The journey begins…

We were up at the wee hours of the morning (about 5:30!) for the tour. We had to be in the lobby by 6:30 for a 7:00 departure. The hostel provided cereal and toast for breakfast each morning which was handy, so we managed to eat something quickly as well.

Our tour guide’s name is Lauren (aka Lozza) and the bus driver is Craig. Lozza’s from NZ and Craig’s from down at Warnambool. There are quite a lot of Aussies on the tour (Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Adelaide are all represented) 10-12 Koreans (Anyong!), a few Canadians, an American and some Mexicans. Everyone’s really friendly and the groups getting along well. Most are 19-25 years old, with a few late 28-30.

The trip to Paris was broken up by a ferry ride across the English Channel. It was a 2 hour drive to the ferry, and about another 2 hours across the water. The ferry was like a small shopping centre, with the top deck, a food court, restaurant and duty free shops! I was surprised at how big it was, having only used small passenger ferries in Sydney before.

It was a few more hours from the Ferry to Paris, but we stopped along the way. They have strict driving laws in Europe, and every four hours there have to be at least 45 mins rest time (either one 45 min break, or a 30 min and 15 min breaks). So there’s plenty of opportunities to stretch our legs and get something to eat.

On the topic of food, we’ve been eating heaps and heaps. Breakfasts are provided by Top Deck, and most lunches. There’s always plenty to eat – going to come back fat!

There was a problem with the accomodation booking for Paris so we had a free upgrade. That meant only two to a room, and a three course dinner! It was a really nice hotel, but it’s unlikely we’ll have anything like that again.

We had a night tour through the city after dinner, and saw the buildings and land marks lit up. It was really beatiful – but even better the next night when we had a boat cruise down the river.

The next day we spent exploring Paris, so there’s more to come.

Clothes are clean, and hopefully dry now, so I’m off to enjoy the beach and sunshine of Nice!

Hope everyone’s well, and looking forward to hearing from you!

All the best,


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12 years ago

Hi Dee,

Lovely to talk to you tonight and great to see your pictures on line and read about more of your travels. It sounds like you are very busy but having a wonderful time. You are giving me ‘itchy feet’!

Hope you enjoyed swimming in the mediterranean and that Bud joined you – lol.

Everything is fine here and Buddy says ‘hello’.

Keep on having fun and we’ll catch up soon.

Lots of love
Mum & Dad

12 years ago

hey Derek! well, you already know how insanely jealous i am about this trip you’re on, so i’ll spare you for now ;0P sounds like you’re having a wonderful time! glad everything got sorted with the luggage, and that’s awesome about them stuffing up the hotel in Paris! also sounds like a nice tour to be on – sometimes the people really make the trip ;0) haha, hope you’re enjoying the wonderful weather… yesterday i woke up to the news reader announcing “it is now 4 degrees…” so make the most of it while you can :0P take care, and… Read more »

12 years ago

Hi Derek,

gr8 to read through all your posts. Sounds like a really exciting trip which, I am sure has plenty more in store.
Regent street and Piccadilly Circus were really nice in London wen i waz there in 2001, m sure u would have seen them.

Can’t wait to read more of your travels. have u been supplied wit a map 2 track your travel?
Univ. results r out soon !! hehe

tc, byeee. GauraV

12 years ago

Dear Derek, Paris sounds divine. Did you pinch yourself thinking this must be a dream. Is the French food delicious? London sounded great—you write so well I am almost on the river Seine with you or walking the streets of London. i didn’t know it took so long for The Changing of the Guard.
Hope the weather is lovely. It is cold and wet here. Love kathy.oxoxox

12 years ago

Hi everyone. Thanks for your comments. The Mediterranean was great – no sand which was a bit odd, but otherwise nice (the water was pretty warm). Bud was hesitant, so I pushed him in…lol Weather here is much warmer than back home! Its been averaging high twenties and low thirties I think – almost a bit too warm… Didnt get a chance to visit Regent Street or Picadilly Circus, Gaurav, but Ill be sure to check them out when we finish the tour. All the food has been great so far – Ive been taking photos of all the meals,… Read more »