My first full week I didn't leave Paris really, but we did go to Euro Disneyland and the movie lover in me really loved the design of the parks (especially the Pixar section...so awesome!) I had some movie moments with that, as well as Narnia, Star Wars and some others :)
But our first actual trip was to Normandy. This was really one of the highlights of all of my time in Europe (but honestly...there were a lot of highlights!) I really wish we could have spent more time on Omaha beach. The spirit there was just incredible...and you couldn't help but be filled with thousands of emotions. Pride, gratitude, admiration and sorrow for the sacrifices made there. This was just an amazing sight to see for the history alone though it does have small film significance too (Saving Private Ryan.) The moment of walking on that beach in the pouring rain was one of the most vivid and beautiful memories of my life. I'm so grateful I was able to go there!
The next place I got to see was the French Riviera where I visited Nice, Monte Carlo in Monaco, Cannes, and Marseille. Each of these cities (especially Nice and Monte Carlo) were just like a freaking paradise. They were just amazing. Everywhere was beautiful, and everything I shot looked like it could have been taken off a postcard. The silly movie Killers inspired me to go there because of its gorgeous scenery and in person it didn't disappoint. Many movies are set in this land of the rich and famous including a great french film Priceless, the classic Hitchcock To Catch A Thief, and also the comedy Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. I was also really happy to visit Cannes, the official home to one of the biggest film festivals in the world: The Cannes Film Festival. It wasn't anywhere near when the festival is held, but I got to walk on a tacky red carpet for tourists that are out all year anyway... but I was happy to do it! This trip was great, and also had two vivid memories that occurred in Nice. Swimming in that beautiful Mediterranean Sea was one of the greatest moments of my life (it was just so beautiful and peaceful)...until I got stung by a jellyfish! That was awful, but only made the trip the more memorable I suppose!
The week after Nice, I finally made it to a place I've wanted to go my whole life: London! I loved England. It was so disappointing, we were supposed to be there for a much longer period of time but due to BYU Nazi's we were only got 2 days in that one city, in that one beautiful country, (originally we thought of going to see Stone Henge, Bath, and even visit Ireland for a day...but alas). England is so great, and it has so much film history. A lot of really awesome things originated over there. You've got Peter Pan, The Beatles, Jane Austen, Harry Potter, Charles Dickens to name a few. What can I say? I just love English culture. It's fantastic. There's honestly too many movies to even count that have an English connection! In London, I saw all the sights there are to see (thanks in part to Brittany Helvey who, poor girl, begrudgingly played tour guide.) I loved the parks of London...they were just cinematically beautiful if that even makes sense. And Big Ben was also a favorite as it gave me a total sense of Peter Pan!
The next week was another southern France trip, but more to the West this time as we saw some really cool medieval castles. In these regions everything was picturesque...it looked like a Disneyland creation...but it was real! (When I went to Belgium I also had a similar feeling.) Each town and each castle was just incredible. I loved the little town of red, where every building was red, I'd never seen anything like it..but would have still preferred it if it was a blue city instead :) One of my favorite castles was apparently even in the movie Ever After. It wasn't me who found out this fact...nor do I really care too much because I thought that movie was rather meh...but hey any film connection is okay I suppose :)
Then...there was Belgium. Bruges & Brussels to be exact! This was a fun trip. The food was fantastic and it's just a fun country.
In Bruges, which I have not seen but have heard great things about. I need to see it ASAP just to relive the wonderful scenery of Bruges. I loved the details of all the buildings and the canals everywhere. It really was lovely.
Next was Italia! 3 of the most beautiful cities in the world happen to be in this country and we saw them! Venice, Florence, and Rome were all just incredible. Although there are certainly many wonderful romances in film that take place here (most notably, Roman Holiday) I didn't find love in Italy any more than Paris (I wasn't looking anyway :) ) More like Julia Roberts in the mediocre Eat, Pray, Love my love story was with the wonderful food. Venice was, as my friend Trisha described it "exquisite" and Rome was just mind blowing. The gondola ride, the first night in Rome eating dinner by the fountain whilst being serenaded by violin, the Colosseum...the moments on this trip were incredible, and again, will stay with me forever.