Today I caught the National Express bus from Felixstowe to London. Felixstowe is a small seaside town in Suffolk on the south east coast of England. I've been staying here with some relatives for the past week and a half, and toay I'm leaving here to travel to London, as my contiki tour starts tomorrow.
I ended up getting out of bed at 5am as I forgot the clocks go back becuase it is the end of day light savings in Europe. So I had to sit around until it was time to go to the bus stop as I was afraid I would not wake up if I went back to bed. Still, I ended up getting to the bus stop just as the bus was pulling up. Talk about good timing. The bus trip was pretty average, and I dozed off a few times as I did not really get much sleep last night. When we drove around London, I got to see some of the sights for the first time, such as Big Ben, the Tower of London etc, which was pretty cool. We got to Victoria coach station, which is the main coach station in London at around 11am, and I had to drag my bags to catch the tube to Russel Square station, where my hotel the Royal National was located. The tube was really busy, so I had to wait a few trains till I could manage to get on one that would fit all of my stuff. I changed trains at Green Square and hopped on one to Russel Square on the Piccadilly line. The tubes was pretty easy to follow as they are much like Sydney's cityrail...you just follow the coloured lines. When I got off the tube at Russel Square it took me a while to find it becuase I ended up walking off in the opposite direction. I asked some random dude where it was and he pointed me in the right direction. Turned out it was practically right in front of the tube station.
I didn't really know where to go when I got there, so I went to reception and they told me I had to go to the contiki basement. I went there and found out I could not check in till 2pm, so basically I sat around there, went on the internet and waited till 2pm came around.
When I got to my room (which was hard to find since there were like 1000 rooms on each floor), I found I had a room-mate- Jen from NZ. I thought her name was Gin becuase of her accent which was pretty funny. She had just returned from her contiki tour a few days ago and she had done to same one I am about to do- European Inspiration. She told me what goes down and filled me in on the details.
By 3pm I was pretty hungry becuase I had neglected to eat all day so I found some random shop and bought a pretty average sandwich and a drink and went back to my room and talked to Jen some more, and then got ready for my contiki pre-tour meeting which started at 6.
When I got there, 3 people where already there- Steph, Emma and Beau. The girls where from Oz and Beau was from the US. We talked a bit and then eventually a few more people came down. The meeting was pretty quick and just involved us meeting our tour manager- Greg and driver- Paul and giving Greg out passport details etc. Steph, Emma, Beau and this other American guy Patrick agreeded to meet up for drinks at the London pub. I went back to my room and got Jen who wanted to come too and we went downstairs. I got on the Smirnoffs and ended up having about 5 so I got pretty tipsy..pretty much gave everyone a taste of what I drunk I am before the tour even started. The pub was playing heaps of Red Hot Chilli Pepper songs, so we agreeded the RHCP would be like our "theme" band for the tour. Emma and Steph soon left, so Patrick, Beau and myself stayed a bit longer and then called it a night and headed back to our rooms.
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