The Spain version of spring break is Semana Santa, or Holy Week. We had an 11 day break that ended on Easter, and this is is when students studying abroad take advantage to travel Europe. Luckily, my break coincided with my Hope roommate’s break who is studying abroad in Liverpool, so we traveled the whole week together! We started the week off in Paris, then Venice, then Rome, and we finished our time off in Switzerland! Here are some of the highlights:
We started the day off bright and early at the Eiffel Tower, and made our way to all the sights by walking along the Seine. The Louvre was amazing, I wish we could have spent an entire day there because the building is so huge and it contains so much art. We saw the Notre Dame cathedral, ate pain au chocolat, and had lunch at Laduree. It was a perfect day in Paris!
In Venice we were welcomed to Italy by a kind, elderly Italian couple who spoke to us in Italian as if we could understand what they were saying. We spent our couple days here exploring the canals, getting lost, and entering most churches we stumbled upon. The Basilica of Saint Mark was beautiful and unlike any of the cathedrals I’ve seen. Naturally, we ate spaghetti and the best pizza I’ve ever had.
Our time in Rome was limited, so we really had to squeeze in all of the sights we wanted to see. Rome is very different from Venice and it astounded me how the city is so full of history. We sat outside the Coliseum, visited the Tre Vi Fountain, sat on the Spanish steps, and made a stop at the Parthenon. We also made spent part of the day in the Vatican City, where we visited the Basilica and then saw the Vatican museums and the Sistine Chapel!
After the whirlwind of we had, Switzerland was a bit more relaxed. Our first day we took a day trip to Lausanne and spent our time sitting next to the lake, admiring the mountains, and wandering around the city. The next day we took a trip to Chamonix, which is a small town in France where tourists go to ski and see the mountains. We started our day off in a coffeeshop that reminded us of Lemonjello’s, and then we took two cablecars to get to an altitude of 3,842 meters. At the top of the mountain we tried to take in the immensity of the Alps and we could see Mont Blanc, the tallest mountain in the Alps. Our last day in Switzerland we spent in Geneva and we walked around the old city and explored, saw the United Nations from the outside, and ate Swiss cheese.
The weather was perfect during our whole trip, our travel from place to place went as smoothly as it could have gone, and I got to travel Europe with one of my best friends! Absolutely surreal.