Travelling is an amazing experience and something I believe everyone should do in their lives. This time around, we visited Paris, Germany, Denmark and London the week of the Brexit vote, which was a really unique way of seeing London. Both sides were out in force, passing out stickers and literature on their side of the vote. We even collected a couple newspapers before and after the vote as a memento of such a historical moment in world history. No matter what side you may agree with, it was definitely very cool to be in the UK and the EU during such world changing vote.
On a lighter note, we had a blast exploring London and the surrounding area. It was my boyfriend's first time in London, so I got to play tour guide! On our first night in town, I made it my mission to show him Big Ben all lit up. After meeting up with his family for dinner I told him we needed to make a pit stop. Jet lagged and completely turned around on the tube, he had no clue where we were heading. Getting off at the Westminster stop, we made it halfway up the stairs when my boyfriend froze mid-step and a huge smile spread across his face.
Parliament was a few feet ahead of us and he couldn't get his phone out fast enough to take pictures. We've been talking about visiting London together basically since we starting dating so it was a surreal moment. To top off the night, while we were taking pictures, the clock struck ten and Big Ben chimed in the hour. It was the perfect way to kick off our trip!
It's hard to pick a favorite moment while we were in the UK, but our trip to Stonehenge definitely makes the top of the list. Stonehenge is always beautiful and I've been before, but this time we got an extra special treat. Our tour was scheduled for the day after the summer solstice and when we arrived at the stones, there was a Celtic/Druid Ceremony taking place right in the middle of the standing circle!
Being from Los Angeles, my first thought was to look for the camera crew, but to my surprise the only cameras in the vicinity belonged to tourists like myself. We were all awestruck by the ceremony taking place and having the opportunity to be a part of something so unique. As a writer I knew I'd struck a gold mine and possibly the opening to a new book. See, this is the reason I love to travel so much! You get to see and experience the world in a way that you can't sitting behind a computer.
I could go on and on about our week in London but really I should move it along, I do have three more countries to talk about. The next being Denmark! First and foremost, what a beautiful country. When we landed, we weren't sure what to expect since we didn't speak the language, but we were able to get around and explore the city without any major hiccups. On our first full day, we made our way over to Rosenborg Castle and it was stunning. It was unlike any other castle I've ever seen before. Everything was wood and very dark, which I guess makes sense if you're trying to keep the heat in. Each room was decorated with art, historical artifacts and beautiful paintings.
The crown jewels and Ivory carvings were out of this world. Now, I've seen the crown jewels housed at the Tower of London but these definitely give the Queen a run for her money. The picture below doesn't do the crowns justice because they sparkled like a thousand diamonds! And the blue gem on the front stuck out about an inch from the crown! If you're in Copenhagen, I definitely recommend checking out the castle, it was a very rewarding and culturally enriching experience. Both my boyfriend and I were blown away by Denmark's history and can't wait to learn more.
With the educational part of our day done, we decided to walk through the city to The Little Mermaid! I know, I know, it's cliché, but I've always wanted to see her in real life. Ever since I was a little girl, The Little Mermaid has been my favorite Disney Movie. When I grew up and VHS went out of style, my mom went out and got me the DVD so I could still watch it from time to time, which I do! Now, it was a tourist nightmare and there were a ton of people all taking turns, hopping across rocks to get their picture. But it was totally worth it, if you're a fan of Hans Christian Anderson or The Little Mermaid. It was definitely a highlight for me and I'm so glad that I finally got to see her.
Whenever I travel, people always ask how I decide on a place to visit. Sometimes it's random or a place I've read about, but this time it was Paul McCartney that drew me to Denmark. I've been wanting to see Paul live for years now but tickets always sold out quickly, or he hasn't been anywhere near me. So when he announced that he'd be touring Europe around my 30th birthday, I knew we had to see him. Little did I know we would have to drive across the entire country of Denmark to get to him, but it was more than worth it! He's an incredible performer and played music from his entire career, which was such a treat since I do like Wings and some of his solo work. I'll cherish every moment of his concert and even left with a few happy tears. It was hands down one of the most energetic and fun shows I've ever been too and one of the best nights of my life.
Ending on such a high note in Copenhagen I wasn't sure the rest of the trip would be able to compete, but it did. Germany was so much fun and exceeded my expectations by leaps and bounds. Being crazy and adventurous, we decided to drive from Frankfurt to Munich on the autobahn. We pushed our little rental car to the max and still cars were flying by us at warp speed! Within minutes of driving around Germany, both my boyfriend and I fell in love with the lush landscape.
On our first full day in Munich, we decided to take a tour to Neuschwanstein Castle. The only word I have to describe the Bavaria region is, breathtaking.
The tour that we booked included a bike ride through the area, ending at Swan lake where we took a frigid dip. I felt like I was in the sound of music, the wind blowing through my dress as I rode my little beach cruiser past the castle nestled high above. How does it get any better? As a creative person, being around so much beauty and experiencing something that unique, really gets the creative juices flowing. Had we not been on a schedule, I would have plopped down in the middle of the field pictured to the right and wrote in my journal for hours.
The castle was beautiful as well and we did get to take a tour inside, but honestly the bike ride and swimming in the lake was the highlight for me. So many people visit the castle and take the same guided tour, but only a handful get to experience Bavaria the way we did and I truly wouldn't trade it for anything in the world. Taking time to enjoy nature and getting out of the hustle and bustle of the city was a nice treat. I can't wait to go back and explore more of Germany now that I know how truly amazing it is.
Moving on to Paris, which is always a unique experience in and of itself. I've been once before and while it's a beautiful city, I wasn't the biggest fan. Granted, there were extenuating circumstances that made my first tip unpleasant, cancelled flights and a giant train fare that had me reeling for months after the fact. So, I decided to give the city of love and light another shot and I'm glad that I did.
We had a great time and really enjoyed exploring the city. The rest of our trip was crazy busy, but when we got to Paris we decided to take it easy. Every morning we woke up with a view of the Eiffel Tower and fell asleep watching it sparkle against the Parisian sky.
Doing our tourist duty, we made our way to the Eiffel tower and took the stairs up to the second platform. As my boyfriend would say, "we're just trying to get cute for summer." Before heading up to the summit, we blew bubbles and took a million photos of the view. Paris is a huge city, something our feet learned fist hand.
Anyway, all in all we had a great time in Paris, but honestly, the best part was meeting up with friends while we were there. We met up with a producer friend of my boyfriend and his girlfriend for an amazing lunch in the heart of Paris. Not only was the food amazing, but being in the company of other creatives in a city known for its support of the arts, was magical. I couldn't help but think that Hemingway, Dali and Picasso all spent similar afternoons over a few bottle of wine, in a restaurant much like the one we were in.
And as an added bonus, we got to meet up with one of my childhood friends and her husband (pictured above). At the moment, they live in Italy and we don't get to see them very often, so having drinks and watching the Eiffel Tower light up all together, was the perfect way to wrap up our three weeks in Europe.
I would love to hear about your travels or your favorite little corner of the world, so please feel free to share your story with me. :)
Until Next Time!