This was my first trip overseas. Our first stop was in Rome, Italy. Glancing out the airplane I noticed that there were a lot of fields. When we arrived at our hotel, the Sofitel, I was impressed with its luxury. The luxuriousness of hotels is something that continued to impress me in future vacations to destinations overseas. We took a taxi to the Sistine Chapel. I noticed how majestic and ancient-looking all the buildings were. We toured the large, amazing complex filled with religious, revered works of art. The paintings are unquestionably beautiful. Once we finished, we walked around the area, noticing the diversity of all the tourists/people who were there as well. We continued to walk among various shops and scenic bridges, until we noticed that we were quite lost. It must have been about a full hour we were lost, and then a taxi finally saved us. The next day was the Colosseum. This ancient building has an amazing and sometimes tragic history. We walked around it, and there were also a lot of tourists there. We then ambled our way through bustling shops. I noticed much of the music I heard was a cool new techno sound. The next day we visited the glorious Trevi Fountain. It is absolutely romantic. People were making wishes and tossing coins into the giant fountain. There were plenty of professional photographers taking pictures of couples in love standing in front of it. The statues among the fountain are also quite extraordinary and heroic-looking.
The next day, we flew to Barcelona, Spain. The hotel was Avenida Suites. I noticed how friendly most of the people around the area were. We toured a Gaudi museum filled with the eccentric artist’s masterpieces. Then we took a taxi to a wonderful park inspired by the works of Gaudi. The park was hilly and colorful. The next day, we visited a Medieval monastery. The ride to the monastery was filled with beautiful landscapes and lush fields. The monastery had impressive architecture, plenty of dark, large rooms, and gorgeous gardens. From there we went on to visit the Sagrada Familia, which I have heard is still in the process of being constructed. This incredible church has been in the process of construction since the early Twentieth Century. It is designed with strong attention to detail. The next day we toured an ancient fort and visited a nice beach close to the fort.
The day after that, we flew to Paris, France. This is an amazing and romantic city. Our hotel was the Louvre Hotel. We took a pleasant stroll around the area and did some people-watching. I remember seeing such incredibly beautiful cafes filled with fragrant flowers hanging among windows and fabulous desserts. There were really nice gardens. It seemed so much like a dream. That same day we took a taxi to the Eiffel Tower. On the tower there was a sign celebrating the new millennium. I remember noticing that the tower was taller than I had expected it to be. The next day, we toured the giant, impressive Louvre museum. Of course, the main attraction there is the Mona Lisa. Security was heavy (as it should be), and there were throngs of tourists trying to catch a peek at the famous painting. When I saw it, I remember believing it was somewhat smaller than I had expected it to be. It was still very spectacular. There were also other amazing works of art at the museum. The next day, we visited the Notre Dame Cathedral. When we walked in, there were a choir singing, candles lit, and extremely high ceilings. It really is a lovely cathedral. We proceeded to walk around the area, seeing shops as well as the Seine River. This was our trip to Europe that year.