Written by: Zainab Das
Published: 15:00 April 18, 2013
Everyone has a dream that they hope, someday, turns into a reality. My visit to Europe was nothing less than a dream come true. When you travel, there is so much to experience, and so many things to learn. Travel broadens your mind and enables you to discover different kinds of cultures and lifestyles. Most importantly though, it is a wonderful break from the monotony of regular life. My travels began last year, at the beginning of July, 2012, for a fifteen day tour of Europe.
My first stop was London, England. Heathrow airport, known as the busiest airport in the world was indeed abuzz with the preparations for the London Olympics 2012. The minute I stepped out of the airport, a fresh cool breeze hit me and for the first time in a while I felt like I was breathing in pure, clean air – instead of the artificial air we are subjected to in Dubai. London has much to offer in terms of history and culture. I toured some iconic London landmarks while I was there, including Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, Madame Tussads Wax Museum, Waterfront, Trafalagar Square, River Thames, London Eye, Hyde Park, Harrods and of course the ever famous London Bridge.
There are several things that I felt added to London’s sophistication. I loved the doll-like houses, black cabs, red buses and telephone booths. But in spite of it all, you do tend to miss the small comforts of Dubai. In London, you do everything on your own, like filling your own petrol tank and sweeping up after yourself. You have to actually mow your own lawn too! To me, the most beautiful aspect of London was the weather, and the fact, that the sun sets there when it is 10:30pm.
Moving on, I crossed the English channel and entered Europe. Europe is filled with history and has set trademarks of its own, and each place has its own beauty and a story of its own to tell. In Europe, I visited Brussels (the capital of Europe), Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Italy, Switzerland, and Paris. In Italy, I visited Venice, Rome, Vatican City, Pisa, Florence, and Milan. Some of the important highlights in these are: The Atomium in Brussels, Madurodam in Netherlands, Cologne Cathedral in Germany, Swarovski Crystal Factory in Austria, the famous Gandola ride in Venice, the Colloseum in Rome and the place Julius Ceaser was assasinated, St. Peters Church in Vatican City, The wonderful Basilica of Santa Maria in Florence, The Leaning tower of Pisa in Pisa, The wonderful high end fashion streets of Milan, The beautiful scenic beauty of Switzerland and Mt. Jungfraujoch (top of Europe), and the Eiffel Tower and Louvre Museum (especially the Mona Lisa Painting) and EuroDisney, alongwith a Gala Evening in Paris, as Paris in the evening is very different from Paris in the daytime. The Eiffel Tower gleaming at midnight is a stunning sight which cannot be missed. There is alot more to these places which can be understood only when visited. Even a thousand words would not be able to describe the story behind each of these. The cream of our trip was of course Switzerland, it is simply impossible for one not to fall in love with that place, and it automatically instills the belief of love within you.
One must not forget to munch on to occassional treats such as the Swiss Chocolates and Belgium Chocolates, and Gelato ice creams in Italy alongwith pizzas and pastas. The English breakfasts of waffles and pancakes and scrambled eggs and toast and marmalade, with half boiled eggs and the famous English tea are a delight to the tastebuds. The tropical fruits are a must to try out, as they are exceptionally juicy and will win the hearts of all fruit lovers.
After my fifteen days trip, where I saw and learnt so much, I have a new dream. To travel the world, to discover and explore the world, and to be a part of the story of each country and continent which exists on our planet. The difference in culture, cuisine, style and fashion, the people and their lifestyles are worth the exploration, as we find out how much we learn just by observing and being a part of new cultures. Their clothing, their cuisine, their thoughts, their language, the way each place welcomes you in its own way is heart-warming to seek. Here’s hoping for many more such exciting trips to come up, and fulfill my dream to explore the world to its fullest.