Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Travel Journal: Europe 2005

From June 28 2005 to July 29 2005

Countries visited: (9) England, Wales, France, Monaco, Italy, Vatican City, Germany, Netherlands

Before I started my trip I wrote down important info in the first pages of the book. The hotel name and address, phone numbers of my family, embassy info, all the fun stuff. Before visiting cities I would look in my guide book for info and write down prices and directions of places to visit.

I landed in London and started to make my way to Wales to visit my grandfather's side of the family. London to Reading to Swansea to Carmarthen all by myself; first time on a train. I was picked up and spent a day with one set of cousins before going to stay with other cousins in Cardigan. I spent 9 days in Wales. It was amazing!
A train pass and chocolate coin wrapper from St. David's Cathedral.

While in Wales I watched part of the Live 8 concert... and the news of London bombs. The day before I left for London there was terrorist attacks. When I got to London I had to pass through police tape to reach my hotel. Good first impression of the city, huh?

From London I joined my Contiki tour group for our whirlwind tour. I played tour guide in Paris, saw a burlesque show, saw the Mona Lisa, danced on the bridge of Avignon, relaxed on the beach, visited a perfumery, and visited tiny Monaco.

Next stop was Italy: the Leaning Tower, the Colosseum, got lost in Rome at night, Vatican City, Pantheon, and visited a lace school. I figure it's it not a real holiday if I haven't been lost a couple times.

Tickets from: Italian bathroom , bridge of Avignon, and Vatican City
In Germany we visited Dachau (a concentration camp), sat along the Rhine, visited a teddy bear shop.

Amsterdam was next. We stopped at a cheese and clog factory before hitting up the Red light District for a quick tour (and a show!). The next day I went to Anne Frank's house, and wandered around the city... lost.

Back to London to end the tour. I spent a few more days in the city before it drove me crazy and I escaped to Stratford-on-Avon.

I loved that town. The sidewalks had words on them in spots, the Teddy Bear Museum was stuffed (ha!) full, and of course there was Shakespeare's house.
Horrible picture of pictures: Teddy Bear Museum and sidewalk

I had decided that I was homesick earlier and asked to come earlier than my original 2 month plan. I remember it as an amazing and life changing trip but it's funny, reading back on my notes I talk about not wanting to travel any more and going home. I can't imagine not having gone on this trip.

Things I put in my journal:

  • Chocolate coin wrapper
  • Train tickets
  • Entrance/admission tickets
  • List of pictures taken (sadly most of my film didn't make it to print)
  • Facts about places visited
  • Toilet fee/entrance tickets
  • I also brought home a handful of brochures but they're in my photo albulm

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