Author: marion owen
Date of Trip: May 2014
Europe Here We Come!
In May of 2014 my daughter (51), grand-daughter (19) and me (71) took off on a grand adventure- Our first trip to Europe! For various health reasons, we decided to plan and travel on our own instead of trying to keep up with a tour group. I spent months researching sights,travel guides (we liked Rick Steves travel books), hotels,transportation and languages. We decided to go for the Big Three London, Paris and Rome.
We flew for about 10 hours overnight from Tennessee to Charlotte NC to London.
It was a nice flight ,economy a little tight leg wise but no problems at airports. Watching movies made time pass quickly, too exited to sleep! Arrived London 8:00 in morning, Heathrow airport is huge and long lines checking passports. We stayed at a great hotel the Park Plaza Westminster Bridge with a view of the bridge, Parliment, Big Ben and the London Eye.(We are not rich but splurged on hotels close to sights, safer areas, being three ladies. We loved London to our surprise, it was our favorite! We toured Harry Potter movie studios, Rock and Roll and Beatles haunts, Kensington Palace, had high tea, saw The Phantom of the Opera at its original theater and Buckingham Palace. We want to go back ,as four days was not enough time.
Next we took the super fast train to Paris, under the English Channel, really neat trip. Hotel in Paris was walking distance to Eiffel Tower, but expensive and small rooms and unfriendly, Mercure Paris Centre Tour Eiffel Hotel. The Pullman next door looked better,we ate at their restaurant serveral times. Paris is known for pick-pockets so beware.Buy travel purses or wallets before going. Art museums and sights lovely, Versailles a great day trip, very big and crowded but worth it. The Moulon Rougue show was very good. We stayed three days then took a very reasonable fight to Rome.
In Rome we stayed up on a hill overlooking the city with a beautiful view at the Waldorf Astoria, again it was worth every penny! Took Dark Tours tour to Vatican and St Peters and had a wonderful guide. She held my hand at times if I had trouble keeping up. We went on our own on Wednesday to see the Pope speak, he was inspiring. We scheduled a tour of inside the Collosium but that guide (Viator tours) took off so fast we gave up! You can walk around outside free anyway. Rome was dirty and people try to get money out of you but sights are wonderful. We stayed three daysbut loved getting back to our hoteleach night and ate out by the pool the buffet breakfast was fabulous. In all 3 cities we used taxis or buses, as we are not used to subways.
This trip was a lifelong dream and to take it with my daughter and grand-daughter made memories to last forever for all of us. All I can say is do it!