This past weekend I had the opportunity to travel to the city of lights- Paris. I was absolutely blown away by the architecture, food, and the rich history of this city. All of the buildings and restaurants we encountered had a sense of elegance about them that I haven’t experienced before. On our trip we were able to visit The Eiffel Tower, The Palace of Versailles, The Arc De Triumph, The Louvre, and Notre Dame. I was absolutely blown away by all of these amazing monuments and the significance they have in history. My favorite thing that we did in Paris would have to be walking around the gardens at Versailles. They were maintained better than any other garden I have seen in my life. Also, I was in awe about the sheer size of the gardens and The Palace of Versailles.
Having traveled to London earlier in our trip I was able to contrast these two well known cities in Western Europe. Analyzing my two experiences I found that it is actually quite hard to compare them. London had a sort of ‘posh’ tone to it where I found Paris to have a ‘dainty elegance’. The architecture of the two cities was what stood out to me most. Paris had great detail in almost all of their buildings in the city that we saw, where London had an old sturdiness and classy appearance to their buildings. A challenge that Paris posed for myself was definitely the language barrier as well. I believe we would have had a different experience if there was no language barrier. Even though it would have made communicating with the local people easier, I would have never gotten a chance to be exposed to a country whose primary language is different than English. Another noticeable aspect to my travels between the two cities was the amount of security that the two cities had because of the recent tragic events that occurred in them. Both cities had heightened security, but Paris had more noticeable security that was ‘in your face’. They had soldiers with large automatic weapons walking around all of the tourist sights to make sure they were secure. Another thing they always do is check bags everywhere we went. Although London had tightened security as well it was more subtle.
Having also traveled to Reykjavik, Iceland during my time in Europe, I think it’s only fair that I try to compare that to my trips to Paris and London as well. Although nothing like London and Paris, Iceland was still a great trip to experience and probably my favorite out of the three places I visited. In Iceland we had the opportunity to see some of the natural beauties of Europe. There weren’t any crowds in Iceland, no crime, and although it didn’t have the same ‘elegance’ as Paris, Reykjavik had many charming qualities about it. I believe that traveling to these three places has given me an idea about where I like traveling most. Experiencing cities with their diverse cultural appeal is something that is extremely special in its own way, but there is just something about traveling to a country that has absolutely stunning natural wonders that I treasure the most. I have realized about myself that I prefer taking a relaxing trip, and preferably one that takes place in nature. I definitely am not one for crowds and being rushed around a fast paced city. This being said I wouldn’t have traded my experiences in London or Paris for anything, in fact I couldn’t be happier I went because it helped me realize this about myself, and for that I am actually grateful.