• Christian Grotewold

European Dreams


It was a dream come true. I had never been to Europe, so when the opportunity came up I did not even think twice about booking my flight. If you are looking for a cheap getaway, then I recommend looking into WOW Air plane tickets; they range from $300 to $400 for a round-trip.

The first day consisted of doing the classic tourist things: going to the Eiffel Tower and the Arch of Triumph, along with visiting the Opera Garnier. I was blown away by how beautiful these monuments were, particularly the Opera Garnier. This Opera is where the inspiration behind Phantom of the Opera came from, and you can bet I was excited to see Box 5. What impressed me the most was the Grand Foyer of the Opera, it reminded me a lot of the ballroom from Beauty and the Beast.

The second day, I went to Brugge in Belgium and walked all over the main plaza which just so happened to have a beer garden that day. I am not a huge beer drinker, but they did have some hard cider which I definitely tried and recommend. The brand I liked the most was called Delirium and its symbol is a pink elephant.

Of course I was not going to leave Belgium without having one of the things they are famously known for, a Belgium Waffle. Let me tell you, I have tried my fare share of waffles, but nothing beats the original.

The following night, my family and I went to see a show at the Moulin Rouge. I have been a huge fan of the movie since it came out, so going to see a show was one of the musts on my list for Paris. The sets and the costumes were spectacular, and each number was better than the previous one.

The following day I went to Chateau de Versailles. This palace is HUGE. The land covered by the palace is so big that there are other smaller palaces in there, particularly Marie Antoinette's residence... which was very pink. Seeing Chateau de Versailles and how royalty used to live really makes you sympathize with the townspeople of the time.

All I could think of while walking through Marie Antoinette's residence was her famous line when she got told that her people could not afford bread... "let them eat cake".

Everyone's favorite area of the main palace is the Hall of Mirrors, but when I walked through there it was so crowded that it really was hard to appreciate the beauty. So instead, I am choosing another room from the palace to be my favorite, The Royal Chapel.

I finished my day by going to the famous Cathedral of Notre Dame and, just like you guessed it, being the huge fan I am of The Hunchback of Notre Dame movie, I just had to take a picture that was gypsy inspired. Inside is absolutely beautiful, and it is bigger than I expected too.

The next day I went to perhaps my favorite spot of all of France, Mont Saint Michele. My heart stopped when I first caught sight of it, I felt like I was going to Hogwarts! At first I thought that it was a castle, but it turns out that Mont Saint Michele is actually a church, a still full functioning one. At the bottom of the hill you will find a marketplace filled with gift shops and restaurants, even this place looked like something out of the Harry Potter world.

Once at the top, you could see the entire scenery and it was breathtaking. Also, the very tip of the church is a sculpture of Michael the Archangel and this church is considered to be the gates to heaven. The feeling you get up there definitely is heavenly and special. Something happened to me up there, something clicked in me.

If you ever travel to France, Mont Saint Michele is a place you absolutely have to go to. Trust me, you will not regret it.

The following day I went to the Louvre Museum and my main purpose was to see... The Mona Lisa! She had a wall all to herself and was extremely crowded, but I still managed to appreciate that smile of hers. You can also rest assured that I snapped some pictures of the art with funny captions to go along with them.

Later that day I went to Montmarte, which is a large hill in Paris that overlooks the entire city. At the top of the hill is the Basilica Sacre-Coeur. Inside is absolutely beautify, and I liked it more than Notre Dame.

My final stop for the day was the famous Cafe de Flore. Although it is a little more expensive than most places, the coffee and pastries proved to be worth the price.

On Friday I was on my way to London for the weekend. Once there the first thing I absolutely had to do was go see Platform 9 3/4. It felt amazing being in the city where Harry Potter begins. Once that was done, I went to see the Big Ben and the London Eye. That night I was able to try the European night life. I went to this club called Libertine, and due to the amazing talents of my friends and her promoter, we were able to be in the VIP section and had free alcohol.

The second day in London I went to Soho and to Leicester Square (which is the Times Square of London). Once in the square my first stop was the Harry Potter and the Cursed Child theatre. I wish I had been able to see the play, but it is absolutely sold out.

That night I also went to get a creme brulee doughnut at the famous Crosstown Doughnuts, it was delicious! And finished my night with some shopping in Oxford Street.

The next day it was back to Paris, it was my last day in Europe. For this day I went to La Defense, which is a more modern are in Paris with a very futuristic version of the Arch of Triumph.

My European travels were more than I could have dreamed of. Thank you to my family that helped me make this trip possible, and to my friends who put up with me and my endless desire to get the perfect pictures. Til next time!

#travel #paris #france #brugge #belgium #eiffeltower #operagarnier #wanderinglion #wowair #chateaudeversailles #moulinrouge #notredame #montsaintmichele #hogwarts #harrypotter #museum #louvre #montmarte #cafedeflore #libertine #crosstowndoughnuts

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