I was fortunate enough to spend my junior year of college studying abroad in Florence, Italy. As an added benefit, mainly due to the close proximity and ease of travel throughout Europe, I was able to visit many countries during that year abroad. I was astonished by Gaudi's beautiful architecture in Barcelona, traveled through Switzerland by train, gorged on pizza in Northern Italy and drank a lot of beer in Germany. One place I never traveled to however was England, mostly because at the time I was living in Italy in 2007, the price of the English pound was almost double that of the American dollar. London, so I heard, was already one of the most expensive cities, so the conversion rate was just adding insult to injury.
Fast forward to now, my husband has been finishing up his masters degree and this year has been particularly rough. He told me that he needed a vacation over his winter break and started looking for cheap tickets to pretty much anywhere. Somehow, we found affordable tickets for London over Christmas mostly thanks to the Brexit and the pound being worth a much more comparable amount to the dollar. Without much planning, we bought our tickets and went for 12 days to London and Paris between Christmas and New Years.
During the time we were traveling, I brought my travel-size pack of watercolors, some pens and a sketchbook. However, the weather was so cold (Paris was below freezing the entire time we were there!) and we were so pressed for time (there is so much to do and see!) I didn't take them out once. My intention was to sketch some of the sights quickly while site-seeing but my fingers were much too cold to take my gloves off.
Therefore I ended up creating these sketches after I returned from our travels, hence why it has taken me a few months to post this on the blog. One of my favorite places in London was the Westminster Bridge overlooking the Thames River straight towards the iconic Big Ben.
In Paris, some of my favorite places were the Notre Dame, which we saw the first day we were in Paris, and the Eiffel Tower, which we saw on the last day. Since the weather was so cold and cloudy when we were in Paris, all you could see of the Eiffel Tower was its 1/3 bottom half, the rest engulfed in a layer of fog.
I hope you have a chance to travel soon as looking at these sketches is making me nostalgic for returning to Europe as soon and as quickly as possible.