Living Out My Dreams in London & Paris

The London Eye at night

Paris

view of the eiffel tower from the sidelines of the seine riverOne of the top destinations that I have always wanted to visit was Paris because of the Eiffel Tower. I was eager to see and go to the top of the Eiffel Tower for the first time! On the first day, we were able to take a tour of Paris where we stopped to take pictures in front of the Eiffel Tower, but only from a distance. So, later that night I went back to get a closer look. As I was walking under it, I began to realize that I was seeing one of the most recognizable monuments in the world. I could not believe that I had seen it in pictures and in movies many times and in reality, I was just underneath it. It was a dream come true! However, I was disappointed that I was not able to go to the top because it was already late. On the other hand, I was able to see the Eiffel Tower sparkle and it was unbelievable seeing the tower shine for five whole minutes. During that time, I was just standing still in one spot admiring the lights and thinking that it felt unreal.

The next evening, we went back to go on a river cruise. However, we got lost and could not find where the boat cruise entrance was. So, we walked for almost an hour along the river so we were able to see different views of the Eiffel Tower. Which in the end, I was glad we got lost because I was able to appreciate all the angles from afar.

London

approaching the London Eye at nightWhile visiting London, I was eager to see and ride the London Eye for the 360-degree view of the city. However, I wanted to get on it at night because the whole city lights up. So, that first night that we got to London we looked at the official website to view the schedule. As we were looking through the website, we noticed that the night was going to be the last day the London Eye was going to remain open. After that night it would be closed for almost two weeks. So, we decided to go straight to the London Eye before it closed. Fortunately, we were able to go inside and admire the view. While being above I was able to see Big Ben, The Shard, St. Paul’s Cathedral, and etc. I truly recommend visiting the London Eye because it is a peaceful break from all the bustle of the city and the view is breathtaking. For those who feel anxious about heights or think that the Ferris wheel goes at a fast pace. The ride is relatively smooth, and you can always sit down in the middle of the capsule to not feel too close to the windows.

Riding the Metro

student posing in front of the Eiffel Tower in ParisNever in my life had I used the metro, so ridding in it was an adventure. I was glad that I was around people that knew how to use it because if I wasn’t, I would have definitely gotten lost a couple of times. While using the metro in Paris I noticed that it was easier to use because in London some lines connect with one another and you can easily get off on the wrong exit. I noticed that in Paris the metro was far more crowded than in London. Due to this in London, the metro was cleaner and there was hardly any trash on the floor. When traveling in Paris, I noticed there was not much of a wait time and it never stopped. I did not like that in London whenever you were ready to exit the metro station you had to pass your metro ticket trough a machine in order to get out the underground. In the end, I was somewhat able to learn how to read the metro map. So, next time I travel anywhere I want to familiarize myself with how to travel via the metro.

I was so surprised by the efficiency of this transportation system and by how many people use it in their daily lives. I began to think that if in Los Angeles we would have a more efficient method of transportation we could definitely avoid some of the traffic. Also, I was surprised that every time I needed to use the restroom “toilet” there were located on the lower level of the buildings. At first, I thought it was just in local restaurants, but when I went into an American fast food restaurant it was the same thing.

To conclude, before heading to the seminar, I was more thrilled to visit Paris rather than London. However, after being in both of the cities I came to the conclusion that I enjoyed being in London more than Paris. I believe because I did not have to deal with the language barrier and in many ways, it is more similar to the United States. On a side note be prepared to walk a lot.

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Cynthia Ponce

School: California Lutheran University

I attended the Winter MBA 2019 Seminar!

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