I left Boston on June 25, and flew to Heathrow, just outside London, via Dulles International. There I met a friend from high school, whom I toured with. We spent 4 days in London. Memorable sights include the Tower of London, theatre in the West End, Greenwich Village, and just wandering around central London. We stayed with some friends of my parents, just north of the city. Be sure to allocate LOTS of time for museums; the British Museum is truly enormous, and well worth a full day.
We then took the EuroStar through the Chunnel to Paris. At the risk of being flamed by half the world, I'll admit that I wasn't terribly impressed by Paris. I certainly loved several of chapels -- Notre Dame fell short of expectations, but Sainte Chapelle more than made up. And I certainly loved the museums and art gallerys. Unfortunately, overriding these positive things was the feeling of a dirty city, highly dedicated towards tourism, that was heavily overpriced. I hope my impressions aren't common, but there they are. We stayed in a youth hostel in central Paris, which was reasonably priced, but food was terribly expensive (even at the few supermarkets we were able to find), and, quite strangely, we had a harder time finding ATM's on the correct networks (Cirrus) here than in almost any other city! Look here for more notes on ATM's. We spent 4 days in Paris, and didn't come close to all seeing a quarter the sights.
In order to
keep on something vaguely regarding our original schedule, we took
a late night train to Brussels, with a 4 hour midnight stop in
Luxembourg, where we took the moonlight tour (self-devised) to see the
sights (using our fabulous night vision :-). We spent a morning in
Brussels visiting a few places, including the Comic Museum. Then back on a train to
in order to satisfy our
We spent two days in Amsterdam, enjoying the wildlife. If you're into
partying, then this is definitely a city to visit.
From there, we took a train to Berlin, Germany. My friend and I were using a 5-day Eurorail pass, meaning that we had 5 24-hour periods in which to travel, meaning that we had to merely bounce through Germany. We took a guided tour of the city (via foot and bus) led by a few English History students living in Berlin, giving us a great overview of the layout of the city, but not much detail. After the tour, we hopped back onto the train, and continued on towards Poland.
My friend has a lot of family living in Warsaw, and we stayed with them for an enjoyable 5 day stay. We took our time exploring the city (my friend hadn't been back to Poland in many years), and partially catching up on the sleep we had been missing. We then took a train to Krakow, to visit the Concentration Camp there. Although very depressing (the weather suited it perfectly, being cold and drizzling), I learned a lot and highly reccomend that anyone who has a chance visit a concentration camp do so.
We hopped back on the train (yep, we did a lot of that), and continued
on to Prague, in the Czech
Republic. We rented a beautiful apartment from a woman we met at
the airport, right near the center of town. From the room, we
wandered all around the city, visiting several excellent museums and
castles. This was my favorite city of the trip, and would highly
recomend spending a considerable amount of time here -- my 5 days
didn't feel like long enough! Other hilights here include the music
and food -- both very cheap and plentiful. Seriously, don't miss this
city, it portrays "Old Europe" better than any of the other large cities
in Europe (of course, no substitiute for going smaller cities).
From Prague, we continued on to Vienna, Austria. I got the impression that Vienna used to be a lot like Prague, and then lots of RICH tourists came. It's a really beautiful town, lots of great museums, castles, and, well, shopping. Of course, I couldn't afford any of it, but it was interesting to see. I especially enjoyed
Switzerland - 4 days Geneva Switzerland