London - Dover - Calais - Paris

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July 19th 2007
Published: August 23rd 2007
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Day 4 (1)

Contiki European Contrasts Day 1! We rolled out of the Royal National Hotel, London, at 6:50am and made it to Paris near 5pm. Keep in mind, we lost an hour (if UK is midnight, then Paris is 1am) so the trip only took 9 hours (haha, only).

Dan and JessDan and JessDan and Jess

Leaving the White Cliffs of Dover
Day 4 (1): (#) is the Contiki day I'm on tour. Now that's clear... I woke up at 5:20am to my alarm clock. Crawled out of bed, stuffed the rest of my stuff into my backpack, and made it down at 6am (what are they thinking... making us wake up that early). Some people grouped up already, while a few stood alone. Not long after, the Contiki staff began to weigh in all the bags (under 22kg/40lbs). Somehow I ended with the smallest luggage there (even smaller than Dan's... now that's a bit embarrassing), but I faired out alright. We got on the English coach (the doors on the left side and the driver was on the right... something familiar to Australians but not to the rest of the world, haha) and off we went to...

Dover! The French didn't even bother checking our passports, so we just got off the bus (buh bye English coach) and walked onto the ferry. I feel like using the word ferry does it injustice. Normally, when I see the word ferry, I think of the small little boat that goes from the edge of Manhattan to the Statue of Liberty. But this is not a <20 minute ride. This ferry carries cars, buses, trucks, and passengers from the closest points between the UK and France (which happens to be Dover, England and Calais, France) across the English Channel. So... now think big!! There are a few floors just for the vehicles. There's 3 floors for humans to hang out. Among those floors, there was a shop, currency exchange, food court, at least 1 bar, and plenty of seats. Even the hallways looked fancy... framed advertisements. From the back, there are several rows of chairs (imagine the seats you see at an airport... now put those seats on the ferry) where you can admire the White Cliffs of Dover. If you look carefully, there are even castles up there... I know, how cool! It was at this point where I said goodbye to England and hello to the rest of Europe.

An hour and a half later, the ferry arrived in Calais, France. During that time, I had breakfast... with the first time I had to pay for ketchup (since when did you have to pay for 'sauce'?). It would be my last time using £s for a while. There, in Calais, the
Eglise du DomeEglise du DomeEglise du Dome

Napoleon's in there.
total of 50 people (less one mate whom we meet in Paris) meet our driver, Ben, and our loving home... I mean Coach... Contiki Coach. 😊

It was not until 5pm when we finally make it to our campsite, southeast of central Paris. A pre-dinner began with l'escargots and champagne (what a way to start the tour!) about an hour later, and we made our way back to the coach at 7pm to drive around Paris. Ben drove past the Lourve, Musee d'Orsay, Arc de Triomphe along Place Charles de Gaulle (supposely an accident occurs every 8 minutes there), Eglise du Dome (where Napoleon's body lies), and Tour Eiffel. It was a nice brief overview before the next day's big day out.

Tonight we rested up for tomorrow 1 day in Paris (hm, I think there ought to be one more night here).

Additional photos below
Photos: 6, Displayed: 6


Tour Eiffel 2Tour Eiffel 2
Tour Eiffel 2

with Dan and me :)
Arc de TriompheArc de Triomphe
Arc de Triomphe

from the coach view, driving on Place Charles de Gauille

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