Contiki Camping adventures

Trip Start Aug 02, 2007
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of United Kingdom  ,
Friday, September 21, 2007

The Journey  has begun....

From Melbourne to London and all in between....


August 2nd: Depart from Melbourne Airport 11.58pm

August 3rd: Arrive Heathrow Airport, London. Via Bangkok and a 6 hour
stopover spent sleeping in the transit lounge! Meet up with Ali at the
airport and head back to her flat for the weekend, which is spent
seeing the local bars and playing footy and sunbathing? at the local
park in 28 degree heat... the hottest 2 days of the year Im told!

August 5th: Head to the Royal National Hotel to meet up with my Contiki group.

August 6th: Depart the Royal National Hotel aboard a bus with 47
complete strangers... and end up sitting in between 2 Melbourne people
anyway...Shaun and Michelle.

Head to the ferry at Dover, crossing to France and making our way to Paris.

August 7th - 8th: Spend two days exploring Paris, climbing the Eifel tower and
the Arc De Triomphe, walking the Champs Elysees, seeing theLouvre
and Notre Dame as well as trying some local delicacies.... or
just watching others downing snails...
and seeing a live Cabaret Show in Montemarte, close to the Moulin Rouge.

August 9th: Head towards Lyon, via the Beaujolais region and wine sampling at a Contiki Chateau.

August 10th: Head towards Barcelona, via the Pont Du Gard Roman
Aqueduct. Arrive in Barcelona, buy some cheap booze and walk down to
the beach party!

August 11th: Explored Barcelona, walking through the Gothic quarter,
seeing Gaudis Sagrada Familia and his other works throughout town,
walking La Rambla, seeing a completely nude man with full body tattooes
and piercings you dont want to ask about!!

Partying it up in Port Olimpico and the sexy Spanish dancer in the club!

Crazy Flamenco dancing and drinking Sangria to excess...

And the unfortunate death on a accompanying Contiki trip.

August 12th: Crossed the border back into France and headed via Arles
to the French Riviera, just outside Nice. Visited the amusement park up
the road.

August 13th: Headed into Nice, swimming at the pebbly beach, walking
the typical tight french streets and up to the Chateau overlooking
Nice. Glammed up and headed to Monaco, seeing the royal palace,
visiting the Monte Carlo casinos, seeing the Grand Prix track and
eyeing off some mega expensive Yachts and boats!!

August 14th: Cross the border into Italy, passing through Genoa and
stopping at Verona to see Juliets Balacony and cop a feel of her breast
for luck? Clearly something invented by males! Spend the night on
mainland Venice, drinking at the onsite bar, Attitude adjuster anyone?

August 15th: Catch a boat into Venice, seeing a glass making
demonstration and strolling the streets of Venice, seeing St Marks
Square, the bridge of sighs and The Doges palace, before buying some
cheap goon " Luigi" and boarding a Gondola for a typical view of the

Heading back to camp on a boat and enjoying a group meal and one too many red wines.

August 16th: Travel towards Pisa and the leaning tower... stopping for
a short photo opportunity before heading onwards to Florence and a
night out at the Red Garter.

August 17th: Take a walk around Florence, seeing the Piazza Della
Signoria, Duomo and Santa Croce as well as a leather demonstration and
taking in statues and artworks scattered around town. Followed by a
Tuscan dinner and a night out at Space nightclub.

August 18th: Head towards Rome and the Vatican City, strolling through
the Cistine Chapel and seeing Michealangelos artworks, tombs of
previous popes and amazing art within the walls of the Vatican. Walking
through St Pauls cathedral and then heading out into the city of Rome
to see the sights. The Pantheon, Trevi Fountain, Piazza Novana and the
Campuchian Monk memorial which is a display of human bones.

August 19th: See more sights of Rome, the colloseum and the surrounding
ruins as well as revisiting some from the day before. Before heading
back and lazing by the pool.

August 20th: Headed towards Naples, the Mafia run town, to catch the
Ferry to the Isle of Capri. Spent the afternoon lazing on the beach and
strolling the streets eating Gelati. Board the ferry to Sorrento a
beautiful cliffside town. Heading out to dinner on the town at a
traditional Italian restaurant in a small alley and being serenaded
while eating.

Saw a few of the sights, including a sunken castle near the heart of town.

August 21st: Made our way down to Pompeii, seeing the ancient preserved
city and then continuing to Brindisi to catch the overnight ferry to

August 22nd - 24th: Corfu. Sunning ourselves on the beach, drinking,
swimming, Toga partying, and cruising on Georges Boat, a very
entertaining boat trip. A greek dinner and dancing night finished off
our Corfu experience

August 25th: After three days of relaxing in Corfu jump back on board
the ferry and head  towards Athens, via the Pelopennese region and
the Corinth canal, with only a small diversion  due to the fires.

Arriving in an ashy smoke ridden  Athens .

August 26th: Go on a city tour, seeing the Acropolis and Parthenon and
surrounds, as well as the first modern olympic stadium. Followed by a
walk through the streets of Athens.

August 27th: Head north through the Spartan Thermopylae and
Thessaloniki the ancient capital of the Byzantine empire. Before
arriving in Kavala, setting up camp and swimmin at the beach.

August 28th: Cross the border into Turkey, stopping at the city of Troy
to take a guided tour and photos of a replica horse before heading to
Cannakale and staying in a hotel.

Took some more pics of a Troy horse, this time the one from the movie Troy which is set on the foreshore of Cannakale.

August 29th: Head to Gallipoli, stopping at ANZAC cove, the museum,
turkish memorial, Australian and New Zeland cemeteries and Lone Pine. A
very moving experience.

Drove onto Istanbul, spending the night in a hotel, after heading out
to a traditional dance and dinner with Kozac Style and belly dancing.

August 30th: Spent the day wandering around the Spice Markets, Grand
Bazaar, seeing the Blue Mosque, Haiga Sofia and the Grand Palace.

Seeing a rug making presentation, visiting a traditional bath, eating turkish delight and bargaining with the shop owners.

August 31st: Head back across the border, via Erdine into Bulgaria and
its capital Sofia.Taking a night stroll around the city, seeing the
Alexander Nevsky catherdal, roman ruins and some original churches
around the town.

September 1st:  We cross the border into Macedonia, stopping for
lunch in Skopje, being mobbed by urchin children before heading 
on to Lake Ohrid where we set up camp besides Europe deepest lake, in a
very basic campsite.

2nd: We head towards the Albanian border, crossing into Europes 2nd
poorest nation stopping for lunch in Albasan. We continue across the
bunker dotted countryside to our nights accommodation in Tirana, the
Albanian capital.

September 3rd: Passing Schkoder we cross into Montenegro, stopping for
lunch before taking a ferry ride and crossing into Croatia before
continuing down the dalmatian coastline and  heading towards

September 4th - 5th: After a short bus ride we arrive at the walled
city of Dubrovnik, strolling the cobbled streets and taking in the
surrounding coastline. The next day we took a boat cruise around the
nearby islands, sunning ourselves, swimming at the beach and taking in
the small island towns before heading back to land.

September 6th: We continue along the Dalmation coastline, taking in
some breathtaking views and crossing the border briefly for a stop in
Bosnia. We then stop in at Split for lunch and a stroll around
Diocletians palace. We continue on towards Zadar our campsite for the

September 7th: We continue on towards the Hungarian border, stopping near Batalon for lunch and continuing on to Budapest.

September 8th: After a bus and walking tour around both Buda castle and
the Pest streets we head off for an afternoon of shopping and
sightseeing. Visiting the terror museum on both the Nazis and
communism, before heading across town and running around a Labyrinth
beneath Buda Castle which has a red wine fountain at the end.

That night we had a dinner cruise down the Danube, where we could see
the beauty of the city by night. Afterwards we headed out to the Rio
area for a few drinks.

September 9th: We leave Budapest  heading towards the Slovakian
border and  stopping in Bratislava for lunch. We then continue on
towards  the Austrian capital Vienna and head out for a night at
Prada park.

September 10th: After a walking tour of the city where we take in the
palaces, the gardens, churches and cathedrals of Vienna we have an some
time free in the city to soak up the atmosphere and hit the shops. We
then head to a Schnapps museum and factory sampling the local produce,
including Absinthe followed by spending some time at Schonberg palace,
the Hapsbergs summer residence. Spend the night at a classical concert
of Mozart and Strauss pieces.

September 11th: We cross the border into the Czech Republic and
crossing the bohemian  countryside stopping in at Cesky
Krumlov  for lunch and to see the castle  and cobbled
streets. we continue on towards Prague for our nights accommodation.

September 12th -13th: Have a walking tour around the castle precinct
before crossing  St Charles bridge and strolling around town,
taking  in the astronomical clock  and the beautiful
buildings. Have a lunch cruise  and see the sights of Prague,
before spending more time in the city enjoying the sights.

The following day, Michelle and I board a train and head out to Kutna Hora to see the Kostnice Ossuary and the town itself.

September 14th: We head towards Germany and arrive in Munich. Walking
through the streets and visiting a toy museum. Spending the night
having dinner and drinks in a traditional beer hall, prosting (cheers!)
and drinking in excess. Before heading into town and having a few more
beers in the famous munich beer house Hofbrau.

September 15th: We leave Munich heading back into Austria before
crossing into Liechtenstein and stopping in the capital Vaduz for lunch
and a stroll around. we then cross into Switzerland stopping in Lucerne
to take in the sights and shop around for a Swiss army knife.

We then head further into the Alps to our campsite at the foot of
Jungfrau in Lauterbraun. Having a few beers in the Bomb Shelter.

September 16th: We board the cog rail and head up Jungfau mountain for
a day of playing in the snow!! Taking in the views from the Sphinx,
watching the Huskies, walking through the Ice palace before heading
down for another night in the bomb shelter.

September 17th: Head back into Germany and the town of Heidelberg,
walking the streets and taking in the surrounding hills and castles.

September 18th: Continue through Germany passing by the mysterious
Lorelie and stopping in St Goar and seeing the worlds largest hand
carved cuckoo clock before continuing on to the Dutch border and
arriving in Amsterdam. Where we took a stroll through the streets and
the red light district.

September 19th: Take a short trip out to Edam where we cycle around the
Dutch countryside before heading to a cheese and cog making factory.
Spend the afternoon exploring Amsterdam some more, before our last
group dinner in a chinese restaurant.

September 20th: Board the bus, heading through Belgium and France
before boarding the ferry in Calais to cross back over to England to
say our goodbyes in London.

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