These galleries contain photos of our European vacation in September 2011. The overall trip last 10 days and covers 8 cities. We visited Italy (Rome, Vatican City, Florence and Venice), Switzerland (Lugano and Lucerne), France (Paris) and England (London).

Day 1 - We arrived in Rome today after an overnight flight. Went for lunch at a small restaurant near the hotel, and then walked around Vatican City to spend the free day. For dinner, we met up with the tour group and had a 4-course Italian dinner with live Opera style singers.

Day 2 - The tour officially started this morning with visits to the Vatican Museum, Sistine Chapel St. Peter's Basilica and the Colosseum. In the afternoon, we took the Roman Highlights excursion which include visits to the Spanish Steps, the Trevi Fountain, the Pantheon and Piazza Navona.

Day 3 - We left Rome for Florence this morning, driving through beautiful Tuscany. We visited the Church of the Holy Cross, Piazza della Signoria, and finally the Florence Cathedral (Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore).

Day 4 - We took a private boat into Venice this morning, landing near St. Mark's Square. After roaming and getting lost in the little alleys of the city, we joined the tour group and took the gondola with serenade through the canals.

Day 5 - We left Italy today and drove through the Swiss Alps to head into Switzerland. We stopped by Lugano for lunch and arrived in Lucerne in the afternoon. Once there, we visited the Lion monument, walked around town and had dinner next to the Chapel Bridge.

Day 6 - We took a private cruise this morning across Lake Lucerne to Alpnachstad to board the world steepest cogwheel railway and climbed Mountain Pilatus. At Pilatus, few of us decided to climb to its highest peak at 7000 feet. Afterward, we left the mountain on the aerial cableways and panorama gondolas, and took the tour bus back to Lucerne. Once back in town, we decided to continue exploring Lucerne on our own and found the old city wall where we climbed one of the towers and got a breathtaking view of the city.

Day 7 - We arrived in Paris this afternoon after a long drive from Lucerne. Once we figured out the metro system, we visited the Notre Dame and had dinner in Latin Quarter. Afterward, we walked along the Seine river and visited the Louvre at night.

Day 8 - We started today with visit to Versailles and its garden. After lunch, we drove through Paris for sightseeing and went up to the second level of Eiffel Tower. Unfortunately it rained pretty hard today so we couldn't stay out for long. It was a great experience nevertheless. At dawn, we head to Montmartre by taking one of its petit train (with rubber wheels) and had dinner there. At night, we drove through Paris again to see its night lights and ended it with a final visit to the sparkling Eiffel Tower.

Day 9 - We took the Eurostar train this morning to leave Paris for London. Once we figured out the tube system, we went to the Leicester Square for lunch, visit the Parliament and Big Ben, and finally rode around the London Eye. We also visited the Westminster Abbey before heading back to the hotel.

Day 10 - On the final day of our tour, we visited the St. Paul's Cathedral, St. James' Palace, and finally the Buckingham Palace and the Royal Mews. Unfortunately photography is strictly prohibited inside Buckingham Palace so I didn't have any photos from the visit.

NOTE: Click on the "Trip Gallery List" link in each gallery to come back to this page.
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