Majestic Europe

Here I am in Paris!

The 5 days I spent in Paris was probably my favorite time in Europe. It was a time for solo reflection and doing things entirely on my own terms. The bus stopped outside a Parisian terminal at the crack of dawn. Through my groggy state of little sleep from the bumpy overnight ride from Amsterdam, I managed to drag my luggage out. I could barely see out of my extremely dry contact lenses, and I remember a stranger asking me in indecipherable French, then shrugging to walk off. Disorientated and badly in need of sleep, I vaguely remembered the exit ‘sortie’ sign, and headed out into the freezing cold. Lamps glowed in the foggy morning, the street was quickly deserted, and I had no clue where I was. Out of sheer luck, a bus labeled ‘Le Louvre’ stopped nearby, and I quickly hopped on. After asking 4 different café owners, I finally found my hostel. Their 2:30pm check in policy meant that I had to curl up on the narrow couch in the luggage storage compartment, exhausted, I slept.
So began my solo adventure in Paris.

The queue to go up Notre Dame was long, but worth the wait. I’ve always wanted to photograph that Gargoyle shot overlooking this amazing beautiful city.

A friend suggested that I visit Versailles, I’m glad I did.

Champs EllyséeThe Louve at nightJettaine ParisSelf portrait, behind me are my new found friends and the Eiffle Tower
Paris is magnificent at night. We watched the sky change color as the Eiffel tower slowly glowed brighter like a glittering jewel in the night sky. I took this photos whilst eating French crepes with my 2 newly acquainted Korean friends listening to my ipod. I could not believe my eyes when a shooting star moved across the sky.

Of course I made a wish.:)Paris is one of the most romantic cities I’ve visited. There were honeymooners everywhere. *nudges to all the would-be newly weds reading this post;)*

Paris: City of LightThe ‘Catacombs’ was a ‘highly recommended’ spot to visit, according to a friend. After meandering through cold dim underground tunnels surrounded by endless rows of skulls-for 1 hour ALONE, I beg to differ.Palais Garnier: Home to Phantom of the Opera

London

Arriving at London in the early morning mist boarding the 6am train, I could easily picture myself back home in Melbourne, the view outside, the gray sky, the people were all surprisingly familiar.

As I explored further in the ensuing days, I would describe London as Melbourne on steroids. It’s a magnified version, grander, busier, older, dirtier and crammed with too many tourists on their summer vacations speaking their indecipherable European tongues. As my first ever introduction to Europe, the architecture, culture, history and sculptures took my breath away. Landmarks such as the Westminster Abbey made me marvel at the ingenuity and beauty that mankind is able to create. It was all the more jaw dropping, imagining the momentous difficulty faced in ancient times to build such magnificent, large scale projects, some of which took centuries to complete.

BarcelonaOverlooking the Mediterranean SeaMonacoIn front of Monte Carlo CasinoVatican City

Venice

Ok, I just HAD to include this touristy pic of me kissing the Leaning Tower of Pisa;)It was a sad day when we toured a Nazi concentration camp in Germany. I took this picture outside the crematorium. Just a random snap shot of German citizens when I stepped off the bus in Munich. They must have really liked my camera LisaSwiss AlpsReminds me of a Cadbury chocolate commercialGuess what? A cow licked my arm, and I have photos to prove it! I guess he likes me, hehe.
Travel life has the essence of a dream.
It is something outside the normal,
yet you are in it.
It is peopled with characters you have never seen before
and in all probability will never see again.
It brings occasional homesickness, and loneliness,
and pangs of longings…
But you are like the vikings who have gone into a world of adventure,

and home is not home until you return.


Below: me against the Swiss Alps