My 2012 European "Holiday"

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E1
I flew Virgin Atlantic from Las Vegas to London Gatwick Airport on a 747-400.  Virgin Atlantic had a nice selection of in-flight entertainment options on their touch screen seat back display.  The multi-course meals were pretty good.

E2
My brother and I arrived at London Gatwick's South Terminal.

E3
This is a picture of Buckingham Palace.  My brother and I are shown in front of one of Her Majesty's houses in London.

E4
We are pictured outside the British Museum in this photo.

E5
The Tower of London is behind me.  King Henry VIII imprisoned and executed two of his many wives here for adultry.

E6
I am pictured with "Big Ben" and the British Parliament Building.

E7
You can see the Tower Bridge in the distance from the Thames River Cruise.


My brother and I are taking in the views from the London Eye.

E9
We took the Eurostar from London's St. Pancras Station to Paris Gare Du Nord.  The whole journey took about 2 hours and 15 minutes.

E10
This is the Gare Du Nord in Paris.

E10
I am standing in the Place de la Concorde with the Eiffel Tower behind me.

E11
This is the Obelisk that Napoleon III brought back from Egypt.

E12
The Tuilleries Garden is really beautiful!

E14
Here is a view from the 2nd floor of the Eiffel Tower.

E15
This is a good shot of Notre Dame from our Seine River cruise.

E16
This is where we stayed the first night while in France.  It is a Waldorf Astoria hotel called the Trianon Palace.  It was a former residence of King Louis XIV.

E17
Many of the old European palaces have been converted into luxury hotels.

E18
The rooms at the hotel where a nice mix between old and new.  I liked how the old fireplace contrasts with the flat panel TV.  No youth hostels for my brother and I!  We are used to a different standard :)

E19
Here is another picture of our room.  The furniture was very modern.

E22
My brother and I are enjoying a complimentary welcome glass of wine for Hilton Honors Diamond guests at the Trianon Palace.  Waldorf Astoria is owned by Hilton.

E20
My brother and I are waiting for the car service to take us to the Palace at Versailles for our guided tour.

E21
This is the Mercedes Benz car service that took us from the Trianon Palace to the Palace at Versailles.  My brother and I don't "backpack" around Europe!  We ride in style :)

E23
This is a view of the Palace at Versailles from the front.

E23
The gardens at Versailles were amazing.  I was surprised at how the fountains were built without electricity.  They built it with water pressure in mind.  The pipes would get smaller and smaller thus creating the pressure needed to force the water up the fountain!

E25
The inside of the Palace at Versailles was so opulent!

E26
We stayed at the Hilton La Defense in Paris.  It was actually more expensive than the Waldorf Astoria we stayed at in Versailles.  Our room was 670 Euros a night which is about $820!  Our breakfast was 26 Euros each, but it was free for me since I am a Hilton Diamond member.

E27
The hotel left a VIP welcome package for me since I am a Hilton Diamond member that included a bottle of wine and French pastries!  I was very impressed with the Hilton VIP services in Europe.

E28
Our room had a nice jacuzzi also.  My feet needed it after all the walking at Versailles!

E30
La Defense is the business district of Paris.  Here is the Grand Arch which was located near our hotel.

E29
I am standing outside the pyramid entrance to the Louvre.

E31
Can you guess which famous painting this is?  Yes, it is the real Mona Lisa.

E32
This is the famous Milo de Venus at the Louvre.

E33
My brother and I are having lunch at Les Deux Magots after visiting the Louvre.  We took a pedi-cab over there.

E34
This was my salad consisting of foie gras, smoked duck breast, and green beans.  I can speak some French so I was able to converse with the locals for the most part.

E35
The desserts at Les Deux Magots were amazing!

E36
We flew to Edinbourgh, Scotland from Paris Beauvais Airport on Ryan Air.  Ryan Air was an "interesting" experience.

E41
Upon arriving at the Hilton Edinbourgh Airport in Scotland, the manager sent up some bottles of wine, bottled water, and snacks including some Scottish Short Bread for me since I am a Diamond guest.

E37
We took a hop on, hop off bus tour of Edinbourgh.  It was raining in the morning, but it cleared up in the afternoon.

E38
I had the best lamb ever at Angels with Bagpipes in Edinbourgh.  The Scottish lamb is so tender!  I had some great Scottish whiskey also.

E39
Here are some cannons at Edinbourgh Castle.

E40
Here is a building at Edinbourgh Castle.

E42
My brother and I are seated in one of the First Class cars of the East Coast Railways train from Edinbourgh Waverly Station to London's King Cross Station.  We were very disappointed with European rail service.

E43
This is a picture of Windsor Castle, which is the official residence of Her Majesty the Queen in the United Kingdom.

E45
This is the Martyrs Memorial in Oxford, England.  It was built to honor the three archbishops who were burned at the stake by Queen Mary for supporting her cousin over her for the English throne.

E44
My brother and I are taking in the views at Stonehenge.

    I went to Europe in August of 2012 to explore England, France, and Scotland.  My little brother went with me too.  Our trip was a whirlwind tour of London, Paris, and Edinbourgh along with a day trip to Windsor, Oxford, and Stonehenge.  We were able to see a lot of stuff in 9 days!  Aside from our flight back being delayed by 24 hours, we had a great visit!  It was nice to see our English relatives too.  They were very kind to us during our visit.  Moreover, we saw a lot of the Olympic venues from the Summer Games of 2012.  The food was amazing too!  From the Scottish lamb to the French pastries to the Indian food in England, we had a great culinary experience.  Moreover, we stayed at very nice hotels including a $820 a night hotel in Paris.  In Versailles, we stayed at a Waldorf Astoria hotel.  I don't recommend taking trains in Europe however.  Although we traveled in First Class on the train, it was not that nice.  The seats were dirty, and the service was so slow!


Last Updated:  September 8, 2012 7:22 PM
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