It was a long drive to the ferry station. I ended up sleeping when we drove through the Somme, but I was awake when we drove past the Vimy Ridge Memorial. Although it was on the horizon when we drove past it, I still tried to take a picture of it -- and it didn't turn out half bad!
We had to go through security again to get onto the ferry, much like we did when we first entered mainland Europe. On the ferry I had a few bloomers and watched the remaining Japanese tour members try fish-and-chips for the first time. After, I went onto the deck and took some pictures of the Cliffs of Dover, something I tried to do the first time but failed because of the fog.
We arrived in London and all decided to go out for supper together around 7. It was Flip's idea, actually, although she won't be joining us. We learned at this time that her real name wasn't Flip either: it was Jannelle. And Muffin? Roan.
When we arrived at the Royal National Hotel a tour representative came onto the coach. She told us that the meeting spot that was under repair when we left on our tour, was now open for business and we could go there to get discounts to go around the city and for a tour of Stonehenge.
I got my luggage, and after saying goodbye and hugging those who weren't coming to supper, I walked down the street, turned the corner and didn't see many of the tour members ever again.
I got to the Imperial, checked in and went to my room. I'm so used to staying in different hotels every night that it seems weird I'll be spending three nights in the same bed.
Well, 7 is approaching now and I have to get ready for dinner. I feel awful for missing last-nights at O'Sullivans, although from what I heard, had I gotten up at 2 instead of going back to sleep, and headed down the street, they would have still been there.
I'll talk to you later.
So ends the tour. I met up with my fellow travelers outside the Royal National Hotel and we walked down the street to Nando's and had chicken with different levels of spicy sauce on it. I had the less-hot one, but Tom had an extremely-hot one and we all watched his face become a dark shade of red and tears roll down his cheeks. I also had a bottomless coke for £2.25, which is pretty reasonable! The meal was really good, but I only recommend it for people who like spicy food.
After dinner, we walked down the street and went to The Marquis Cornwallis, a bar with a really fancy name. The bar was a very happening place. There were people on both floors, and outside on the street, all dancing and drinking. I didn't check out the alcohol but judging by the regular beer, raspberry beer, apple cider and sprite at the table, the bar sold many types of drinks. We sat around for a couple hours and discussed out favorite city on the trip and what we planned to do once we got back home. Flip said the feelings we were all experiencing was called "Post-Contiki Depression" which is a feeling of dread towards going back to our boring 9-5 lives. Speaking of Flip, both her and Muffin came to the bar. They said they have a 10-day vacation between tours and were thinking of going to France during it.
Around 9:30 I grew tired of the noise and drinking so I said goodbye to the group of people with hugs and handshakes from all around and I left with just a single glance back.
I was a bit lonely knowing I was on my own again so I called my parents when I got back to the hotel. It cheered me up a bit. It's sad to know that you may never see the people who you just spent two weeks with ever again.
And thus, so ends my journey with the tour group. Of course, I'll still record tomorrow's events around London and the next day's plane-ride home, but my Contiki trip around Europe has come to an end. If you have read all of this, thank you for your time. I hope I inspired and entertained you with my stories. Thank you for traveling with me.
I hope I do something exciting tomorrow to end my trip off with a bang, instead of a tearful goodbye, but for now, I am exhausted and may just sleep.
Goodnight Journal. Tomorrow may be boring, but it could also be an exciting trip to Stonehenge too! Only time will tell!
And, as always, a big thank you to my sweetheart Jessica Nuttall for proof reading a countless number of my articles. I couldn't do any of this without you. I love you.
Get Your Complete List of What to See & Do in Regina!
My article "8 Places to Visit in Regina" is by far my most popular article, being read over 7,000 times in the past 6 months. In honour of the anniversary of my blog (and because 1 of the 8 locations mentioned before is now closed), I decided to do a sequel and talk about 8 more places to visit in Regina. This was really easy as Regina is growing at an extraordinary rate and new, incredible places are opening almost every week.
After the Regina Cyclone huffed and puffed and blew down the majority of houses across the city in 1912, Annie Darke asked her beloved Francis Darke to build her a house that could withstand even the worse things Saskatchewan could blow at it. Being one of the richest and most influential men in Regina’s history, Francis Darke took up the challenge and began to create his wife their very own stone castle.
This massive fortress served as their dwelling for the remainder of their days, until Francis Darke passed away in 1940 and his widowed wife passed away in the very house he had built her, twelve years later.
I don't often take blog requests, but a friend approached me recently and asked about Venice. He's traveling to Italy for a wedding this summer and is stopping in Venice for few days. He asked me if I knew what he could do in the Floating City, so I racked up a list of ten things for him to see.
Feel free to leave a comment and let me know if I missed anything, what your favorite thing to see in Venice was, or if you plan to go visit Venice after reading this!
A few months ago I entered a contest for a trip for two to visit Philadelphia on Two Bad Tourists. Normally contests like this are limited to United States residents so when I saw this one was open to Canadians I jumped at the chance. I've never won something like this before, so I actually forgot about it until I got the emailing saying I had won. Two Bad Tourists then worked alongside Visit Philly to organise the trip for me and my mother to explore Philadelphia for three days. Visit Philly paid for our flights, hotels and gave us a VIP Pass to experience the city to our heart's content. It is thanks to them that this trip is possible.
Several movies and television shows have tried to capture the essence of Philadelphia over the years – from the boxing Blockbuster Rocky, to the paranormal thriller The Sixth Sense, to It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia and even Boy Meets World – but each described the city differently. There is no easy way to approach a city as dynamic as The City of Brotherly Love. With countless layers of art, history, religion and the paranormal, Philadelphia is a city unlike any other throughout the United States.
One thing that surprised me the most about Philadelphia was the history. The city was founded and designed by William Penn, who is also the state of Pennsylvania's namesake. Born in London, England in 1644 he lived through The Great Fire of 1666 and The Great Plague of London from 1665-1666. Both events shaped Penn's life so he designed the city to be strictly stone buildings (to stop fires from spreading) and to have plenty of space between the buildings (as to prevent illness from spreading). This led to the older areas of the city to have winding corridors between old stone walls.