Topdeck Travel: Day One

26 Jul

Bonjour, solipsists. As promised, here is the first update. I am in Paris!

The famous Paris Hilton.

The first day of the European Wonder tour saw us congregate at the Clink 78 Hostel at 6am, where I had spent the night previously (mostly through fear of missing the coach). The hostel had a really nice atmosphere and breakfast was included, but the rooms were so hot and sauna-like that I thought I was gonna die. I did share a room with two girls who are on the tour though — Isabella and Patricia from Brazil.

I also found a stowaway in my suitcase. He can stay though.


On the coach we were introduced to Jamie, who will be our guide for the trip. “Look around,” he said. “One of these people is going to be your friend for life.” He also assured us that this trip is one of the best experiences we will ever do. I’m a bit of a cynic, but on the coach drive from London to Dover we drove over the Thames, where I saw the HMS President (where I spent a year when I was working for global tolerance). It reminded me how far I’d come and what a journey there is still to go. But you know what? This is definitely going to be my year.

We got the ferry over to Calais. Jamie had warned us not to buy crates of Fosters on the duty-free on the ferry because beer is so cheap throughout Europe, and also because nobody should be a crate of Fosters anyway. In Paris we pulled up to the B&B Hotel. I’m sharing a room with Vicky – another English Lit graduate who works in PR and comms – and Rachael, another Aussie.

Around the corner from the hotel we were treated to ‘traditional French cousine’ at l’Orange Bleue — French onion soup (do they just call it onion soup here?), escargot and frogs’ legs. Dave from New Zealand treated us to a 65-euro bottle of Moet and by the time we all got on the bus for a driving tour around the sights of Paris, we were all feeling a bit merry.

Kevin, the bus driver, drove into the heart of Paris while Jamie gave us the history of Europe in a nutshell over the microphone. We drove past the Moulin Rouge, the phantom’s Opera House, the Louvre, Arc De Triomphe, Conciergerie, and Notre Dame. We also drove down the Champs Elysees, and visited a few of the lesser-known sights of Paris, including Avenue Kléber where Marilyn Monroe allegedly lived (and where Doctor Who was filmed as well!).

The highlight of the bus tour was definitely the soundtrack — ‘Foux Du FaFa‘ by Flight of the Conchords, the Mission Impossible theme-song when we were going through a particularly narrow tunnel, ‘Move Bitch’ by Ludacris when there was another bus blocking us off by the Eiffel Tower…

Oh yeah, the Eiffel Tower. That was pretty cool. I’d seen it before, but this guy hadn’t:

Little Lion Man at the Eiffel Tower

Little Lion Man at the Eiffel Tower.

Free day tomorrow! Au revoir! x

Read the rest of my European Wonder adventures here.

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