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,

Derek

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