11.23.2013 - 11.30.2013
Why do we travel? A question asked by many but answered by few. For the mass majority, by the time the plane hits the runway at their destination airport, their day-to-day schedules are perfectly planned out. Evidently, planning is very important but why not stop and smell the flowers and really soak in the heart and soul of your destination. I have recently embarked on a week-long journey to Paris, France and Rome, Italy. Upon my arrival in Paris, I was not dawned with a good impression both from the public, and their appearance. That soon changed after visiting Versaille where we walked through their renowned chateau. Upon returning to our hotel, Astoria Opera, I felt that I had gained a basic, yet rare in tourists, knowledge of the city enabling me to find my way around and enjoy the city at the same time. The next day, I visited the Louvre whereI finally got to see the famous Mona Lisa that stares at you at all angles (except when you stand behind it) and Hammurabi's code. I also traveled to the famous lock bridge in Paris where mom leniently gave up her "expensive" lock which we hung forever on the bridge. Maybe one day I will come back and it will still be there. The next day I took the Metropolitan to Sacre-Quer, the whipped-cream colored castle with many steps. During my stay, one of the several highlights was Notre-Dame, where we climbed to the top and stood listening to the ear-piercing dings of the bells in the tower. Another, was our trip into the underground catacombs where I was able to touch human skulls and bones (YAY!) of those who died from infectious diseases. Our flight to Rome was a short yet pleasant one. Upon arrival into Rome, we bought tickets to the interesting hop on-hop off bus tour, and rode around the city. On the next day, I visited the Colosseum and imagined how the gladiator fought in the old days. I also went to the forum and thought about how different the social lives of the Romans were from ours today.