The 21-day Contiki European Experience is a great way to see Europe for the first time! Take a look at Kayla’s highlights from her trip:
With only a limited amount of time in London, I decided to visit the famous Platform 9 3/4! Navigating around the city on the London tube, we arrived at Kings Cross Station. Full of excitement, we ran through the train station looking for platforms 9 and 10! Well we found the platforms, and there was no platform 9 3/4 in sight. We spotted a security guard, who I’m sure was used to being asked “Where is it!?” Turns out the ‘platform’ and a whole Harry Potter store are located in a common area of the train station.
Paris, the city of love! Though we saw, did and ate a lot of amazing things, the best moment was at the top of the Eiffle tower. After waiting in long lines, we finally made it to the very top! As the clock struck the hour, the tower lit up. Right beside us, a couple had asked someone to take a picture of them. Next thing I know, Mr. Romantic is down on one knee, proposing with a beautiful ring, and everyone starts crying. It was straight out of a movie.
Pro tip: It is FREEZING at the top of the tower.. sandals are not a good idea.
Leaning Tower of Pisa! This was just a quick stop for us, but necessary. Though many may complain it’s too cheesy or too touristy, it’s a fun place to send a couple hours! If you’re not interested in taking cheesey tourist photos, there are plenty of other things to keep you occupied. There are bars and restaurants and lots of shopping nearby. Or you can always run around giving people high fives as they try to take a picture ‘pushing’ the tower.
Florence, Italy. The city of beautiful architecture and naked statues.
Rome, where all the 90’s girls can live out their Lizzie Mcguire dreams and then eat gelato until they feel sick. Rome is also where we found the 5 litre jug of wine for 5 Euros! Bonus points because the wine wasn’t terrible, even if hangovers were.
Venice, oh beautiful Venice. Where the locals are gorgeous and the tourists leave a couple pounds heavier. Italy all around had some amazing food, but Venice took the cake. (So punny!) Just imagine yourself, sitting by the water of the canals in a small restaurant, drinking wine. Then you see the waiter bringing over your fresh, handmade Italian pasta. “Would you like some more wine?” he asks, but you are drooling over this amazing looking dish, so all you can do is nod.
The Austrian Tyrol, where adventure awaits! First on the list – white water rafting! Once you are all comfy cozy in the wet suits provided – it’s time to jump in. While everyone else hesitated, us brave Canadian girls took the first plunge, proving we ain’t no sissies. While it may have been cold, it was also refreshing and definitely prepared us for the rapids ahead.
Hopfgarten, Austria. Next adventure: parasailing! I had never done anything similar before, so I was a little nervous, but mostly excited. Once we reached the top of the mountain and I was all strapped in, the fear trickled away and excitement took over. It was an amazing feeling… first you are running towards the edge of a mountain, and then you are floating through the clouds, with a cute Austrian (if you’re lucky like me!) taking the reins.
Pro tip: Do not wear TOMS to go parasaling. The Austrians will laugh at you.
Munich, Germany. The land of beer and giant pretzels! We managed to survive an afternoon bike tour of the city with minimal casualties. To celebrate, we joined the locals at the famous Hofbrauhaus, to drink beer bigger than our heads.
Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland. Is there anywhere more naturally beautiful than Switzerland? Not to mention they are famous for chocolate and cheese, which happen to be two of my favorite things. Though Switzerland was not easy on the wallet, it was good for the soul.
“Some tourists think Amsterdam is a city of sin, but in truth it is a city of freedom. And in freedom, most people find sin.” No matter what you are looking for, you can probably find it in Amsterdam; sin in the red light district, beauty in the parks and canals, and freedom throughout the city. This is truly an amazing city, and the perfect place to end our amazing adventure together.
Pro tip: Stay out of the way of the bike paths. They will hit you. Bikes > Humans.