As my friend board the Ferry we are so excited. The Ferry is pretty big so I’m thinking that I won’t be get motion sickness. I was wrong. While sitting with my friend in one of the inside sitting area I start to feel nautious, so I head back up to the upper deck which I stay for the duration of the 45 minute trip. It is too cold for my friend so she remains inside.
I actually enjoy the fresh air a views from the upper deck. I spend some of the time taking photos as we depart England and head over to the main France.
Well, we travel by ferry from England to France where we are met by our tour director, Judith, and our driver Antonio. Judith is Dutch and speaks 5 different languages. And our driver, Antonio, well he is 100% Italian. They are both very nice.
We see our tour mates for the first time. There are 37 people on this tour so the bus was not full and me and my friend were able to have a row to our selves. It was great. I would say the average age was about 35. There were some early to late 20 year old, a few in their 30’s and 40’s and only a few over 55. It was a really good mix. A majority were from Australia and America with one couple from So. Africa.
We drive on the auto route and make one auto grill stop along the way. Our TD spoke to us about the schedules for the next day. Our first introduction to those infamous words “Wake up call!”
She tells us about the Seat rotation rule, which by the way our group never followed and she never enforced. Our group was very cool! No one complained or stressed over where they were sitting the next day. Some people liked the back, some liked the middle and some the front. This made the trip more relaxing and stress free. We just all went with the flow.
We finally arrived at our hotel, where we are driven down into the basement below. This was a sign of bad things to come. Our TD informs us that this hotel has a bad reputation for taking four hours to deliver luggage to the rooms. After she announces our room assignments, she recommends that we take our own luggage to our hotel room. That actually didn’t bother me. We all followed her suggestion. I certainly didn’t want to wait 4 hours for my luggage.
As soon as we opened the door to our hotel we break out into laughter. The room was so small we couldn’t even roll our suit cases in. It looked like an old dorm room converted into a hotel. The carpet was very dirty and the door was chipped as if someone tried to break in. It was so bad we had to just laugh. We were actually late for dinner because we couldn’t stop laughing. Of course, the number one topic at the dinner table was about the rooms. In a weird way, the experience brought the group together! Funny how that is!
Earlier in the day we meet two girls from LA (Sue & Joyce) and a mother and daughter from Australia, Allison and Megan. They were so nice. At the dinner table we meet Kevin and Lauren, a very nice couple from Orange County. At first, we couldn’t remember the two girls from LA so we nicknamed them the LA girls.
After dinner Allison and Megan, me and my friend Bea decided to explore Paris at night. It was already 10:00 p.m. We walked a few blocks to the Metro station, so we could go to see the Eiffel Tower at night. When we arrive at the Metro Station we realize that we have no clue how to get from point A to point B and the ticket dispenser machine isn’t working. My friend practices her French on an unsuspecting local. He is amused by her french. I was of no help as I was cracking up …
Well, we never did figure out the ticket machine so we take a huge risk and take the metro without a paid ticket. Yikes! But we remain in a good and adventurous mood and we venture onward.
When we exit the Metro station onto the street, we are near the Arc De Triumph and Champs Elysees and now realize that we took the wrong station and are blocks away from the Eiffel tower. We could actually see the sparkling lights of the Tower in the very far distance. Oh well, we decide to explore the area anyway…
Anyway by now it was near midnight so we head back to the hotel, which we affectionately nicknamed the “hotel from hell.” We get back safely, took a shower then went to bed. Our wake up call “7:15 a.m.”