Ever since I was a little girl I dreamed about traveling overseas. Strange lands, exciting places, and new cultures have always fascinated me. I’ve always wondered what it would be like to speak another language, to grow up learning different customs, or to live in a completely different way than I do now. This past summer my dream finally came true. I got to travel to England, France, Switzerland, and Germany with Mme. Kelly and five other girls, and suddenly the world was at my fingertips.
England’s green hills and city life is unforgettable. Kensington, Westminster Abby, and Piccadelli Circus are just a few parts of London full of historic cathedrals, quaint little cafes, and amazing shopping places. Harrods, where the royal family shops, supposedly sales any and everything. My favorite experience in London was riding The Underground to see the broadway play Fosse and watching the changing of the guards at Buckingham Palace. England overall isn’t too different from the States.
The same language is spoken and their currency, the pound, is very similar to an U.S. dollar. However, driving on the left side of the road is hard to get use to. The Eiffel Tower, The Arc de Triomphe, The Lourve, The obelisk, La Place de la Concorde, and Notre Dame are all located in the heart of Paris, France. Paris with its French cuisine, romantic atmosphere and historical self-being fills you with a sense of complete contentment.
I’ll never forget sitting at a French cafe, eating a baguette, drinking mineral water, and watching the Parisians walk by. Paris’s metro system makes going anywhere a fast and easy trip. With my knowledge of the French language and an idea about French life I came to love Paris. There’s only one word to describe Switzerland and Germany, and that’s beautiful.
Quite the contrary to what I expected, both countries turned out to be extremely clean. There are not as many tourist attractions but the scenery alone is enough to keep you engaged. In Lucerne, Switzerland we went up Mt. Pilatus, tasted fine Swiss chocolate, browsed the famous coo coo clocks, and even got to attend a folk dinner. At the dinner we ate and drank while people serenaded us singing, dancing, and playing Swiss folk instruments. We didn’t spend very much time in Germany, but we managed the time we did have well.
Some of my fondest memories there were eating what Germany happens to be known for, it’s sauerkraut and sausage, visiting Reims castle, and going to the Heidelburg disco tech (a nightclub type place). After then fabulous days touring the four countries it was time to return to the U.S. I had made so many new friends, saw so many new things, and had so much fun. Going to Europe completely changed the way I looked at the world.
I now respect different cultures. I never imagined how different the world outside my own in the U.S. really was. My adventure this summer has left me wondering what the rest of the world is like. There’s so much I’ve never seen. It’s a great big world and I can’t wait to explore it.