaking London skyline and were able to spot some of the city’s famous sites including the Big Ben and Westminster Abbey.
The next morning started off with a bang. We were fortunate enough to have our amazing tour guide, Liz, to accompany us on our bus tour. Liz taught us all about “classic English humor”, which she incorporated into the tour. We saw many of London’s well-known sites such as the natural history museum, Trafalgar Square, Tower Bridge, and the Original Ritz hotel. The bus tour concluded as we reached the historic Tower of London. We learned that the tower had been around for over 1000 years and it is one of the oldest standing buildings left in London. Next, we were then given the chance to explore the Tower and all of its ancient artifacts including the Crown Jewels.
Later, we went to see one of London’s best musicals: Mamma Mia! Many of our trip members are big ABBA fans but we were all on our feet grooving and having a great time as we danced the night away.
The next morning, we headed to Harrods, the world’s most famous department store. It is said you can buy anything there from a house to an elephant! After, we explored both Trafalgar Square and Carnaby Street. In Trafalgar Square, we watched one of the best street performers we had ever seen, a beatboxer! We then made our way to Piccadilly Circus where we made our own Magnum Ice Cream bars.
The craziest part of the day was when we ran into the actor Andy Buckley in the streets of London. He is well-known for playing David Wallace on the show ‘The Office’. We all got a chance to talk to him and take some photos. He even quoted lines from the show for us! We then ended the night with a game of laser tag.
It was then time to say au revoir to London so we could make our way to the original city of lights: Paris!
When we first arrived in Paris, we made our way to the beautiful and historic Notre Dame. Next, it was time for dinner where we enjoyed a variety of different Parisian foods and we made sure to finish our dinners with crepes, a French classic.
The end of the night was really magical as we took a boat cruise along the River Seine. On the cruise, we took in the breathtaking Parisian architecture and culture as we watched tons of people having picnics and relaxing along the riverside. When the sun went down, we understood why Paris is called the city of lights when we witnessed the Eiffel Tower shimmering across the night sky.
If you want to see where luxury first started, you need to see the Palace of Versailles! We made our way to the original home of Louis XIV where we admired the famous paintings, jewels, and gold. One of the most impressive things about Versailles was the garden. We were all amazed by the beautiful fountains and plants. The garden was so big that you could even take a paddleboat ride in one of the fountains!
Our final day in Paris was a classic French day. We started our day at the Louvre, home to some of the most famous paintings and sculptures in the world, including the Venus De Milo and the Mona Lisa.
Following the museum, we walked along the Champs Elysees – the Rodeo Drive of Paris! We enjoyed a sunny afternoon exploring all of the shops and enjoying more authentic French cuisine. We ended the day by making our way to the iconic Eiffel Tower. As we climbed to the top of the tower, we were amazed to see Paris’ beautiful cityscape.
We’ve had an amazing time in London and Paris but we can’t wait to see what’s waiting for us in Annecy!
Until next time,
The Westcoast Blogger
Do you want to explore London and Paris? Check out our 28-day European Experience teen tour! To browse all of our programs, click here.