Spring Break: Part I

–by Hamza

As you may know from my previous blog post, “My Favorite Cities,” I went on a school trip to Russia during spring break. What you don’t know is that we also visited 5 other cities in 5 different countries that are not in Russia. It was an overwhelming experience, as we visited 7 beautiful cities (Paris, Vilnius, Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Prague, Bratislava, and Bergamo) in 6 different countries and took 8 flights in just 11 days. It was the first time I did something like this, and despite there being some moments when I just wanted to go home and sleep (as we barely got 4 hours of sleep per night), I loved the trip and it was very worth it. The 1st city we visited was

  • Paris, France:

Just like Audrey Hepburn said, “Paris is always a good idea”. I’ve been to Paris several times and I love it even more every time I visit. Unfortunately, this time we had only a few hours in the city before we had to take a night train to Beauvais, a town where the airport is located where we caught our flight to Vilnius in Lithuania the next morning. We mostly spent time in the very chic and famous avenue Champs-Elysees where all the people are dressed in iconic designer clothes, and luxurious cars roam around the paved streets. The first thing we saw when the Metro escalators were taking us up was the Arc de Triumph and it never looked so beautiful. We then got free time and we split up (we were 11 students and 2 chaperones), so I seized the opportunity, and I crossed the Seine River to get a little peak of the Eiffel tower, which glowed and sparkled exquisitely through the dusky atmosphere. I have not felt that relaxed in a very long time, and it was just what I needed after a gruesome 3-hour flight, which felt more like 30 hours. I was very satisfied that Paris was part of the trip.

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  • Vilnius, Lithuania:

We arrived at approximately 12PM local time, and it was much warmer than anticipated. I was very happy to see the sun once again after enduring the cold in Paris (it wasn’t that cold lol), however it got colder in the evening, but at least I got to wear my sunglasses that day. ^_^ Vilnius was definitely a place I was not used to seeing all the time as it was obviously nothing like Morocco, but to my surprise, not very similar to Western Europe either. The architecture is much more different, and the people and their surroundings have their own style. I thought it was a cute place to see, and in the beginning I honestly thought it was a boring city; however, it got more interesting when we walked to the city center at around 7PM and saw this event that we were lucky enough to see. I’m not sure exactly what it is (some say they’re celebrating the equinox of spring), but they lit up hundreds of candles at this sort of small park and they all waited patiently for “the king and queen” to pass by. Obviously not the real ones, as they don’t exist, seen as Lithuania is a republic. The king and queen were dressed in certain attire and wore masks and walked to a big large square where there was a huge church. The city center was also much nicer than the places we first saw when we got there, so I was happy we got to see that part of town.

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Next blog post is all about Russia. Leave a comment telling me what you think about these two cities and what are some of your favorite places/what is your #1 want to see destination.

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