Internet has been difficult in Europe, but i am finally able to upload my posts, i have been writing them as i go. just not able to get them online. Hopefully i can get up to date now and have them up more regularly.
Photos for this post can be accessed here http://mephistorolling.com/Photo-pages/Paris-Day-1.html
On the first day of the trip we met at the Royal National near Russel Square Station at 6am.
My day started much earlier as I was at the Belle Cour near Victoria station, not the Belle Cour near Russell square. If i have time i will be able to go back and write about how this happened, but for just just guess that the my day before this trip started was eventful.
We said a few quick hellos to people we recognised from Facebook, and were standing next to while waiting. And then proceeded to weigh our bags and check in. My bag was over weight by 1.8 kilos but after removing the toiletries bag and tripod i came in well under the 20 kilo weight limit at 19.3 kilos.
We all gave our bags to mark our transporter for the next 37 days ( I would have said driver, but after a few hours in Paris traffic he well and truly was upgraded to action hero level driving skills)
The drive out to Dover passed quickly as we listened to Kat, our trip manager, talk about a few things to do with how the trip would run.
We loaded onto the ferry at Dover and this is where our trip really started, we all went onto the deck to get photos, and socialise. It was quickly obvious that we had a good selection of people on the trip. It’s interesting meeting a large group of people for the first time, you split into smaller groups of 4-8 people and just chat about random things, getting to know their personalities and goals for the holiday ahead.
Seeing the cliffs of Dover was really nice, it’s a great statement scene to start the trip, unfortunately the photos seem much more distant than the cliffs seemed in person.
Learning to be a photographer and videographer while on holiday is definitely not recommended.
More often than not i notice later that my camera was in the wrong settings or I didn’t check the white balance before taking my photos. A checklist would definitely have been a good idea.
The drive to Paris was long, but we had a nice ‘service’ stop mid way to get some food and use french for the first time.
It was interesting to see the change in architecture, the most obvious thing was the high sloping roof design which blends into the walls and sometimes incorporates 2 or 3 levels of windows on the side of the roof instead of the walls due to the size of the slope. Apart from that the countryside is very similar to most farm areas around Australia, with your canola flowers and grassy fields.
We drove past some famous memorials which were a bit too far off to see clearly but interesting none the less. Our TM Kat was very knowledgeable about things as we drove.
When we got into Paris we had enough time to just drop our bags off and head to dinner.
First up was snails followed by a chicken and rice dinner. it was funny watching the different reactions to eating snails, some couldn’t manage it, some loved it, some just did it to try it and will probably never do it again.
After we ate we hopped on the bus again for a night tour of Paris.
It was a great tour, but so hard to keep track of which directions each of the major landmarks are i got a some nice photos considering.
We had twin share rooms while in Paris which was a nice gentle introduction to the rest of the trip where quad share is expected for the majority of the trip. Overall it was an awesome day, so many new people, and a quick explore around Paris to set us up for a bigger day tomorrow!