European Experiance

  • Day 4 – To Château de Cruix

    Day 4 – To Château de Cruix

    This was a rough bus ride. We drove a while and ended up at the Chateau de Cruix. There was a great wine tasting here. Though the cheese was great the wine had trouble going down after puking so much the night before.

    After dinner we had an easy nighty and skipped the party. We also went to the town Napoleon rallied the troops on his final return from exile.

    Journal entry from 2013

    The beads of water are dropping on my head in a nice warm shower as I awaken to hear the alarm sound that it is time to get up a begin the day. I am sitting in a stand up shower stall at the ibis Budget hotel in Paris. As I emerge from the shower to pack up to meet up with the tour group. I see the victim that the room has become. Where my bed was there was the remnants of of the Parisian dinner experience including the 5 bottles of previously consumed red wine on the bed and the bed of the person I was supposed to be sharing a room with. Though in reality he didn’t use the room that night, as in many nights of Contiki after a night on the town, he has stayed in one of the ladies rooms. Breakfast like usual was typical European so not the greatest but would do. I remember waiting on the bus for the hotel to notice what happened and make me pay for everything redecorated in the wine, but never happened. The bus moved! I was free! No, wait OMG, the bus is moving, breakfast does not want to stay down. I must keep it down, I was not going to be the one singled out in front of 52 other people for losing my breakfast. Then the morning song blares the pumping vibes of One Day/Reckoning Song by Asaf Avidan. “One Day baby we’ll be old.” for me that sounded like today, this was the worse hang over my 30 year old self had ever experienced.

    After an about two hour drive that I slept through, we at Château de Fontainebleau which was an impressive looking palace with a big garden, that I could care less about. It was where Napoleon after exile returned to form up with his army to reconquer Paris. This is where I have one of only 2 photos from the day. Though all I cared about was finding the store and using the toilet and restocking on some water. Being in France and able to read French turned out to be a benefit here, as I remember several Australians in the group becoming the next victim of sparkling water.

    After returning to the bus, we drove several more hours to the Contiki special stop over in Theizé just north of Lyon. The first excursion before we unpacked for dinner and the night was a wine tasting. I really don’t remember much other than listening to how they harvest and make wine and my tummy, yelling “I’m warning you, you better not be thinking about it!” There was samples of cheese freshly made as well that was incredibly good and I sipped at the wine, then chugged the little glass to make it gone, and then had to find the toilet fast. My tummy do warn me, not to do it.

    After dinner was going to be the “P” party in the basement. I just wanted to die so I just laid down a bit and then went slept a very good sleep.

  • Day 3 – Paris (a.k.a. the last day I enjoyed wine)

    Day 3 – Paris (a.k.a. the last day I enjoyed wine)

    Start by going to the Arc de Triumph with the group then ditched them and explored the entire Champs-Élysées. Of special note was the amazing pastry in the back alley. Then from near the Louvre took the Metro to Bonne Nouvelle (Good news). I got out and seen 2 amazing Arches. Then want to the Musée des Arts et Métiers. The place was amazing. I saw a Kilogram and a satellite. After that I walked down to the Hotel de ville and the Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris. Caught the Metro again and went to Rodan’s house but ran out of time so walked back to meet the coach. Then went up a lot of steps to the church on the hill. Then the Parisian dinner where thought it was a good idea to polish off 4 bottles are wine. The fish dinner and onion soup was great. Then went to Nouvelle Eve and was very drunk, had a few glasses of Champane. When clapping I spilled a glass on Catherine. When show was over, we went to O’Sullivan’s but I was too drunk to be let in so I went to the hotel. Where I passed out and woke up with vomit all over. I then slept in the shower.

    Continuation of a series from a Travel Log I found from my 2013 Contiki trip.
    Me at the Arc.
    Me at the Arc.

    This day is by far one of the most memorable that I have ever had while travelling, I would say of this trip as a whole but this was also the trip that originated “the Amsterdam story”. Let’s start with the beginning, why did I ditch the group at the Arc? Mainly because they wanted to wait in the line to go to the top to take pictures, and it was a long line that had not opened yet. I do have photos, just not from the top.

    From there I did walk down most of the Champs-Élysées, before cutting through a building to go to the back alley (Rue Ponthieu) where I found Boulangerie du Colisée. Going back to Champs-Élysées I took a picture from the middle of the street looking up to the Arc, before jumping on the Metro. I was taking the 9 train from FDR to Strasbourg Saint-Denis as “The Plan” but the plan did not exactly work out because I seen the “Bonne Nouvelle” station when the train stopped and I just had an urge to get out and see it, and mostly take a picture of the sign.

    Me at Notre-Dame
    Me at Notre-Dame

    I just looked up the Arch that I told myself I was fortunate to get off at Bonne Nouvelle or I would have missed. As it turns out was “Statue St Denis” at the Metro station I intended to go to and would not have had to walk an extra 10 minutes to the Musée des Arts et Métiers.

    If you have not seen this museum, it is amazing and totally nerd fest, but with amazing art. There were measuring things to measure anything you could imagine and every type of technology that made possible the last two hundred years. Ther building itself is an old church and is one of the best attractions that no one tells you exists in Paris. Google Street View also has the entire inside of the museum.

    View from Basilica of Sacré-Cœur de Montmartre.
    View from Basilica of Sacré-Coeur de Montmartre.

    The church with a lot of steps was The Basilica of Sacré-Coeur de Montmartre. This is an amazing view of Paris and filled with con-artists and pickpockets. There are 222 steps to get to the top, it was windy, cold, and wet both times I was in Paris to see this.

    After this we went to a restaurant for a fancy dinner. I do remember that we sat at a long table and had an amazing dinner. There were five sets of bottles of white wine, red wine, and water on the table. The water and white wine were well enjoyed. I came up with the mission that we should not be wasting any of the wonderful red wine, so I finished off the remains of all five bottles of red wine. This was going to be a huge mistake.

    Unknown restaurant in Paris.
    Unknown Restaurant in Paris.

    As I left the place I remember getting feeling a bit intoxicated and started stumbling down the street with the group headed to take an obligatory photo in front of Moulin Rouge before going to the Cabaret show at Nouvelle Eve.

    At the cabaret show there was free sparkling wine included in the admission, and despite better judgement, I drank some more. I don’t remember much of the show after the first number, I have two blurry pics that show nothing, and I do remember spilling wine all over Catherine who I was seated next to.

    Upon leaving the show the group headed to the O’Sullivan’s Irish Pub, that I remembered from the 2010 trip to Paris, although this time I could not get in. Surprisingly, the bouncers don’t let in “very polite” over intoxicated people. My group convinced me to get into a taxi. I remember that this taxi driver was not very French, and I had insisted that drunk me only spoke French, so it ended up being a 35€ taxi ride back to the ibus Budget hotel. I remember saying “45 Rue du Dr Babinski” over and over at the guy in a drunken French accent.

    When I got into my room, I vomited all over the bed and cleaned the sheets and slept in the shower. So nervous that I was going to be charged an extra cleaning fee since I also vomited on the roommate’s bed.

    Picture at Moulin Rouge
    Picture at Moulin Rouge, also last picture ever in that shirt before it was succumbed to previously consumed red wine.

  • Day 2 – To Paris

    Continuation of a series from a Travel Log I found from my 2013 Contiki trip

    Got up early and started the bus journey. Met the ferry and had breakfast.

    Finally made it to Paris. We did a city tour by bus, had some snails then spent the night going up the Eiffel Tower. I took the stairs. It was difficult, but easier than the 1st time.

    I did not want to go to the very top but like what the hell and did it anyways.

    Then it was 12:30am by the time we got down and took a taxi home.

  • Europe Trip Travel Log 2013

    This morning I was cleaning out some old notebooks and I found a travel journal I started during my 2013 Contiki trip to Europe. This was the trip that I added Monaco and Liechtenstein to my list of travelled countries.

    Day 1 – London

    Great flight. Heathrow went quite quickly. I thought that I had food poisoning on the flight as I was very gassy.

    Then I went to the Royal National dropped off my bags and then explored the city walked across Westminster Bridge seen the London Eye and Parliament. Then went to Canada Water to pick up a few items at the mall.

    Went back to the hotel & checked into my room. Then I met my roommate Probin from Regina, SK. Went to see Westminster and Buckingham Palace. Then back to the Royal National for the meetup and drinks at London Pub.