On 2016 of May 23 - June 6, I went to 4 different tourist spots: London, Paris, Rome, and Amsterdam. (These places are in order from first visit to last.)
Everything was a rush. Everybody hurried to their destination. Nobody hardly relaxed. (Just get up and go.) It reminded me of New York. London was very expensive.
Their cheapest dish was fish and chips. (I believe that is their main dish.)
As my close friend and I walked into restaurant, Nando's, the server looked at us. (Their flame-grilled chicken is very tasty. My first time ever coming here. FYI, Nando's is a world-wide restaurant. My first time ever knowing about it.) Then, I said, "Two people." The server took us to a table. 5 minutes later, my close friend and I are ready with our orders.
For the next 10 minutes, I kept looking at our server. Then, one of his co-workers told us, "You pay up front."
Out of the 4 places, London is known for their shopping.
At their Nike store, I bought a pro tennis player, Rafael Nadal, t-shirt. The shirt features him showing each emotion in every French Open victory. (Possibly, it is exclusive because I have never seen that shirt before.) At their Uniqlo store, I bought a light windbreaker jacket. (For the reason that, I did less packing for this trip but I mistakenly forgot to bring a light jacket and a deodorant.)
Other than shopping, I went to London's historic sites. Photos and videos shown below.
Out of this whole Eurotrip, my first priority was looking forward to see the French Open live. We bought our tickets in advance. (Bad news: It was cancelled, due to rain. Good news: Full refund)
We took an overnight bus ride from London to Paris. (9-10 hour ride) For a moment, the bus was parked inside a train. (Bus engine was turned off, then train started moving. This lasted about an hour.)
We entered the Channel Tunnel aka "Chunnel." (A tunnel that runs underneath a deep water.) Our first-time ever experience riding this Chunnel. (FYI, the bus did not have a restroom. Instead, the bus driver took us to pit stops.)
At the beginning, I was freaking out. Then, I realized everybody around me were calm and relaxed. (Actually, everybody was asleep. I'm a light sleeper.) My close friend panicked too, but I told her, "Everybody is not panicking so we should be fine." Imagine a claustrophobic person riding this.
As we arrived in Paris, we met the greatest host ever. (The former co-worker of my close friend knows our host. Thanks to the co-worker. This defines networking and connecting.) More importantly, we save a lot of money with him as our host.
Throughout this trip, I forgot to tell my host, "You the real MVP." (NBA player, Kevin Durant, once said this.)
Non-stop expensive macaron buying. (Originally, authentically from here. Delicious at its best.)
At the world's largest museum, the Louvre, I surprisingly impressed my close friends as being their part-time tour guide.
For example, they told me something like, "You sound knowledgeable. You should be a tour guide." (Knowledge given to me from my Art History class taken this past Spring. I enjoyed taking that class.)
We stayed at an Airbnb spot, which was a 10-minute walk to Colisseum.
Out of the 4 places, Rome was the best tourist spot for on-going picture-taking. Obviously, I did not miss out on their authentic gelato, spaghetti, and pasta. (Cravingly delicious. Expensive but really worth it.)
No need to write about Rome. (Just scroll down, and see its photos and videos shown below.)
Before I was on my way here, I assumed Amsterdam was about its coffee shops and Red Light District. (Yes, those are the most common tourist spots.)
Out of the 4 places, Amsterdam served the cheapest food.
For example, I ran into a food vending machine, Febo. (Choose your food through a clear glass. Pay it with coins, then open small window. Food is ready to go.)
Back in middle school, my class and I were assigned a book, The Diary of a Young Girl, written by Anne Frank.
(When I was a kid, I hated reading books. Honestly, I did not finish reading Anne Frank's book. Instead, I focused mainly on watching the 1959 movie, "The Diary of Anne Frank.")
Watching the movie terrified me. Now, I finally get to walk into the Anne Frank House, where she wrote her diary, and stayed with her family, until they were captured from Nazis.
Worst moment: Again, French Open was cancelled.
This trip has given me a full understanding about life. (Always appreciate life.)
Living the moment (memory) is better than owning a possession. Unlike possessions, memories do last forever.
Most meaningful on-foot sites: Sistine Chapels (late 1400s) & Anne Frank House (1929)
Witnessing history already, and reliving it. Importantly, both sites did not allow any picture taking. First and foremost, embrace the moment than capture the "perfect" picture. (Take the time to patiently embrace it.)
It took a while to walk inside the Sistine Chapels in Vatican Museum. (Lots of foot traffic. Nobody wanted to leave Sistine Chapels. Limited occupancy inside.)
Unlike, Anne Frank House, it was a short waiting time, for the reason that, it is a very small house. (Read the story or watch the movie.) As I was walking in the house, videos were being played. (Stop and watch, then start walking. It was interactive.)
This was an exhausting trip. I went to almost every historic spot. (So, I will not miss out on anything.) I captured almost every moment. To this day, it is crazy how these visited historic sites have never been demolished. (Used for public art, museum, and etc.)
For my next trip, I will take my time. (There is no rush. I am planning to go backpacking and live in hostels.) I will still go at a moderate pace, even if I miss out on something. Live life, and enjoy the moment.
Honestly, my post does not have enough words, pictures, and videos to fully describe my "moment." The rest is in my head as in mental snapshots. That is what matters. Yuh, priceless.
Again, live life and enjoy the moment.