I started the abroad of my study abroad a month before the studying part. I arrived in London at the end of July with a full month of traveling before settling down in The Hague and starting classes. On the long lists of places I wanted to visit during my stay in Europe London wasn’t very high but it happened to be where I was flying in, so i spent a few day there. Looking back I’m glad I got the chance to see London, it’s a wonderful city. It was also a great way to start my trip since itâ€™s an English speaking country unlike any of the other places I visited while traveling.
My experience in each city always fits into one of these two categories: Spending 12 hours every day going from site to site trying to see everything even though itâ€™s never possible or leisurely wandering around exploring a city and taking it all in. London was definitely category one. There are so many amazing things to see in London the first thing to do is make a list in order of importance. Me and my travel buddy bought a day ticket to ride one of those red double decker buses that took us to a lot of the sites and allowed us to hop on and off anytime. This really gave us the opportunity to see a lot more, by saving us the time we would have spent lost on the tube system.
In London I went to two great museums, The British Museum and Tate Modern. Also, they were both FREE, that never happens site seeing is expensive. I got to see all of London from up high on the London Eye, which is like a farris wheel but you ride in a big glass bubble that fits about 10 people. It was really beautiful, it was a clear day and I could see the whole city. Big Ben Rang at pm and then it was off Picadilly Circus, which was described as the Time Square of London. It was crowded and exciting, a great way to end the last day in London.
Next I went to Montpellier in the south of France (Louisvilleâ€™s Sister city!) where a friend of mine from UofL was finishing up a work study. This was definitely category two. Montpellier is a small City with tiny streets and stone roads. I stayed in dorm here and met a lot of people from around Europe who were there to improve their French. Not being able to understand or speak French in France makes things pretty difficult. Luckily my friend was fluent and did all the talking.
After four days in Montpellier I traveled up to Paris where my friend was flying out of, and later that day my boyfriend was flying into. I love the use of trains for travel in Europe. Trains in a lot of cases are cheaper, usually less hassle. There are rarely delays, you donâ€™t have to wait in security check, just be on the platform when the train is scheduled to come.
Paris with Jerimy was great. Our hostel was two blocks away from the Moulin Rouge and our first morning together we climbed a giant hill that the Sacre-Coeur sat on top of. The Church was beautiful and enjoyable despite the herds of people. And the view of Paris from that hill was breath taking. There is so much to see in Paris between the Eiffel Tower, Sainte-Chapelle, Notre Dam, the famous cemetery Pere Lachaise, the Catacombs, Musee dâ€™Orsay, Arch de triumph, and dozens of other things that you couldnâ€™t possibly have time to see in 4 days. People complain about going to cities and seeing all the touristy things, people travel across the world to see these sites for a reason, theyâ€™re mind blowing.
By this point I had been travelling for almost 2 weeks. I was living out of only a backpack, staying in hostels, struggling to communicate, walking all day long, getting lost, and loving it.