So sorry I’ve been neglecting you all! Classes finished on April 5th, and the beginning of my spring break began on the 8th! I had been living the life all semester with no work, and then all at once I had about 6 papers due within the same week! Poor planning on my part…
Anyway, that’s all over and done with and I got to spend my Easter traveling to Paris! It was my very first holiday away from my family, but I’m happy I had my mind occupied by the big and beautiful Eiffel Tower!
We were only in Paris for three days, and the size of the city and amount of things to do there was daunting. But with my obsessive and strategic planning, I think we saw just about everything! We saw the Louvre Museum, the Notre Dame, Sacre Coeur, Moulin Rouge, the famous lock bridge, and of course, the Eiffel Tower.
The Eiffel Tower
The famous lock bridge
Notre Dame Cathedral
We even had time for a night cruise, which was only 12 Euros and we got a coupon from one of those people that harass you on the street—they aren’t all bad! And it was totally worth it… seeing the Eiffel Tower sparkle at night brought tears to my eyes (and not just because it was windy).
Paris at night--the Eiffel Tower from our cruise
On our last day, we took a day trip to Versailles to see the palace, which was gorgeous (and free because we are students!). After touring the magnificent palace, we wandered around the gardens in the back and then rented a canoe on the lake! It was the perfect day.
Versailles from my canoe
The gardens at Versailles
Then I met my friend Jessi, who is studying abroad in Paris (jealous!) and from there we headed to Barcelona! Barcelona was much bigger than I expected and there was much more to see, which was good since we were there for four days. It had such a cool, relaxed vibe there, and seeing palm trees while sitting by the pier was the best feeling!
The architecture there was out of this world, most of it designed by Antoni Gaudi, who I have decided is a total genius. My favorite area where his architecture is showcased is Park Guell. Not only were the buildings beautiful, but also the sights were out of this world! It was definitely worth the hike.
We also hiked up Montjuic and got to see Castell de Montjuic and rode my very first monorail down the mountain afterwards. We went back to relax by the pier and ran into music playing and people salsa dancing in the square! It was such a fun atmosphere… I love running into things that are unplanned!
As you can imagine, the nightlife and the food is amazing in Barcelona as well, clubs on the beach, sangria, paella, tapas… it’s making me hungry reminiscing!
The club on the beach
We then flew into Pisa to see the Leaning Tower of Pisa! It was such a sight to see in real life and it was so funny watching everyone pose with it. I tried myself…
Holding up the Leaning Tower
Later that day we took the train to Florence, where I visited my friends studying abroad there. Florence is so cute and exactly what I would expect from a small Italian city… I loved it! The food is amazing and I love how easily accessible all the sights are. We saw Ponte Vecchio, the Duomo, Palazzo Pitti, and Piazza Michelangelo, which all have spectacular views of the city.
Sweeping view of Florence
Naturally, we had to visit the pizza place where the Jersey Shore worked, and it was actually some of the best pizza I had in Italy! We even got a picture with the boss…
Pizza Boss...Jersey Shore what?
As expected, the gelato was to die for and I am positive I would be twice the size if I studied there myself!
On the last day, we went on a wine tour in Chianti where we saw the Tuscan countryside. Even though it rained the entire day, the views were brilliant and I learned so much about wine and olive oil!
Wine Tour...for research...
We then took another train down to Rome, which was the last leg of my trip. I never thought I would say it, but by this point, I was exhausted and couldn’t wait to be in my own bed in London! Nevertheless, we still had three days, and I wanted to see as much of Rome as we could.
We saw the Trevi Fountain, the Spanish Steps, the Colosseum, and the Roman Forum all in one day!
The Spanish Steps
We then devoted an entire day to St. Peter’s Basilica and the Vatican Museum.
St. Peter's Basilica
When I came to Rome years ago in the 8th grade, I had been unable to go inside the Vatican because of the election of the pope, so I was really excited to get to see it this time. I also got to see the Sistine Chapel, which is too beautiful to describe properly in words! Wish they let us take pictures…
I’m so thankful I was able to travel while studying abroad, and I have definitely made a dent in my bucket list of places to travel!
And as soon as I arrived back in London it hit me… only one week left!!! Where did time go!?
Until next time (where you will read about my mental breakdown and struggles packing, I’m sure…)