One week Dream Tour of Europe in 19-Feb-2000 to 25-Feb-2000

I was in UK with family for about one year and was on work a project. I was fortunate enough to get one week leave during which I planned my mini-Europe tour from London .

The tour was conducted by Cosmos and it covered a few places in Belgium, Luxembourg, Switzerland and France. There was a lot uncertainty on the tour due to avalanche falls in Switzerland a few week before the tour and major damage was done in Switzerland. Many villages were buried under the snow. No tour was operating and was not sure of whether will able to make it. However, the situation improved and the tour was on. We could join to the tour as planned.  Major attractions of the tour for us were Mount Titlis and Eiffel Towers. One of the best tours of our life which we enjoyed thoroughly. We were hearing about Europe, Eiffel tower and especially beauty of Switzerland. Although 7 days tour is not enough at all to see Europe but it gave us good glimpse of Europe.

Port of Dover is the nearest English Port to Calais France, at just 34 kilometres (21 miles ) away from London and is one of the world’s busiest passenger ports, with 11.7 million passengers, 2.6 million lorries, 2.2 million cars and motorcycles and 80,000 coaches passing through it in 2017, with an annual turnover of £58.5 million a year.  

It was my first sea travel from Dover, UK to Calias, France through Strait of Dover by F & O Liner. The travel was for just 90 minutes, but it was very different experience. The duty free market was having goods typically to suit the needs of the travel and needless to say overpriced. Winds on the top  deck were chilling, but the view of from there was fantastic.

We, a group of about 35 tourists, then took a bus in which we traveled for the next 6 days. The first halt was in Brussels, Belgium and had a good round in the city center in the evening and started for Luxembourg next day morning.

Luxembourg is a small country with an area of just 2,586 square kilometres (998 sq mi) and a population of 626,108 in 2019. We saw valley near Adolphe Bridge in Luxembourg City. The Adolphe Bridge is a double-decked arch and is an unofficial national symbol representing Luxembourg’s independence. The valley is scenic and moved towards Lucerne , Switzerland.

We covered Mount Titlis and Lucerne Lake in Switzerland and passed through Interlaken and Geneva. Spend some hours in the main market of city of Lucerne in 2 days.

Mount Titlis is at the height of 3,238 metres (10,623 ft) and is accessed from Engelberg (OW) by the world’s first rotating cable car. The last part of cable car leads above the glacier. As we were approaching the summit by the cable car we could enjoy beautiful and excellent flavors of the mountain. A lot of people were enjoying skating .

At the summit, we all saw a breathtaking panoramic view for the beautiful nature. There is restaurant where you can recover your body temperature and go towards the Glacier again. Seating in the the Glacier Cave for a minute is impossible for a minute due to sub-zero temperature. The “Titlis Cliff Walk” – On the glacier chairlift “Ice Flyer” visitors literally fly over the Titlis glacier to the Glacier Park, a free attraction.

On of the best place I have ever visited in my life and wish to go there again.

We stayed two days in the City of Lucern with many tourist attractions and took round in the Lucerne Lake by a boat. This was also a memorizing experience, but for only 1 to 1 and 1/2 hours which was not enough to satisfy us. The people are very strict in adhering the rules and tourist are also made to follow them strictly.

The Lion Monument in Lucerne is a giant dying lion carved out of a wall of sandstone rock. It was designed as a memorial for the mercenary soldiers from central Switzerland who lost their lives while serving the French king Louis XVI during the French Revolution. Visited this place of historical importance.

The most characteristic sight in Lucerne is the Kapellbrücke, a covered wooden bridge running diagonally across the Reuss. Apart from being a picturesque centerpiece for Lucerne, the bridge, built in 1333, is interesting for the more than 100 17th-century pictures hanging from the roof rafters inside, depicting patron saints and scenes from the town’s history. In one hour cruise of Lucerne lake, you can see the beautiful alpine peaks.

Guide informed us that the municipal administration has decided not to construct any structure in the city to preserver the beauty of the city and no structure has come up in many years. This is the level of commitment which is rare to see in any part of the world.

We also visited Chillon Castle is an island castle located on Lake Geneva. It is a major tourist attraction in Switzerland. The site has been fortified since at least the 12th century.  We touched Interlaken and Geneva on our way to Paris and reached Paris a full day drive from Lucerne.

The last leg of the travel was the famous Paris. We got just about two days to see this big city. We could see Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame Cathedral and Disney Land. The tour operator took tour of the central areas of Paris for about 2-4 hours by bus.

Interest thing about Eiffel tower is that it was constructed from 1887 to 1889 as the entrance to the 1889 World’s Fair. it was initially criticized by some of France’s leading artists and intellectuals for its design and there were plans to dismantle it. Fortunately, the structure survived to become one of the seven wonders of the modern times. Not it is recognized as a global cultural icon of France and one of the most recognizable structures in the world. 

The tower is 324 metres (1,063 ft) tall Its base is square, measuring 125 metres (410 ft) on each side. The tower has three levels for visitors. The top level’s upper platform is 276 m (906 ft) above the ground. Tickets can be purchased to ascend by stairs or lift to the first and second levels. The climb from ground level to the first level is over 300 steps, as is the climb from the first level to the second.

We reached the tower around 8 pm and spent about two hours. The view of Paris city from level three is wonderful and visibility on a clear day is around 125 kms. !!!

Lucky enough that our dream came through!!

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