It all started five years ago in the corner of a sea food restaurant. I sat around the table with my grandfather and my cousin, looking out onto the marshes of Hilton Head Island.
"If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?" my grandfather questioned us.
With no real interest in traveling to a large city or anywhere specific, I replied with my usual answer of "I don't know."
My cousin, on the other hand, almost always knows exactly what he wants. So he quickly rattled off a list of European cities that he wanted to travel to. Then my grandfather struck us a deal. If we could finish high school with a scholarship offer, he would take us to London and Paris. This past week I returned from that trip, and I decided to share some photos of the incredible cities of Europe.
The Tower Bridge from the River Thames
When we took a boat tour on the River Thames, I managed to snap a great picture of the Tower Bridge. The bridge lifts up in the middle in order for larger boats to pass underneath and access ports further in. Our guide mentioned a story about a time when the gate for cars on the bridge was delayed in closing and a tour bus ended up on the bridge as it was being raised. Unable to back up safely, the bus driver accelerated and jumped the gap!
The main entrance to the London Museum of Natural History
Natural History Museums are my favorite because of my interests in science, and the London Museum of Natural History did not disappoint. This museum has everything from a room filled with life size replicas of the largest mammals on earth, to a gallery of rare gems and jewelry collected by English scientists. In my opinion, the greatest the display shown at this museum is the collection of fossils found by Mary Anning. Despite growing up in a poor family and being a woman in a time when science was a predominantly male field, she discovered a number of new aquatic dinosaur fossils!
True Love ring overlooking Tower Bridge
The home of the Queen for most of the year. While it's still incredibly fancy, I figured it would stick out a lot more compared to everything around it. The building itself looked very similar to many other buildings except for a large fence with a lot of security and an extremely elaborate gold fountain in the center of a traffic circle out front.
Pont Alexandre III
While the Pont Alexandre III bridge is extremely beautiful and probably the prettiest bridge in Paris, I wanted to photograph it to recreate a black and white drawing I have hung in my home. I saw the picture fairly often but never knew where it was from. However, when I saw the Pont Alexandre III I knew it was the same bridge! Built for World Fair of 1900, the bridge was constructed to show of the architectural and industrial advancements that the French had undergone.
Of course you cannot have a photo album of Europe and not include the Eiffel Tower. This incredible structure was originally going to be removed after the world fair it was constructed for because most citizens thought it was an eyesore to the city. Little did those people know the Eiffel Tower would come to represent Paris to people all over the world!