I recently returned from a two-week trip that brought me to three countries, numerous monuments, and a lengthy overland segment. This was my second time in Europe, and it was astounding. In this overview, I’ll be speaking about our itinerary and some of the biggest sections of the trip.
Departing from Austin, Texas, I boarded a nonstop flight to London before taking the famous Channel Tunnel Train to Disneyland Paris, about an hour east of the French capital. After spending two days in Paris, we would cross the English Channel once more to arrive in London. After a busy day of experiencing the heart of the United Kingdom, we traveled by train to the port of Southampton, on the southern coast of Britain. This was where we departed on the Queen Mary 2, the flagship of the Cunard Cruise Line, for a traditional transatlantic crossing spanning the North Atlantic Ocean. After about eight days, the ship sailed into New York Harbor, depositing us in Brooklyn, where a brief taxi ride brought us across the Brooklyn Bridge into Manhattan for a quick tour of the highlights before flying home.
One of the reasons I was excited for this trip was because we were visiting a place most seasoned travel writers would dare not touch; Disneyland Paris. In anticipation for the journey, I researched to notice that this resort was not part of many prominent guidebooks. I suspected that many travelers considered this pair of parks to be nothing but a cliche carbon copy of the popular American theme parks. It would also make sense that this attraction would be off of the mainstream tourist track, as it is inconvenient and pricey for many backpackers that storm through the continent every year. However, I decided to shine some light on the resorts, as I have had wonderful vacations at Disney’s Orlando Resort. I came to test the differences and similarities between the French and American parks, as well as observing the exclusive rides found only in Disneyland Paris.
Besides that, I was stoked to visit the two greatest capitals of Europe; London and Paris. We were to tour world-class museums, walk by scenic rivers, and see some of the world’s greatest buildings. But perhaps the greatest part of the trip would be our transatlantic crossing aboard the Queen Mary 2. One of the world’s most legendary ocean liners, it is the legacy of the cruise line founded by Samuel Cunard, who began regular steamship services between Britain and America in 1840. Sailing from the industrial port of Southampton, another curious town off of the beaten path, we traversed the grand Atlantic Ocean, with chilly nights and windy days. And the trip would end with a grand finale; the ship would cruise into New York City, gazing at the Statue of Liberty like so many immigrants before who had entered the New World for the first time.
There were three potential entries of 1,000 Places to See Before You Die that I was hoping to experience. “Paris” would be a neat one, while “London” would hold royal treasures. By taking the Queen Mary 2 from Southampton, I would be crossing off the “Cunard’s Cruise Liners” entry. One might notice that it is plural, but I think that looking into it that deep was overthinking it.
So get ready and watch WillTravel to the capitals of Europe and the high seas.