From Free Cash to Paris and Vienna just for fun!

Trip Start Jun 25, 2012
Trip End Sep 12, 2012

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Where I stayed
Bulgari Boutique Hotel Sofia
Read my review - 5/5 stars

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Saturday, July 7, 2012

Canvey Island, England

Since last we spoke we have travelled a couple thousand kilometers east and are in a Country lead by a man with a PhD in Fire Fighting!

We were very fortunate to be hosted in England by our friends Alan & Elaine who allowed us to experience among many other things: 

1.      Free Cash Machines

2.      Canvey Island's 1st Annual Wii Olympics

3.      The inner working and tastes of a traditional English Pub

4.      Traditional English Sunday Dinner

5.      British Trivia

a.      Do you know the Queen middle names?

Alan and Elaine are two of the most intelligent and generous people we know. 

Paris, France

We took the SLOOOOOWWW bus from Canvey Island via London to Dover for the ferry to France.  We started the morning at 5:30 (which is now very difficult for Mr. 4:48 who seems to be playing catch-up) and were unpleasantly miffed when arriving at our pre-reserved "hotel du globe" at 10 pm only to find no rooms available.  This is where Mousier No Problem (aka I have no clue what I’m doing because I’m drunk and in search of women) enters our life. 

We arrived in Paris with a few extra pounds (both kinds!) but no Euros.  After exchanging looks for almost an hour Mr. No Problem put us in two cabs and gave us enough money to cover one ride – when questioned he told us he would take care of things – No Problem!  At this point we were beginning to draw the same conclusion of “French People” as described by an Englishman living in Paris the past 18 years who we had just met on the subway as “The French hate everybody even themselves”.  However, the two young cab drivers (whom lost their professional jobs in 'this recession’) were very kind and decided to cover the extra charge themselves.  At this point, I didn’t want to’ fork over’ more money until I knew what was happening.  We were given two rooms for the night at a cost three times more than we had reserved at Mr. No Problem’s hotel.  Janice did not want to return to Mr. No Problem’s Hotel du Globe but had no choice as no rooms were available where we were.  We carted our bags back to Mr. No Problem’s and left them there fully expecting them to be gone and no rooms available when we returned from a day of sightseeing. 

We had a wonderful FULL day of seeing (some) of the sights Paris has to offer.  This was very special as we have talked about going to Paris for years and I think Sophia may have given up on the promise I made her when she was only a few years old.  Paris was very special to me as we were able to experience it as a family.  We were hot, tired but had lots of laughs with intermittent thoughts of where we would sleep tonight and if we would be wearing the same clothes for the next 70 days!

Our worry had not subsided when we were given 3 double rooms but we kept putting off ‘check out’ and getting a bill that would be a ‘problem’ from Mr. No Problem.  The rooms were clean and mostly safe (got a couple ‘walk-ins’ but C’est la vie!) so we continued our touring.

To our surprise when we checked out we were only charged what our original reservation was and we were on our $100 - 15 minute taxi ride to the airport at again 5:30 am!  We needed to get out of Paris OR find more “free cash machines”!  

Vienna, Austria

We had arranged for a long layover in Vienna on our way to Sofia, Bulgaria and so utilized the day to our greatest advantage by taking the train to the downtown core.  Vienna was HOT, beautiful with amazing sights and tastes!  After exhausting ourselves we made our way back to the airport for our 9:45pm flight to Sofia, Bulgaria which was delayed more than two hours.  We arrived at a foreign country in Eastern Europe whose leader was once an ‘illegal alien’ at 3 am……………..  More next week!

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Allan & Shirley on

Hi experienced travelers, from Cottonwood B.C., also known as Peachlend.
The wind has died down, the sun is out, and Shirley has bought a Paddel Board. We have been down to Osoyoos to visit our daughter & family; played golf, had a few beers, and it was nice to see them and friends. We are going to Radium for a week on Sunday. We will have to check for road closures, because of flooding. It sounds like you guys are back into the swing of things when it comes to travelling. Much better then India theough. EH.

maaske on

I'm glad you are having a good summer!! At this rate we will catch up to YOUR world travels! We see Jim and Nancy next week on the Black Sea!

jose on


Alan and Elaine on

Hey, that 'FREE CASH' went a long way in Paris didn't it?
Enjoy yourselves and stay safe - we miss you! xx

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