Friday 7 July 2006 and Saturday 8 July 2006
Highlights: Sacre Coeur Monument (Paris), the sun still shining at 1 am (Helsinki)
Friday started with a very long travel day of over 13 hours, while the bus stopped in Bordeaux to pick up and drop people off. I stayed on or near the bus as I wasn’t keen to quickly walk around these cities during the short stay as my mind was already on the next leg of this trip.
When we got in Paris it started pouring like in a mayor storm, I haven’t seen rain since Cape Town. Luckily it stopped just as I got off the bus for the last time. I did however get to see Sacre Coeur monument which was near my hostel. You get great views of Paris from this location. Our guide had warned us about the Africans who will try to tie a string to your hand and make you pay.
I set off to the airport well in time however at Paris Airport I don’t have any lounge access and I really missed this which a lot of time on my hand. I think I’m getting tired from all the constant travel.
It was an uneventful flight on Finnair to Helsinki (lunch was good) left me waiting around at the airport for the Trafalgar representative, just as I was worrying (I didn’t have a map or idea how to get to hotel) the representative showed up.
We had a welcome drink (local beer for me) and I was introduced to my follow travellers. There are 19 of us and while my guess on the average age being on the older side for this tour company there were three girls under 27 (one 17 year old travelling with family, another around 20 with her dad and the other 26 or 27 year old by herself).
Still I’ve gone from at the top end of the age group on BusAbout to being about 15-20 years under the average age on this tour. The really good news is I got a room to myself despite only paying for shared accommodation. Being the only single guy in the group and the company not mixing genders got me this special bonus.
I watched the World Cup final in my room which finished around 1 am local time and the sun was still up!