London Hero
https://worldstrides.com/itineraries/tale-two-cities/

A Tale of Two Cities

Tell the tale of two cities when you take a musical journey to London and Paris.  England boasts a long and rich history that continues to intrigue visitors to this day. Over centuries, its people have made a significant impact throughout the world in trade, colonization, religion, literature, art, and industry. No amount of time here ever seems enough to fully experience all that the country has to offer. France is an enchanting country that evokes elegance, opulence, and richness. Each region is unique, and amid the beauty of the mountains, coastline, and cities there are charming small towns filled with friendly people who embrace the true meaning of joie de vivre.

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Highlights

Your Adventure, Day by Day

Day 1 Depart from North America
  • Flight to London Relax and enjoy our scheduled flight from North America. Our 24-hour Tour Director will meet us at the airport and remain with us until our final airport departure. We will have use of a private coach and driver while touring for the next seven days.
Day 2 Land in London
  • Explore London London is the largest city in Europe: quite a feat, considering its location on a relatively small island. London's location is perfect for an administrative, communications and trade center, as the Romans realized when they founded their city in AD 43. London is filled with countless historic and cultural treasures that meld seamlessly in this exciting, contemporary city.
  • Hotel check in For the next three evenings we will enjoy the convenience of our centrally-located London hotel, where daily breakfast will be included.
  • Enjoy Local Fare Tonight we will have dinner in a local restaurant.
Day 3 First Concert Performance
  • Explore the British Museum One of the most comprehensive collections of art and artifacts in the world, The Bristish Museum is truly spectacular. Highlights of our trip will include the Rosetta Stone, the discovery of which led to the deciphering of hieroglyphs; the Elgin Marbles from the Parthenon in Athens; and the Sutton Hoo Treasure.
  • Visit St. Paul's Cathedral, Our visit will include an ascent to the Whispering Gallery, an acoustic marvel in which the faintest whisper can be heard clearly on the opposite side, plus time at the American Memorial Chapel. If we are lucky, we will be here when the massive organ fills the entire cathedral with breathtaking music.
  • Dinner Locally Tonight we will have dinner together in a local restaurant.
  • First Concert Performance Your concert performance in London is today. Venue options include St. Martin-in-the-Field in Trafalgar, St. James in Piccadilly and St. Sepulchers all of which are excellent musical venues for sacred repertoire. For groups that prefer a smaller ecclesiastical venue options include Church of St. Anne & St Agnes, St. Dunstan’s College, Dulwich College, Ruislip Garden School, Branch Hill House Residential Home, the North Hall at Covent Garden, Ingestre Residential Home, the great Southwark Cathedral, Royal Hospital Chelsea, American School, Kings College School, Kneller Hall, Royal Military School of Music, George Inn, Hinde Street Methodist Church, Chelsea and Westminster Arts, St. George’s Church in Tolworth, Blackheath Halls, St. John’s Hospice, and Holy Trinity Church on Prince Consort Road. Outdoor venues include Tower Bridge Park Parade, Parliament Square or Covent Garden
Day 4 Live it up in London
  • Visit Westminster Abbey See where English kings and queens have been crowned since 1066, Westminster Abbey. Our Blue-Badge Guided Tour will include the Royal Chapels, containing the tombs of the English monarchs, as well as Poets’ Corner, featuring memorials to many famous British literary figures
  • Thames River Cruise The most relaxing way to view many of London’s most magnificent sights, our trip will take us past the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben and under the famous Tower Bridge.
  • Visit the Tower of London, one of Britain’s most fascinating and important historical structures. Begun as a fortress by William the Conqueror, the Tower is now primarily associated with the legendary figures imprisoned and executed here over the centuries. Our visit includes the armories, a display of instruments of torture and execution and the breathtaking Crown Jewels Exhibit
  • Last Dinner in London This evening we will dine in a local restaurant near to Piccadilly Circus and Leicester Square, two of London’s most vibrant and lively areas.
Day 5 Journey to Paris
  • Train to Paris Travel by Eurostar from London to Paris. We will have use of a private coach and driver, while touring for the next four days. Paris is one of the most iconic cities in the world, filled with culture and history, monuments and museums. Known as the City of Light, Paris is a million things to a million people. No writer has ever been able to truly capture Paris in words, and only the experience of being there can begin to express the grandness and magic of this incredible city.
  • Seine River Cruise Experience the perfect introduction to the beauty of Paris on a Seine River Cruise. We will pass under many graceful bridges and view important landmarks on both banks during our trip.
  • Hotel Check In For the next three evenings we will enjoy the convenience of our centrally-located Paris hotel, where daily breakfast will be included.
  • Dinner This evening, dinner will be provided in a local restaurant.
Day 6 Perform in Paris
  • Visit Chartres The city of Chartres, lying near the border of the Loire Valley, was one of the first urban conservation sites in France. With its half-timbered houses, cobbled streets, and stone bridges, the venture has successfully retained the town’s unique charms. Visit Chartres Cathedral, the jewel in the crown of medieval churches in Europe. The stone church is a testimony to the religious fervor of the Middle Ages. Chartres boasts an unrivaled expanse of sculpture, as well as one of Europe's most impressive collections of stained glass windows.
  • Experience Versailles See this exquisite palace commissioned by Louis XIV around Louis XIII’s hunting lodge. In addition to viewing the spectacular Gardens, our visit includes the ornate State Apartments, highlighted by the magnificent Hall of Mirrors. Versailles set the standard for royal opulence in the 17th century; this over indulgence set the stage for outrage and the ensuing French Revolution 100 years later.
  • Concert Performance Your concert performance is today. Venue options include the Basilique du Sacré Coeur, the famous white-domed cathedral that dominates the Paris skyline, Notre Dame, and La Trinité. In addition, there is Saint-Étienne-du-Mont, The American Church in Paris, and the Église de la Madeleine, which is another of our most popular venues for attracting a good audiences. Finally, the Église St-Roch is the designated church to be used for concerts by the Archbishop of Paris.
Day 7 Get a Bird's Eye View of Paris
  • Ascend the Arc de Triomphe Ascend the Arc de Triomphe, a massive triumphal arch commissioned by Napoleon. Today, it is a symbol of Paris and is home to the tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
  • Jardin des Tuileries Walk through the Jardin des Tuileries, the Neo-Classical gardens outside of the entrance to the Louvre and continue to La Place de la Concorde for a magnificent view of the Champs Élysées. Time permitting we will explore the Champs Élysées, which offers a beautiful look at Parisian life and architecture.
  • Tour the Louvre Tour the renowned Louvre Museum with a local specialist guide. We will see Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, the imposing Coronation of Napoleon, and many of the finest paintings and sculptures from western civilization.
  • Notre-Dame Cathedral Visit Notre-Dame Cathedral. Work began in 1163 on a spot that had been a holy shrine since Roman times. Over the centuries, the cathedral has been the scene of some of France's most momentous occasions, including the coronation of Napoleon.
  • Dinner Locally Tonight we will enjoy dinner in a local restaurant in the Latin Quarter, a section of the city that dates back to the Roman times; it is generally associated with artists, intellectuals, and political unrest.
  • Eiffel Tower Ascend to the top of Paris’ most recognizable landmark, the Eiffel Tower, built for the Universal Exhibition of 1889. The wrought-iron tower was not meant to be permanent, and the first permit was only for 20 years. But by that time, it had proved to be a valuable communication device for radio. It is now France’s global icon and has hosted over 200 million visitors.
Day 8 Final Concert Performance
  • Musée D'Orsay Visit the Musée D'Orsay, which is housed in a former railway station. It features mainly French art from 1848-1915, and is best known for its impressionist masterpieces by Monet, Degas, Renoir, and Cezanne.
  • Tuileries Quarter Take a Walking Tour through the Tuileries Quarter. Along the way, we will view Fontaine Molière outside the famous playwright’s home; stroll through the Jardin du Palais Royal, a garden built for Cardinal Richelieu, and surrounded by arcaded cafés and galleries; view the Palais Royal; and view the exterior of the Comedie Francaise, France’s national theater.
  • Sacré-Coeur Basilica Visit Sacré-Coeur Basilica, a huge white church that dominates the Parisian skyline. Construction of the church began in 1875 and ended in 1914, just before WWI. Inside, we can admire the stained glass and some of the world’s largest mosaics.
  • Ascend to the Montmartre area of Paris Tonight we will ascend to the Montmartre area of Paris, where we will have dinner in a local restaurant. This area was made famous in the late 19th century as an artists’ haunt. We will also spend time in the Place du Tertre, a square known for its local artwork.
  • Concert Performance Your concert performance is today. Venue options include the Basilique du Sacré Coeur, the famous white-domed cathedral that dominates the Paris skyline, Notre Dame, and La Trinité. In addition, there is Saint-Étienne-du-Mont, The American Church in Paris, and the Église de la Madeleine, which is another of our most popular venues for attracting a good audiences. Finally, the Église St-Roch is the designated church to be used for concerts by the Archbishop of Paris.
Day 9 Departure to North America
  • Depart from Paris Our rewarding and enjoyable tour comes to an end as our Tour Director accompanies us to the airport on our final day.