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A Classic Week in Europe

- Katie S

Europe is the dream destination for many teenagers. Why wouldn’t it be? Teens dream of standing at the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, or seeing gondolas go by out their hotel window. Gratefully, last summer I got to experience this. For one week in July I went with my grandma to Paris, France, and Venice, Italy. We packed all we could into that fun-filled week.

We went during one of the busiest times. In the middle of the summer there are usually a lot of tourists, but that never gets in the way of what you are actually experiencing. The weather is pretty hot so you have to be sure to pack all summer clothes. The first day we landed in Venice, Italy. We got onto a taxi boat with a few other passengers and were dropped off at our hotel, the very famous, Hotel Rialto. It is situated next to the Rialto Bridge, which we could see right out our window. The hotel rooms are very quaint and well decorated. At night it was fun to just stare out the window and see the canal with gondolas and millions of boats and all different kinds of people, local or not, stroll by.

While we were there we bought boat taxi tickets to take you to neighboring islands. On these islands you can go to see old churches and the famous glass-making factories of Italy. My grandma and I went to a glass-making factory. It was really fascinating to see all the work that goes into the beautiful artwork. The island of Mirano was full of glass shops. You can’t leave Italy without buying something made of glass. The second night we were there, we went to another island on the boat taxi to go see an opera. It was entertaining but sometimes hard to understand the music.

Italy also has many restaurants. Since I’m a vegetarian, we found a great vegetarian restaurant called “La Pucca” or “The Pumpkin.” When you go to Italy you have to try their famous gelato. They come in so many flavors and aren’t too big. It makes you realize how overly big American food portions are. My grandma and I had a lot of fun there, but the next day we were headed to Paris, France!

We left to the airport in the morning and flew about an hour and a half to Paris. When we first got there we were running around the city trying to find our hotel because most of the taxis were pretty full (it’s a busy time). We finally found it and settled in for the rest of the week. After that we wandered around the city and went shopping. We had lunch at the top of a big shopping department store. You could see the Eiffel Tower from the top! The next night we actually went to the Eiffel Tower and had dinner in it. When we got there we took some pictures under it. It was pretty amazing. The Eiffel Tower is huge. My grandma and I walked up the stairs to the middle part of it, not the tippy top; we took the elevator from there to the restaurant up top. We were with a group of other people because you have to make reservations for it. The food was very good and the view was awesome. I also tried French coffee, which was the strongest coffee I ever tasted. After dinner, we got to go on a small cruise boat down a river. It was relaxing because you really got to take in your surroundings. From the boat we could also see that the Eiffel Tower had lit up! It was amazing.

A little later during the week, we went to The Louvre. The Louvre is a huge famous museum. Tourists mostly go there to see The Mona Lisa. The Mona Lisa is actually smaller than you think. It is in a glass case and you can’t get very close to it, but you can still take pictures. It is the most popular and crowded painting.

Paris also has a lot of great restaurants. My grandma and I went to quite a few. We had a great rest of the week.

On the last day, we were sad to leave. It was an experience I will never forget. You learn a lot about the world around you and how other people live their daily lives. I would definitely recommend going there if you ever get the chance. If you ever find yourself in Europe, you are in for a huge cultural experience!

View in Venice

The beautiful Eiffel Tower

Art in Venice

The Louvre in Paris

~Katie Slickman




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