The prodigal Librarian has returned from her travels in Europe! Here is a day by day breakdown of what I did while I was away.
August 21st 2010: Erin and I arrived at Heathrow Airport in London at around 8:30am after an almost seven hour flight. Once through customs and after retrieving our baggage from the correct belt we were met by a representative from the company we booked our trip through and were taken via coach, along with other customers to the hotel in London -- Novotel West. Once there we signed in with the company, chose a few excursions to take while in London and checked into our hotel room.
After changing our clothing and sprusing up after our long flight we hopped onto a coach to take a drive around London, as well as vist the Tower of London and the Crown Jewels. Later on that evening we went to The Prospect of Whitby "London's Oldest Riverside Inn" (1520) for dinner and we took a night time river cruise up and down the Thames River.
August 22nd 2010: We woke up, had breakfast and headed out to see the Royal Mews and take a tour of Buckingham Palace.
After the tour Erin and I got off at the hotel closest to the London Eye so that we could go on it and then wander around London. We took a bunch of pictures in front of Big Ben, went on the Eye, ate ice cream, wandered through a sea of street performers on the South Bank of the Thames, walked to Trafalgar Square to take pictures with the lions and headed over to Piccadilly Circus before going back to the hotel for dinner.
August 23rd 2010: We took a coach from London to Dover so that we could catch the ferry to Calais, France.
Once in Calais we were greeted by our tour director and driver, then we headed to Brussels, Belgium. Unfortunally it was mighty windy outside and we had to stop for about an hour while the driver tried to fix the coach's side view mirror, which had been blown out of place by the wind. Eventually we arrived in Brussels and headed for the Grand Place to shop, eat and sight see. We ate waffles, drank beer, ate chocolate, saw Manneken Pis (the statue of the little boy peeing) and encountered a pick pocket who caught Erin's attention before he was able to strike. And we did this all in about an hours time before we had to go back to the group meeting point to go back to the hotel.
When at the meeting point our tour director noticed that someone was missing and we waited around an extra thirty minutes for them to show up and they didn't, so we left them. Once at the hotel the tour director gets a phone call from the woman that was lost and she went crazy. She threatened him, blah blah blah... I honestly didn't care about her, so I went upstairs to the room to chill out. After a while Erin and I got hungry because all we had for dinner were a waffle a piece and beer, so we went in search of food. Unfortunately the hotel restaurant was closed so we ended up going to the vending machine and getting chips and beer -- The beer was an accident, I really wanted a soda but nothing came out when I pressed the buttons. So, I pressed the button for the beer and it was the only one that worked. I had beer, chips and sleeping pills for dinner, which I consummed as I flipped through the channels -- We go to see The Jersey Shore (2009) in English with bad Flemish dubbing over it.
August 24th 2010: We headed into Germany and took a river cruise down the Rhine. It was so beautiful, I loved it. After the cruise we headed towards the "Frankfurt Area" to our hotel -- It was forty-five minutes from the heart of Frankfurt, which was dissapointing. Once at the hotel we hung out in the sauna and the pool before going to the hotel bar for drinks. It was at the bar that we met our new friends and the nicest black cat ever.
August 25th 2010: We visited Rothenburg, Germany before heading to Innsbruck, Austria -- Which was my favorite destination throughout the course of the whole trip. In Austria we (Myself, Erin and our new friends) wandered around on our own and ended up in a bar in the New City where we drank until it closed. When it did finally close we went walking around and we were beckoned into a bar called Orangerie by locals. We drank until 3:00am with the locals, taught the bartender what a mimosa was (he called it a "babushka" and a "papusa" for the evening), had songs dedicated to us, got grinded up on by an Austrian Brian Bell look-a-like, got chanted at "New York! New York! F@%k Tokyo!" After we left the bar we went to the center of town to take drunken pictures before heading back to the hotel.
August 26th 2010: I woke up drunk from the night before -- I only spent for two hours asleep that night. After stumbling around during breakfast, we hopped on the coach and headed towards Venice, Italy. We took a boat to the island were we went shopping, took a gondola ride and went shopping some more. After the day on the island we went to the hotel, which blew. The staff at the hotel was super rude and they pissed everyone off. The highlight of the area was the pizza that Erin and I found after a lackluster dinner.
August 27th 2010: We headed to Verona, Italy where we wandered around, saw Casa di Giulietta (Juilet), the statue of Giulietta, went shopping, peed in a hole in the ground, ate crepes and strawberries and took pictures.
Once we left we headed to Switzerland. We ended up at a bar named Moskito in the evening, where we played quaters forever before walking over to the Lake Lucerne. One of our new friends fell into the lake and Erin went to help her, then she got pulled in -- It was the funniest thing I have ever seen.
August 28th 2010: We went shopping in Lucerne before taking an excursion up the Stanserhorn Mountain -- It was neat, but it had been raining out so we ended up in a cloud, thus we weren't able to see anything. We went shopping and ate while on the mountain, since we couldn't see.
After we finished at the mountain we went back into town to get the tour members that didn't join us on the excursion and then we headed to Dijon, France. In Dijon we went to dinner at an outdoor restaurant that forgot about my food, and where rats were fighting under the sidewalk. Once we were done with dinner we ended up at a France Karaoke bar, which was super funny. When we left the bar we went back to the hotel and I sat in the lobby beause they had free Wifi, so I checked my e-mail and such.
August 29th 2010: We woke up late and still managed to get dressed, get our luggage out on time and eat breakfast -- We are ninjas. We left Dijon and headed to Paris, where we had a local guide show us around; we wandered around by Notre Dame, bought trinkets, saw all of the big tourist sites and took pitures by the Eiffle Tower -- This is where I was called an animal by a black Parisian who was trying to set us up to be robbed.
Eventually we went to the hotel, where we got ready for the farewell dinner (we decided to go because there was unlimited drinks). We went to dinner, got drunk and went to Montmarte. When we arrived back at the hotel we decided that we should go to a local bar and we did.
August 30th 2010: Those who were left (a lot of people were leaving from Paris, while we were leaving from London) hopped on the coach to head back to Calais to take the ferry bak to Dover. Once back at Dover we got on a coach and drove back to London.
When in London we all changed our clothes, got on the Underground and went to London's Chinatown to have Vietnamese food. After dinner we went shopping and watched street performers at Piccadilly.
August 31st 2010: We slept in, made sure we packed everything and took the seven hour flight back home.