So its official! I have received my confirmation packet on my three week trip to Europe this May! I am beyond thrilled to have this amazing opportunity and I’d first like to give a huge shout out to my parents for being supportive and helping me with the trip! I have been looking forward to doing this trip for the past two years now, after a very dear friend and co-worker, Lindsay Kerka, made this amazing trip after graduating here at OSU.
I will be traveling with Ohio State’s graduating class to London, Paris, Nice, Rome, Pompeii, Sorrento, Athens, Patras and Isle or Poros for three weeks (May 16 – June 2). It includes hotels, varying group meals together, museum passes, and transportation to each city. Below is the itinerary of each day!
DAY 1 – TRAVEL TO LONDON
Embark on your overnight flight to London.
DAY 2 – LONDON
Enjoy a free afternoon to relax and unwind. In the evening we’ll have our welcome orientation followed by a fun London pub crawl.
DAY 3 – LONDON
Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, and Piccadilly Circus: These familiar names become familiar places on our morning tour. Afternoon at leisure, take in the city’s monuments or embark on a Harrods’ shopping spree. Why not attend a West End theater show tonight?
DAY 4 – LONDON * EUROSTAR TRAIN TO PARIS
Travel through the “Chunnel” below the English Channel, to Paris. Our local art historian shows us the Arc de Triomphe, the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame Cathedral and Place de la Concorde, where the guillotine once stood. Tonight, dine on French specialties at our bistro dinner. Afterward, we take a romantic cruise down the river Seine.
DAY 5 & 6 – PARIS
Enjoy two free days in Paris: included Paris 2-day Museum Pass allows access to over 70 museums and monuments in and around Paris including the world famous Louvre, housing the Mona Lisa, Musée d’Orsay, Musée National Picasso, and the Château de Versailles. Consider an optional can-can cabaret show on one evening.
Optional activity: Cabaret Show
DAY 7 – PARIS * HIGH-SPEED TRAIN TO FRENCH RIVIERA
This morning, the TGV high-speed train takes us from Paris to Nice, Queen Resort of the Côte d’Azur. Enjoy your free afternoon on picturesque beaches along the rugged Mediterranean coastline, stroll promenades lined with chic boutiques, or unwind at a sidewalk café. The thriving local art scene and buzzing nightlife is yours to discover after tonight’s brasserie dinner.
DAY 8 – FRENCH RIVIERA
Enjoy a free day on the dazzling French Riviera. Relax on the beach, paddle in the azure sea, or sip on a smooth cocktail beneath swaying palms. Consider exploring Nice to visit the magnificent Palais Lascaris, the Cathédrale de Sainte Réparate and harbors filled with opulent yachts. Or, you may opt to join our excursion to Monaco, where Prince Rainier married Hollywood actress Grace Kelly, and glitzy Cannes, known for its famous International Film Festival.
Optional activity: Excursion to Monte Carlo & Cannes
DAY 9 – FRENCH RIVIERA* TRAIN TO ROME
Our journey takes us along the scenic Côte d’Azur’s sun-splashed beaches. We cross the border into Italy at Ventimiglia and continue along the coast to Genoa, where we switch to the high speed ‘Le Frecce’ train whisking us to Rome this afternoon. Check in to our hotel and enjoy the remainder of afternoon at leisure exploring Rome. Tonight, walk to Piazza Navona, one of the city’s most beautiful baroque squares and try the local gelati.
DAY 10 – ROME * VATICAN CITY
This morning we explore Capitol Hill with the most spectacular view of Caesar’s Roman Forum, center of political and social activity, with ancient ruins dating from the 8th century BC. Also see Nero’s Circus Maximus where chariot races were held. A trip across the Tiber River takes us to Vatican City – the world’s smallest state. Visit St. Peter’s Basilica housing Michelangelo’s magnificent “Pieta.” During afternoon free time you may want to use your Roma Pass to visit the Colosseum, where gladiators fought to the death.
DAY 11 – ROME
The entire day is free for exploring the Eternal City. Shop on Via Condotti, or visit more of the historical and artistic sights in the city. Tonight dine on Italian delicacies and listen to live music at our fun Roman banquet.
DAY 12 – TRAVEL HOME or continue to the SORRENTO PENINSULA
For some of us the celebratory tour of Europe ends in Rome this morning. Bid farewell to friends and ‘arrivederci’ to Italy before jetting back home with memories to last a lifetime. For the rest of us: motor on through sunny olive groves lining the way south to the Sorrento peninsula. Perched on the cliffs above the blue gulf of Naples, this is where Ulysses resisted the call of the Sirens in Homer’s “Odyssey.” Experience the beauty of Sorrento on this free evening.
DAY 13 – POMPEII * OVERNIGHT SHIP TO GREECE
Travel to Pompeii, the city buried in 79 A.D. by 20 feet of ash after Mt. Vesuvius’ volcanic eruption. Afterwards, we continue across the Italian “boot” and board our overnight ship to Greece.
DAY 14, 15 & 16 – GREEK ISLAND CENTER
After cruising through aquamarine waters, our ship docks at Patras. Motor along the Corinthian Sea coastline, across the Peloponnese peninsula to Galatas and the island of Poros. Relax with three days of living like a Greek god – swim, sunbathe, or take part in optional activities such as waterskiing, wakeboarding, parasailing, banana-boating or tubing. We invite you to our Toga Party on the last night.
DAY 17 – ATHENS
In the morning we board our ferry to Athens. Visit the 2400-year-old Parthenon and the Temple of Zeus, overlooking the Acropolis. Your free afternoon may find you wandering along the very paths of Plato, Socrates and Sophocles or trying out your bargaining skills at Monasteraki flea market.
Then follow the sounds of traditional bouzouki music and join our farewell taverna dinner in the Plaka District – Athens’ oldest neighborhood at the foot of the Acropolis.
DAY 18 – TRAVEL HOME
Reluctantly we say farewell to Europe and new-found friends. Jet back home with thoughts of planning your next European adventure!
I plan to keep you all updated with the trip as I receive more information and promise to blog about my journey as It begins!