Friday, May 11, 2012

Europe 2012 - Italy, France, & Spain

I am EXTREMELY happy to be writing Exquisite Affairs' 1st international post ever! Woo!

I just got back from my school trip to Italy, France and Spain. It was my very first time leaving the US, or even leaving the east coast for that matter! I was so excited for this trip, and am eternally grateful that my parents were able to fund this amazing voyage to Europe!

We departed from the airport on Monday April 9th, with an 8 hour flight to Germany. We flew Lufthansa, an adorable German airline. I sat next to my friend Hollis & a nice man. From Germany we took a layover flight to Italy. The layover flight was wonderful because I had a window seat, & the view was breathtaking!


We arrived in Italy and met our tour guide Alexandra, along with the group of students of from California! We then made our way to our bus and left the airport. Seeing the mountains of Italy as we rode along the high way was definitely surreal! They were enormous, and everywhere! Along with the mountain, another one of the first gorgeous things I saw in Italy was at our first bus stop! As I was headed back to our bus, a bus carrying a soccer team got off and one by one they filed into the store. It was a gorgeous sight! Hahaha.

Italy was quite warm and welcoming, I must say it was the most hospitable country! Our hotel sat on top of a winding mountain that had the scariest trail ever, but the view was unbelievable! We were above the clouds and we weren't on a plane! It was insane! But of course the hotel we stayed at was always hopsitable. Look how they fixed my bed one day, it was so cute! When I walked back into my room I had the biggest smile!


Italy was a lot of fun. We visited a place called Cinque Terre. We walked through a passage way called Via dell'Amore. As you walked through, you saw locks and graffiti everywhere that were placed there with their lover.
They even carved plants!
My favorite lock, a pink heart shaped one!

We then explored around some of Italy.
And did some shopping!
We had lunch on the beach.
^^^^ That right there is titta!
We ordered thinking it was pizza & french fries on the side. Boy we were wrong, it was pizza with fries on it!
Delicious, I must say!

We then got to wet our feet in the Italian ocean!
There wasn't any sand, but rocks instead.
It kind of hurt to walk barefoot on, but so good to touch the ocean!

Back to the hotel for some lazy time before dinner.
Dinner in Italy was a four course meal daily!

After dinner, the hotel was also a disco club kind of place and they were kind enough to use one of their spaces to turn on music and let us dance around. This was super fun, I put on my dress that I brought and danced around! Partying in ITALY! Woo, of course partying with my teachers, no less. They seriously can get down! I absolutely loved every minute of it. Of course there was a beautiful guy who lived at the hotel, his family owned the place! He was the bartender, and although I wasn't allowed to drink (regardless that I was of legal age over there, honestly that wasn't a rule I was itching to break) I still ordered water! Hahaha.


We took our final drive down the mountain, and left Italy. We stopped for snacks where we saw a giant nutella, and I picked up a croissant filled with chocolate, super yummy. We then drove until we reached Monte Carlo, which was insanely beautiful!

We stopped by the palace, and did some shopping.
This place was gorgeous, millionaires lived in Monte Carlo.
The Palace
I got to speak to one of the guards of the palace, in French!
It was so much fun I had a legit conversation with him!

Afterwards, we went to a perfume factory in Eze. It was so chic! We got a tour of the whole factory and were shown how its all made! It was so cool to see how perfume is made, its all so scientific! Might I add, it smelled amazing inside the factory! Of course I did some shopping, I bought my sister a little something from there.

We had some free time so we then climbed a mountain.
There were shops to explore and we bought ourselves some candy from a merchant.

Afterwards it was time for dinner, and hotel check in.
Our hotel room was so cool!
I thought our view from our room was so pretty! 

The next day, of course we did some shopping in Nice.
I stumbled across this little shop with marcarons!
I HAD to buy them!
Twelve flavors, all yummy!

After some shopping we went to a museum, which had lovely religious inspired artwork.
There was so much art everywhere in Europe. It was magnificent.

The rest of the time in France was spent exploring on our own. We came across a pizzeria, a concert, and a cafe. It was a great night just walking around. France was crazy beautiful.

I loved the language! I take French at school, so being able to use what I know in real life, for example to order food was super cool. We went back to our room, & everyone crashed the boys room for some talking. Teachers can be very insightful on things about life.


The next day we spent it traveling to Barcelona, Spain.
It was a long drive, but we made it!
The first night in Barcelona, we had a TOGA Party!
Our teachers seriously were the best chaperones ever.

The next day was our first day actually taking in Barcelona. It was a Sunday and there happened to be a marathon going on that day! We went sightseeing.
We visited Park Güell, where we learned about Gaudi's architectual genius.

We saw the majestic and incredible Sagrada Familia.

We went to the top of a mountain with an entire view of Montjuic.

We then visited the Gothic Center and Plaza Catalunya.
Lunch & shopping ensued of course.

We went back to our hotel for an early dinner, because we had tickets to see a flamenco show!

The next day we went to the Dali museum, the port, and spent time on Las Ramblas, Barcelona's most famous street. It was our last full day in Spain.

The next morning we said goodbye to Europe, our tour guide Alexandra, & the kids from California. We then headed back home on a plane, with another layover in Germany.

The coolest thing about coming home was who we bumped into while we were in customs at the airport, Ms. Vera Wang herself! She was with two other people, and had gorgeous luggage.

I had an incredible time on this trip! I miss Europe so much, I can't wait to go back! I definitely plan on studying abroad in college. I got to see a different culture, new people, and experience things I had never experienced before. I can't wait to keep traveling, because I'm sure that wasn't the only time!

till next post!

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