Day 1: London to Paris

Trip Start May 20, 2013
Trip End Jun 08, 2013

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Flag of France  , Île-de-France,
Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Today was finally the actual start of the tour. I woke up at 5 and showered and was down to the bus by 6. Breakfast wasn't included, so I just ate some of my Pringles to tide me over. We drove to Dover where we got on a P&O ferry to Calais, France. There was a food court on the ferry where I got a fried egg and toast, which was exaaactly what I wanted for breakfast, so I was happy. The ferry ride was about an hour and a half long. I sat outside and read for most of the ride because the weather was pretty perfect. While waiting to get back on the bus afterward, I met a few people from the tour, and then we started to make our way toward Paris on the coach.

On the way to Paris, Ricardo took us to Vimy Ridge to see the Canadian National Vimy Memorial, which isn't usually included in the tour. I think a lot of the Canadians especially appreciated this stop. We also did a "services" stop on the way where I got a "long chicken" from a little fast food place. It was pretty much like a McChicken, i.e. nothing special.

Finally, we made it to the Paris hotel. I was rooming with Serena D. (from Canada). She had the top bunk and I had the bottom. There was one room with a toilet in it and another room for the shower, and then the sink was out in the main part of the room. It was kind of an awkward setup.

We had a little bit of time at the hotel, and then we went to our included dinner at Sultan's (within walking distance of the hotel). It was a Turkish restaurant, and the food was chicken with rice. Toward the end of the meal, a cop suddenly ran into the restaurant and then a bunch more followed. Within seconds, the whole place was full of police and we had no idea what was going on. We found out afterward that it was just a routine raid (because apparently that's normal?). At least it made the night memorable, haha.

After dinner, we got back onto the coach for our tour of Paris. Ricardo drove us all around the city (and did an awesome job of navigating the roundabout around the Arc de Triomphe!).Then we got dropped off at a café where we were served champagne and escargot. Almost everyone tried the snails, including me. It didn't really taste like much. It was just buttery and garlicy. Then we walked back to the coach, which took us back to the hotel, and I went to bed around 11.
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