Contiki first day. All very exciting. We spent yesterday seeing thw london sights on a big red bus which was good fun. Had lunch at the Sherlock Holmes pub then walked around Hyde park which is sooooo amazing and beautiful. This is where the Princess Diana memorial is which was lovely to see. Roller blading is also very big in this park and people were getting very into it.
We then rushed around like crazy to get last minute toiletries before starting the Contiki Tour since we had a pre departure meeting on the other side of London at 6:30pm. We ended up missing the last big red bus and had to get a cab back to ou hotel then walk the 3 mins to the meeting getting there at 6:45pm.. Turns out the meeting was actually at 6pm and we missed the entire thing!!! Had to have a little giggle.
So after that rushed mess we just leisurely walked to find dinner before going back the hostel. We ended up at a place called Giraffe where we actually had breakfast that morning with Jens Cousin and wife. The waiter there was very nice and at the end of the meal I told him it was very 'yummy' and he looked at me with such confusion!! Turns out he had never heard that word before or even 'Yum' for that matter. He then tried to use it back to us in a sentence which made no sense and was very hilarious.
Back to the hostel to check in to ou room. We had a luxury female dorm which was nice and very feminine. Packd ou bags afte showering and bed early for the mornign start.
We were up at 5:30am this morning to be at the Contiki place by 6:30am to load onto the bus. No introductions or meeting everyone here it was weighing bags, putting them on the bus then sitting on the bus. Once all settled we met our Tour Manager - Lara from Australia and Levi from Hungary. Got along with both straight away and both are very cool and friendly. Everyone loosened up a bit and starting chatting during the 2 hour drive to the White Cliffs of Dover where we wen through customs and onto a ferry to cross to France. All of the girls ended up together and we chatted for the ride over and really got to know eachother.
There is one other Canberran - Doug and 85% of the tour people are Australian then 1 Canadian 4 Americans and 1 Nw Zealander. A lot of couples who are really keeping to themselves at the moment.
Back on the bus for the 3 hour drive to Paris where wwe were tought some slight French by Lara and got a few history stories along the way. So we have only 1 full day in Paris which is a Tuesday tmorrow and turns out that is the only day of the week that the Lourve is closed!! So they rushed us there before even going to the hotel. On the way Lara convinced Levi to take us through the Arc De Triomphe roundabout which has 12 roads leading into it and no lines or organisation. Can not even explain this. It was myhem. An accident happens on average every 12 mintues and prety sure we witnessed 20 almost accidents. So funny and so silly!!
So the Lourve was ony open for an hour after we got in so we all ran straight to the Mona Lisa which was quite small and disappointing but still great to see. Then to the Aphrodite (or as Jen calls it 'The chick with no ams') which was very nice then after getting extremely lost we made it out the the courtyard area where the modern triangle it. This was beautiful. And it is very warm here at th moment. Then down to the meeting point but not before getting Starbucks which is everywhere here!!!! Yay! Jen forgot that we were supposed to at least try speaking French to the locals before pumping out the English so the guy at Starbucks was taking the mickey out of us and pretending he could not understand us. Then once we got out what were trying to order in slight French he replayed it back to us in perfect English!
Then to the bathroom which was 1 Euro and very lush and fancy then back on the bus. From here we were stuck in traffic for over an hour but passed some lovely sights on the way. We saw the bride from the final Sex and the City episode with Carrie and Big. this bridge is quite famous with it's tradition of couples in love placed a padlock on it's rails and then throwing the keys into the Seine river keeping their love together forever (ew). Anyway, some politician has been lobbying to get the locks removed but wasn't having much luck then 'mysteriously' about 3 weeks ago they were all cut off the bridge!! The politician solemnly swears he didn't do it. There are already another hundred locks on there...
They took us back to the hotel for a group dinner which was quiche Lorraine (yummy) and beef with pasta for main. Then warm chocolate brownies for dessert which were delicious. Tonight was for relaxing since we have to fit in a lot of stuff tomorrow then get back to th hotel in time for Moulin Rouge. Everyone went to bed early.