My first Euopean trip was a dream! My best friend was studying abroad in London and told my sister and I we could stay in her flat (moral of the story, if your ever offered a bed somewhere new TAKE IT). We went just a couple weeks before Christmas, so it was rainy, cold and perfect. We walked our legs off seeing as much as we could.
In the first few hours we were there we went on the London Eye (amazing view, with ipads that describe the building your looking at), Buckingham Palace, Green park and Westminster Abbey. After that the jet lag kicked in so we called it a day. Over the next few days we went to Abbey Road, Richmond Park (so many deer!), Hyde Park which had a lovely holiday market, Kings Cross Station (Platform 9 3/4) and ice skating at the Somerset House!
If you are going to London make the trip to the Orange Pekoe tea shop. They had a very affordable afternoon tea with a huge spread of goodies! I enjoyed going where the locals go as opposed to the touristy teas.
My other favorite food stop was in Camden Town, getting fresh delicious Mac and Cheese made right in front of us!
While in London, might as well go to Paris too! The “Chunnel” is a great way to go from London to Paris. We spent one whole day in Paris, and hit all the highlights we wanted to see, including gelato that looked like a rose! I can’t wait to go back someday and see more of The Louvre, we did see the Mona Lisa and a few other exhibits, but would love to see more! (Tip: when traveling, always have a student ID if you have one, you get discounts at many entrances, especially museums!) My favorite part of our day Paris trip was going up the Eiffel Tower at night. We had went up the bell tower at Notre Dame earlier in the day, so it was fun to see a different view, plus at night the city lights twinkle and glow (how can you beat that!?!)
The last part of our trip took us to Northern Ireland (again, if someone offers you a place to stay, you go). Ireland was as beautiful as I imagined! The rolling green hills, and coast line is unlike anything I’ve seen before. Highlights included Giant’s Casueway, Ballintoy Harbour (game of thrones filming scene!), and seeing the smallest church in Ireland. We had the best breakfast at the Copper Kettle, and my favorite ice cream is Poo Bear (honeycomb) from Mauds Ice Cream in Northern Ireland.
Overall, this was the perfect first trip to Europe, we got to see so much but still have more to see on our next trip!