This morning I had a dream that my alarm hadn’t gone off and I’d slept in past when I was supposed to be meeting my tour downstairs. Then I woke up. Then it came true.
For whatever reason, my 5:30am alarm hadn’t been set properly. Not off to a good start. But, thanks to the miracle that is the human brain, I had woken myself at 6:15, in time to race downstairs for checkin before 6:30, followed by some makeup and breakfast before we left at 6:45! Now that’s efficiency – good teamwork, brain! (sorry, Mum..)
I was worried about being overdressed for the tour, but I didn’t want my travel photos ruined by dorky clothes! It’s turned out alright though- I’m certainly not the most fashion-conscious of the group: my blouses are an understatement.
I’ve met a pair from Korea, a group of American girls and a Columbian girl but otherwise everyone is mostly Australian and Kiwi. Most people are around my age but there are some high school graduates and some coming up on their 30s. I’d say at least half of us are travelling solo.
We spent the majority of the day traveling over to Paris by bus, boat and bus – at customs at the ferry crossing I had my first French encounter and couldn’t understand the man when he asked me about my visa: off to a good start.
We arrived to the hotel at dinner time and headed over to a local restaurant nearby. First up: l’escargot. Garlic and butter.. Not too bad, if you eat it quickly. Eat it too slowly, and the sauce will run out and you’ll be left with a strange garden taste..! Second and third course were nice but nothing exceptionally delicious or French.
Back on the bus again, for a tour of the ‘city of love’ at nighttime (ooh la la!). Words can’t describe the beauty. We saw at least 10 of the iconic monuments of Paris, all lit up beautifully in the night. Some, like the incredible opera house, were too large and magnificent to fit in a single shot from the bus. Obviously the Eiffel Tower was like that too, but we stopped for a photo op – timed perfectly so that the twinkle lights came on as a surprise just as we were looking at it. Back past the street vendors (apparently it’s illegal to buy from them?) and we were on the bus home to rest up.