Eight countries in 16 days!

The 16 days I spent in Europe last summer have some of the best days of my life ever!! It was a time for me to relax and enjoy my time away from my problems and worries at home and school. The only things I was concerned with was how to say "Where's the bathroom?" in Italian or German. Better yet, try ordering dinner in Switzerland where no one understood a lick of English. Thank goodness for the manager that eventually came out to help translate.

My trip began in Amsterdam, Holland. We then went to Germany, Austria, Italy, Vatican City, Switzerland, France and England. Each place was beautiful and unique in its own way. There was a slight culture shock, but it's always interesting to see how different some people are from me. For example, the there no speed limits in any of Germany's roads. And the cabs were Mercedes-Benzes! Can you believe that?

City of Lights

Paris...what a beautiful and romantic city. I didn't think I would fall in love with Paris, but I did. I can't pinpoint on one particular aspect;maybe it's just everything. I remember standing by the Seine River, waiting for our bus to pick us up, and I saw a couple walking down there right by the river. For some odd reason, it gave me a sense of peace of some sorts. I also remember going up to La Sacré Coeur, and we met a couple from the United States who were on their two-week honeymoon. That's when I knew I wanted to come back for my honeymoon, too. And when I reached the top of the hill and had a tremendous view of Paris, it just took my breath away.

Wine and gondolas

Venice was also one of my favorite cities. I never thought in a million years that I would get a chance to ride on a gondola. I've seen them on movies, like in Only You, and only dreamed about it.

Venice is also another romantic city. The rivers and canals made it a very unique place. I loved the 45-minute gondola ride around the city. I felt like I was in one of Madonna's old music videos. I remember drinking wine with my friends, and we were singing all kinds of songs on the top of our lungs.

Venice is truly and definitely in a league of its own.

I finally saw snow!!

Of course, there was no way I was going to travel through Europe without seeing the magnificent Swiss Alps. The best thing about it was that you didn't have to exactly be in Switzerland to see it. You could see it in Germany, Austria and in northern Italy. I also got my first chance to see and touch snow. I've seen it from a distance once in Canada. But our bus driver took us up where there was snow. I thought that was pretty cool!

Switzerland is an absolutely lovely country. I could feel peace and serenity the minute I stepped foot to the country. We visited two cities: Lugano and Lucerne.

Lugano is somewhat of a millionaires retreat. So it was no surprise to see al those fancy and expensive vehicles driving around. I think the least expensive car I saw there was a Honda Civic!

Lucerne was also another beautiful place. There were many watch shops, and I also bought a Swiss Military watch for myself, too! Nice gift, right? We took a hike somewhere in the Swiss Alps, which was quite tiring.

For more great information about Europe, check out these web sites:

European Tourist Information Center
Let's Roam Italy
Welcome to Innsbruck, Austria
The London Net

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