Today is the first day of the Contiki part of my trip. After waking
up and a bite to eat, it was out the front of the hotel and across the
road to wait for out coach to arrive. It started to rain and
everything that people say about the weather in London was looking
like it was true. Said hello to the other members of the group who had
stayed at the Imperial as well only to discover that most of that
group were also from Sydney.
After getting everyone from the Royal National onboard, out now
full coach took off for the Contiki office to pick up our currency
and people started getting to know one another. It was then that I
discovered that one of my fellow travellers grew up in the suburb
where I now live. Small world.
There was one small hitch once we got to the ferry terminal, two of
our group, Debbie and Vanessa, had received the wrong advice from
their travel agent and didn't have visas for France. The really stupid
thing was that we were there on July 29 and the French dropped their
requirement for Australians to hold visas on August 1. To make matters
worse we were only travelling through France for about half an hour
that day and were coming back after August 1. So they weren't allowed
to travel with us on the ferry and had to return to London and fly to
After that hiccup, we sat waiting for the ferry until it was time
to board. It didn't take long before our coach was safely on board and
eat. The ferry ride was a good time to get to know some of my fellow
tourists and quickly got chatting with Alex and Martha.
Having had something to eat and drink it was time to explore the
ferry. I decided to go up on deck and get some photos of the white
cliffs of Dover as you can see below.
| ||The White Cliffs of Dover||Me on the ferry from Dover to Calais||Hovercraft going the other way
France and Belgium. Leanda went through the details of the activities
of the first few days and we settled into chatting and getting to know
Once we reached Amsterdam and managed to get our bags up to our
rooms in the tiny elevator - one person and many bags in the elevator,
everyone else walking up - there was a short time to dump everything
before getting ready for dinner and the night's entertainment. I
shared a room with the Richard from Adelaide who was a pretty
After the entertainment, went to have a beer with a couple from
California, Wil and Tammy, who were really nice. It was time for the
coach to return us to the hotel and not feeling like tackling taxi
drivers or public transport to get back, I jumped on as did most
people. The evening finished with more beers in the hotel's small bar
before tiredness took hold and I called it a night.