Today's guest poster is none other than the lovely Lauryn, who I first met during the great Christmas ornament swap of 2009!
It is my firm belief that every place we travel to can and should hold a special place in our hearts. Whether you’re visiting ancient ruins in a faraway land or simply stopping by to see your grandmother in Ohio, going to a place that is out of the ordinary can do wonders for the mind, body and spirit.
Since Erin and her boys are off gallivanting across England, I thought this would be a good opportunity to share a little story about my first (and hopefully not last) trip to Europe.
The year after I graduated high school I had the opportunity to travel to France and Italy, two countries that meant a lot to me thanks to my Italian heritage and three years of studying le Francais. Our first stop was Paris, and after an overnight flight that involved very little sleep I was intoxicated by exhaustion but ready to soak up whatever that magnificent city had to offer.
Although I was traveling with a large tour group, we spent most of our days off on our own. A friend of mine was on the trip with me so we took it upon ourselves to explore Montmartre, a district in Paris that I’m still a bit in love with to this day. The district is named after a hill with the same name, which means that the entire area has wonderful views of the city. The only down side was the hundreds of stairs that were required to see those amazing views. Exhaustion and steps don’t go very well together.
Our first stop was la Basilique du Sacre Coeur, or Sacred Heart Basilica.
We saw signs pointing towards a crypt, which we thought would be an interesting thing to see. However, as we followed the arrows we noticed that we were constantly moving upward, not down into the basement where we assumed a crypt would be. Stairs, stairs, and more stairs.
With each step the view became more breathtaking, until we finally reached the top and could see what seemed to be the entire city. It wasn’t a crowded tourist attraction. We were the only ones up there, and it felt like our own private postcard.
By the end of that day I was more ready for sleep than I’d ever been in my entire life. My whole body ached, but I was so happy to be in that amazing place that it didn’t matter.
Thanks, Lauryn! I hope to visit the Eiffel Tower one day soon myself!
Be sure to pop over to Laureality to say hello to Lauryn and read all about her life in Michigan...