Friday, August 12, 2011

All good things must come to a close

Bonjour!  As I sit in the airport in Paris, I am reflecting on my past week that I spent doing some additional traveling after studying in Italy.  Very last minute, my wonderful mother decided that she wanted to fly out and join me on my travels!  After I packed up all my things from my apartment and said goodbye to Torino, I took a four and a half hour train to Zurich, Switzerland.  Switzerland is a country I have always wanted to travel to and I was not disappointed.  Everything I ever pictured, lush green hills, small dark wooden houses, beautiful small bodies of water, it was all true.  Even the train ride was beautiful.  I passed small waterfalls and babbling brooks, it was almost unreal.  Upon meeting my mother the two of us had a hotel for two nights right across from the station in Zurich, and we ventured out to do some exploring.
A rainbow from the train!
          A mere 45 minute train ride away is the Swiss city, Lucerne.  My mom and I took a day trip to Lucerne and saw some sites as well as took a mini trolley tour.  As Swiss chocolate is world famous, we of course had to try some, and were not disappointed.  We also walked along an original castle wall to three castle towers, all built in the 1300's.  Our day was leisurely, yet filled with new things to see.  Of course having the Swiss Alps as our backdrop was nothing short of exciting.

Selection of Swiss Chocolates

          After Switzerland, my mother and I took another train to Paris, France which is the last stop of my European adventures.  For the last three days, my mom and I have seen the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triumphe, The Louvre, and everything in between! (Or so it may have seemed)  The Eiffel Tower is magnificent.  It is one of those iconic buildings that no matter how many times you see, or how many different distances or angles you see it from, it never ceases to amaze.  And as for the Louvre, well you could spend days in there, but the museum is fantastic, and filled with so many beautiful works of art.  Other highlights include a dinner and show at the world famous Moulin Rouge!!  That was an extra special treat.  The costumes alone were worth going for, in addition to the amazing production and delicious food and champagne served.
          And now my trip has come to a close.  I am sitting at the Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris, reflecting on my previous week of traveling after over a month already in Europe, and I can't help but to think that there was no better way to spend my summer.  I learned, discovered, and witnessed so much history and culture.  I am so fortunate to have had this opportunity, and it is one I will never forget.  But now that I am given the chance to return to Philadelphia, back to my family and friends, there is one thing I must admit: there's no place like home.

The Eiffel Tower
The Palace of Versailles 
The Louvre

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