Tour: HCF - 2013 (HCF) - 2013

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Itinerary

DAY 1Cheers, London!

Welcome to jolly old England! Enjoy free time today to rest before your adventure begins, or you may choose to set out on your own to discover London. At 6 pm, meet your Tour Director and fellow traveling companions for a WELCOME PARTY & DINNER at your hotel. (Dinner)

Pomp-and-ceremony in London The London Eye, also known as the Millennium Wheel Marvel at the architecture of the infamous Big Ben in London London’s Tower Bridge over the River Thames 
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DAY 2Ride a DOUBLE-DECKER BUS & Fly over the City on the London Eye

Hop aboard a Globus Local FavoriteGlobus Local Favorite traditional LONDON DOUBLE-DECKER BUS for a memorable morning of sightseeing that includes all the famous landmarks: Parliament, Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, the Prime Minister’s home and office at Number 10 Downing Street, Piccadilly Circus, and also the colorful Changing of the Guard ceremony at Buckingham Palace (if held). A pizza lunch is next on the menu, then you will meet the Beefeaters, the guardians of the 900-year-old TOWER OF LONDON. After that, board a river boat, which brings you to the Globus Local FavoriteGlobus Local Favorite LONDON EYE, for a ride on Europe’s tallest Ferris wheel. This afternoon, you will have time to explore London further on your own. (Breakfast, Lunch)

Westminster Abbey – the traditional place of coronation and burial site for English monarchs Enjoy the views from the London Eye Ride the iconic double decker bus in London 
Changing of the Guard

Changing of the Guard


"Changing the Guard dates to Henry VII (reigned 1485-1509) and was designed to show military discipline as well as ceremony. The tall bearskin hats were introduced in the 18th century to make the soldiers look taller and thus more frightening, and they were adopted for ceremonial use in 1832. The ceremony we know today started in the late 1800s and involves real soldiers who fulfill all military duties, guarding the Queen being just part of their service."
Tower of London

Tower of London


"Since its founding in the 11th century, the Tower of London has served many roles: impregnable fortress, royal residence, armory, treasury, home of the famed Crown Jewels, and a prison for those who offended the monarchy. To this day it is guarded by the “Beefeaters,” a name that likely originates from when Tower guards were paid part of their salary with chunks of beef, a practice that continued until the 1800s."
Houses of Parliament

Houses of Parliament


"Big Ben may be the most famous feature of the Houses of Parliament, but equally impressive is the hammerbeam ceiling of Westminster Hall. The Hall dates back to 1097 and, at that time, the roof was supported by pillars. During the reign of King Richard II (14th century), however, it was replaced by the hammerbeam roof seen today. This roof – its beauty and sustainability – is even more impressive when you know its history. It was built with beams made from trees that were ancient at the time, reputedly acorns, dating back to the 6th century (or earlier). If only these walls (beams, rather) could talk!"
Buckingham Palace

Buckingham Palace


"Amid the splendor of modern cities it’s hard to imagine what places looked like before they became what we know today. In a previous incarnation, the ground where Buckingham Palace now stands was a mulberry garden cultivated by King James I as food for silkworms. The silk industry he hoped to nurture never materialized, and eventually a roadhouse was built there, followed in due course by the Blake House, Goring House and Arlington House.Originally known as the Buckingham House, built as a townhouse by the Duke of Buckingham in 1709, the estate was acquired by King George III in 1762."
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DAY 3Explore London

The whole day is free for independent sightseeing. Consider visiting Windsor Castle, the Queen’s favorite residence and the largest inhabited castle in the world; walk through the opulently decorated State Apartments and see St. George’s Hall, often used for banquets with as many as 160 people. Or you might want to spend some time at Madame Tussauds celebrity wax figure exhibition and mingle with some of Hollywood’s finest stars, sporting heroes, music megastars, and world leaders. And how about dinner followed by a relaxed nighttime illumination cruise on the River Thames this evening? (Breakfast)

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DAY 4Travel the “Chunnel” & See Paris From Atop the Eiffel Tower

All aboard the high-speed EUROSTAR TRAIN today! You’ll zoom up to 150 miles per hour, traveling through the undersea Channel Tunnel (Chunnel) and arriving in just over two hours in fabulous Paris, the “City of Light.” Later, take the elevator to the TOP OF THE EIFFEL TOWER, the tallest structure in Paris, for an unforgettable experience overlooking the city. (Breakfast)

The Eiffel Tower in Paris 
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DAY 5Visit a Cathedral & try a Crêpe

This morning, your Local Guide shows you what makes Paris so captivating. Admire the most famous sights: the Opéra, Arc de Triomphe, Champs-Elysées, and visit NOTRE DAME CATHEDRAL, setting for The Hunchback of Notre-Dame. Try counting the many gargoyles, or marvel at its beautiful stained-glass Rose Window. Later, sample one of France’s specialties—a Globus Local FavoriteGlobus Local Favorite freshly made CRÊPE. (Breakfast)

The Arc de Triomphe standing in the center of the Place Charles de Gaulle 
Notre Dame Cathedral

Notre Dame Cathedral


Europe’s most famous cathedral, whose twin Gothic towers loom above France’s most beloved river, the Seine, actually owes a lot of its international success to the author Victor Hugo. Back in 1831, when Hugo wrote his classic novel about a hunchbacked bell-ringer at Notre Dame who falls in love with a beautiful gypsy, the medieval cathedral had fallen on hard times. During the Revolution in 1789, it had been seized, looted of its treasures and converted into an atheistic “Temple of Reason.” Even worse, after the monarchy was restored in 1815, Notre Dame was used as riverside warehouse – its once-splendid glass windows now dimmed and its facades decaying pathetically above the Île de la Cité. But Parisian’s indifference to their landmark ended suddenly in 1831, when Victor Hugo published his romantic novel the “Hunchback of Notre Dame,” (called “Notre-Dame de Paris” in French). The book was an international bestseller and lured armies of tourists to Paris in search of its Gothic cathedral setting. Hugo used this groundswell of public interest to lobby the French government for renovations of his beloved Notre Dame. From 1845 to 1864, repairs were indeed carried out – the clogged medieval streets nearby were cleared, revealing the marvelous edifice we see today.
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DAY 6Lunch like a Parisian & Seine River Cruise

Today, enjoy lunch like a Parisian! Munch on a baguette at a Globus Local FavoriteGlobus Local Favorite PICNIC LUNCH in beautiful Luxembourg Gardens (weather permitting). Relax in the shade, watch the chess and Jeux de Boules (lawn bowling) players, or explore this popular park with its puppet shows, pony rides, carousel, playground, statues, and lush green lawns. This evening, Globus Local FavoriteGlobus Local Favorite CRUISE ON THE RIVER SEINE, then enjoy a SEND-OFF CELEBRATION DINNER at a local restaurant to celebrate the success of your unforgettable vacation. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Enjoy the beautiful views of Luxembourg 
River Seine

River Seine


Fans of Victor Hugo’s famous novel, “Les Misérables,” should detour to the Seine, between the two bridges of Le Pont Notre Dame and the Pont-au-Change. It was to these famously turbulent waters that Hugo sent the obsessive Inspector Javerts, nemesis of Jean Valjean, when he suffered a crisis of conscience over his life-long duty to the law. “There was a splash,” Hugo wrote, “and that was all.”
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DAY 7Paris

Au revoir. Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (Breakfast)

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