"the trusted voice of teens who travel"
August 27th, 2014
Going to Paris has been on my bucket list my entire life, and as my love for British celebrities increased, England also rose high on the list of places I wanted to visit. I was lucky enough to visit both of these places when my high school hosted a trip to France and England. Three of my best friends and I all signed up for the trip and this July we got to experience the trip of a lifetime.
The trip was 10 days long and included London, Canterbury, St Malo, and ended in Paris, and if I had to choose one word to describe all these very different cities it would be pretty, each location was gorgeous. Coming from the New York City area I was expecting London and Paris to resemble New York, but the European cities were just so much prettier, they were built up like New York with the same amount energy, and lights and traffic, but the old buildings and amazing architecture made the cities so much lovelier, and much more instagram worthy! The best example of this was at Piccadilly Circus which is the London equivalent of Time Square, and a must see spot while in London. It was a busy center of town filled with shops, restaurants and action, but all of the old buildings added a softer touch to the city.
If you weren’t already sure, the London Eye is one of the best things in London, the views that can be seen from the top of the wheel are well worth the hype, and doing it in the early evening, as the sun goes down is recommended, as it is the perfect lighting to see the incredible views.
While they may be lesser known, Canterbury in England and St. Malo in France are also gorgeous towns. Although I was in Canterbury on a rainy Sunday morning the small town was still eye catching. The stone buildings and narrow streets made for the most picturesque shopping and the Canterbury chapel was one of my favorites chapels that I saw on the trip, and I saw a lot of chapels. After Canterbury we headed to the beautiful St. Malo, which was my favorite city on the trip. St Malo is a fortified city on the French side of the English Channel. The whole city looked like a castle. It had cobble stone streets and stone buildings. A large wall surrounded the whole town! It was a small town but it had a crêpe shop on every corner and was flooded with cute cafes and stores; it captured everything you would picture about a small French City. The best part however was the waterfront. The water was some of the bluest water I had ever seen and the way it splashed over the rocky shores was something out of a post card. Jetting off of the water was a high rock, and at low tide could be climbed up. After dinner my friends and I ventured up the rock and the views from the top were worth the hike. Being able to look out at the water and the city from outside the wall was breathtaking. Be carful of your time however, because once high tide comes water surrounds the rock and separates it from the shore, requiring a boat to get back to the main land!
Last but not least was Paris! Paris was everything I imagined it to be, with streets filled with designer stores and tons of coffee shops, and of course the Eiffel Tower, which was beautiful, and much larger, than I had imagined, even though I did not get the chance to walk to the top it was still beautiful from the ground. My favorite thing in Paris was the Seine river cruise, a beautiful boat cruise down the Seine River that passed by many Parisian sights. Seeing the city from the water was so relaxing. We took the 9-10 pm cruise which was perfect, we rode down the river as the sun set so we got to see all the sights in the daylight as well as lit up at night. Watching the lights of the Eiffel Tower flick on at nightfall was spectacular, and it really is worth seeing the tower both during the day and at night.
Now who could forget about the food, since I was with a tour group my main meals were unfortunately nothing too fantastic, but the desserts were to die for. The two days we spent in St. Malo we sampled several different creperies. We tasted different kinds of crepes, baguettes, beignets, croissants, even the ice cream was amazing! Having Nutella whenever possible is a must while in France, and St. Malo wins the award for best dessert places. But while in Paris make sure to stop at the famous Laduree Macaroon shop, because although a little pricy, the macaroons are top notch, and the adorable packaging makes it all worth it!
Seeing Europe was such an amazing experience, seeing the different culture, and all the sights and trying the food, really opened my eyes. I had such an amazing time and it makes me want to spend some time studying abroad in Europe when I’m in college. I will definitely make a point to return to Europe in the future!