Day 14 (May 21): Paris and back to London
This morning your scheduled tour ends at your accommodation. Then back to London for my last night in Europe.
6:15 came way to quick this morning. At 7:45 we left Maya, Kenny, Vicky, Kreena and Alberto at the hotel as they were not returning to London. I didn’t get to say goodbye to Alberto or Vicky. Bye guys! Then we dropped off Michael, Ryan, Mikki, Kamala, Mark, Simon and Anne at the airport since they were leaving later this morning from Paris. It was sad leaving all these people behind, I don’t know if or when I’ll see them again. After the airport we started back to London, it was a quiet ride. Our first stop would be the Canadian War Memorial at Vimy Ridge where the Canadians and Germans fought in WWI. It was a nicely set up memorial, you could walk through the trenches, it gave you an idea of how aweful it must have been to fight like that. Then we were back on the bus for another hour and a half to Calais and the ferry to Dover. We had lunch on the ferry and then another 2 hour drive to London, we got to the hotel at 3:30.
We didn’t say too many goodbyes as we were all meeting at the Goose at 7:30. Nicola came back to my room with me since she was staying at a friend’s in another part of London. I actually had a double room this time, my roommate was leaving on the European Magic the next morning. After checking in we headed to the Contiki Basement to check email, we ran into Lisa, Kristen, and Yolandi who were having issues with the Royal National since their travel agent had booked their hotel for the wrong night, they eventually found a place to stay. Then Nicola did a little last minute shopping and went for dinner.
At 7:30 we met up at the goose, where it all started, with Mike, Monica, Laurie, Garry, Yolandi, Lisa, Kristen, Catilin, Jenny, Cindy, Christine, Mike, Mel, Dane, Jen, Reuben, Hansie, Chris, Sophie, Jess, Narelle, Brian and Ali. We all got to meet Hans’s girlfriend, Ronnie. Throughout the night people slowly left, and we said our goodbyes, it was sad. Finally Chris, Nicola and I decided to leave, leaving just Hans, Reuben, Ali, Jen and Dane behind. Chris and I got Nicola into a taxi and said our goodbye. Chris and I discussed maybe taking the underground to the airport together the next day.
Day 15 (May 22): London and flying back home
Today I have a little time in the morning to explore London before I head back home.
This morning my roommates 6am wake up call woke me up and I never really got back to sleep. I laid in bed for a while and finally got up, took a shower and headed out to the Contiki Basement to check in for my flight home. I ran into Jenny and Caitlin who were off to the London Eye. They inspired me, I abandoned my plan to take the underground to Heathrow with Chris after checkout, but I did call Chris and invite him to go on the Eye with me, but he declined. So off I went to the London Eye for a ride, with a quick stop in Trafalgar Square to buy a last minute gift. Being back in Trafalgar Square brought back memories of how I had been afraid when I got here two weeks ago. I’m so not intimidated by this city now! I started to hyperventalate just thinking of how much I had progressed as a traveler, and how scared I had been that first day.
I took my 11:00 flight on the London Eye, the view was great, but the ride was so long. Ok, the ride was only 30 minutes but it was so lonely doing it by myself, after 13 days with 47 people, being by myself sucked! After my ride I headed back to the Imperial Hotel to pick up my luggage and then left for the airport at 1:00. I took the wrong branch of the Piccadilly Line of the Underground, fortunately I realized before it was too late. I had lunch at the airport and tried to spend my last few pounds before heading home. It was tough saying goodbye to London as the plane took off, knowing it was the real end of my trip. I tried to watch Ray on the flight home, but found it too slow in the beginning and my ability to concentrate hampered by the lack of sleep over the past two weeks. In the end I watched the Incredibles which cheered me up a bit. The best news of the day was that my flight got in early, hey, if I’m not with my tour, I might as well be home!