Bonjour: One Girl’s Jaunt Through Europe

Some girl who went to Europe, Contributing Writer

For the past two weeks I’ve been trekking across England and France with my family. It’s been a whirlwind of exhaustion, excitement, and just the general wow factor. Here is an account of my trip of a lifetime.

First off, we flew into London after an eight-hour flight (groan) at around 10 in the morning London time. To fight off jet lag, we took a train into the nearby city of Bath, filled with honey-colored Georgian houses, cute little shops, and a general feeling of cheeriness. It was gorgeous.

Down the typical street in Bath

While in Bath, we took a day tour on a bus through some pretty little English villages. We were gone mostly all day, from around noon to 7 at night. We saw some beautiful places, churches, markets, old stone houses, swans…it was all wonderful.

A pretty stone bridge

(There was this adorable cat walking around in one village, and I managed to get this shot)

(Ignore the fact I look like I’m falling asleep in this picture )
In this one village, we drove up to a church with actual bullet holes in the wall from soldiers in the English Civil War.
That was so cool. There are just historical monuments like this EVERYWHERE.
On our last two days in Bath, we explored the city as much as we could. We found all kinds of street performers everywhere, including several singers.

There was this one man who made his own bubble net and was blowing giant bubbles. They were practically my size (Unfortunately I didn’t get a picture of those, because they popped very quickly).

We also went into the Bath Abbey, which was magnificent.

Bath is called bath because it’s built on top of an Ancient Roman bathhouse. I even got to go inside, walking the very (uneven and slippery) cobblestones that people have been walking for the past three thousand years.

After Bath, we headed into London. Oh my, London…

I have been dreaming of London since I was a little kid, partly in thanks to my obsession with Disney’s Peter Pan. Big Ben chiming, the old-time magic…that, and I also have a passionate interest in history.
London was amazing, by the way. The first thing we did was look in the National Gallery/National Portrait Gallery, and looked at a lot of famous paintings, including some Monet masterpieces.

(Monet piece)

(Turner piece)

Our second day in London, and we went to the British museum. My favorite was the Ancient Egypt collection. I freaked out. I’m a bit of an Egyptian nut, and I consider myself a little of an expert. There was all this amazing stuff I’d heard about, read about, seen pictures of for years. And it was all right there!

(This is the Rosetta Stone. Carved on it are three different languages; Egyptian hieroglyphics, a blend of Greek and Egyptian, and regular Greek They all seemed to convey the same message, and this is how the long-lost code of Egyptian hieroglyphics was finally solved).

(They had an actual moai statue from Easter Island!)

(This is one of the helmets in the Sutton Hoo treasure, a medieval treasure hoard long ago buried underground).

We also went to a Shakespeare play at the GLOBE THEATRE (AAAAAH ).

We saw the Merchant of Venice. That was amazing.

We also went to the Tower of London; home of execution, imprisonment, jewels, and all-around drama and history.

We finally saw Big Ben! I was so happy I was literally crying…!

Paris was much more crowded and had more thieves than I expected. But it was still wonderful. We went into the Louvre, and I stood about three feet away from the Mona Lisa!
We saw lots of other beautiful things too.

We went into Notre Dame as well. It was dark, filled with chapels, and BEAUTIFUL.

And of course, we saw the Eiffel Tower.

We had some great food in Paris; from the carbonara in an Italian place to sneaking some groceries upstairs to eat in our hotel room.
And believe me; the rumor that the French have great bread? 100% true. Mmm.
Mom and I went to the palace of Versailles, which was beautiful. The gardens were massive; they seemed to stretch out for miles, until the very end of your vision.

We have seen so many amazing things in Europe; from the cool glamour of Paris to the elegance of Bath to the lively, friendly cheeriness of London. It was a magical two weeks, and I hope to go back someday very soon.