Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Day 1 & 2 : London - Paris

Monday 7 & Tuesday 8 September 2009

Today’s the day I begin my Contiki journey with 49 other strangers who would become my temporary family for the next 21 days. Yes, I’m doing the 21 days Camping trip around Europe. Most of the group were Aussies, followed by Kiwis, 5 South Africans, 3 Americans, 2 Canadians, 1 Barcelonian, 1 Columbian, 1 Korean and me, the only Malaysian. I’m always the only Asian in these kind of trips so was interesting to have a Korean too although she doesn’t speak very good English. Contiki crew were Scotty as our Tour Manager, Jerry as our driver and Amber as our cook.

Boarded the ferry to France and that’s where it all started – the bar. Met Paulie, Kylie & Cindy from Katherine, Australia, Matthew (Kiwi) from NZ and Rob (Chuck Norris) from Australia. Even when I’m halfway across the world, I gravitate towards alcos. Hmmm.

Ferry from London to Paris

Set up camp for the first time with much difficulty in Paris with tent mate Sophia from Korea. Amber prepared escargots for us and to my surprise, many of them have never tried snails before. I thought French food was common in all parts of the world? Scotty brought us into town to see Paris at night.

Camping in Paris

Paris at night

Woke up early the next day to check out the sights. Was 6 of us : me, Cindy, Kylie, Paulie, Kiwi & Chuck. Started off at the Eiffel Tower and walked to the Arc de Triomphe. We took a train to Notre Dame but got lost in the process. It was a blessing in disguise as we found an absolutely lovely cathedral where it was amazingly peaceful and quiet. I was just mesmerised by its beauty. We all thought it was the Notre Dame until a local told us otherwise. Quite hilarious come to think of it now.

Paris during the day

The beautiful cathedral we thought was Notre Dame

Finally made it to Notre Dame. It was impressively massive but I enjoyed the sereneness of the previous cathedral better. Completed my Parisian experience with a French meal accompanied by an accordion player. Skipped the cabarets though and went back to camp for an early night in my cold tent.

The real Notre Dame

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