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My Contiki Experience                            

On the 26th of April 1999, I departed Auckland, New Zealand for a holiday of a lifetime.

It was to span 2 months and quite a few countries.

In the following pages, I try to give a brief overview of my trip, the Ultimate European Contiki Tour (46 days) and give you hints and tips about different things about the trip. There is a link to my FAQ page at the bottom of each page.

I would also like to thank my good friends, Dave, Darren, Richard, Sue and Sharon for looking after me while I was sick towards the end of the tour .... thanks guys ! 

In March 2001, Dave, Darren, Sue and Sharon came to visit NZ and we all got together for the weekend. Here is a picture of us at the local ten-pin bowling alley.

Back, from left, Me, Darren and Dave. Front, from left is Sue and Sharon.

 A map of the 46 day Ultimate European Tour. 

Don't be fooled by the small scale....we covered 12,000 kilometres by bus to complete this tour. It is a long way, but it was definitely worth it ! 

INTRODUCTION:

My journey started on the 26th of April 1999, departing Auckland, New Zealand for Hong Kong on Cathay Pacific. 
I stayed in Hong Kong for 3 nights before flying out, again on Cathay Pacific to London. 
I was in London for 2 nights, and began the start of an awesome adventure...my 46 day Contiki tour around Europe.
Upon returning back to London, I stayed another 2 nights and then flew with United Airlines to Los Angeles where I stayed for nearly a week before returning home, arriving back in New Zealand on June 27.

LONDON TO PARIS (FRANCE)
Sunday 2-5  May 5.00am

Highlights:

Upon arrival we are given a sample of ESCARGO....snails, that is, to eat. This was expected but still a bit unwelcome. I tried to swallow mine first, but I nearly threw up and I ended up chewing it a bit to get it down. Definitely an experience.

Night tour of Paris and the Revue show was great...just the way to start the tour ! 

A visit to the Eiffel Tower is certainly well worth it...we went in the late afternoon, so we could see what it was like during the day and at night as well....quite spectacular.

We went to see the Palace of Vesailles but we couldn't go in as the French President was holding NATO talks regarding the Bosnian conflict which was a shame.

The Arc de Triomphe is a must see...this is a round-a-bout with 12 roads leading into it. There are no lanes, no traffic lights or signs and only one rule....LOOK OUT ! There is a crash here on average once every 7 minutes and as soon as you enter the round-a-bout, your car is not insured.

Backseat boys.jpg (130261 bytes)   The back seat boys on the road, from left: Terry, Me, Dave, Darren & Richard (hiding).

 

 

Eiffel Tower.jpg (35934 bytes) Paris' famous landmark, the Eiffel Tower. 

 

 

 

 

Me in the Cattechumes.jpg (146674 bytes) Me in the Cattechumes under the streets of Paris.

 

 

 

 

bullet [NEXT 5 - 13 May - Lyon, Barcelona, Antibes, Monaco, Venice]
bullet  [13 - 20 May - Florence, Rome, Pompeii, Corfu]
bullet  [20 - 29 May - Athens, Santorini, Kavala]
bullet  [29 May - 2 June - Gallipoli, Troy, Istanbul, Sozopol]
bullet  [2 - 5 June - Bucharest, Brasov, Cluj]
bullet  [5 - 9 June - Budapest, Vienna, Munich, Hopfgarten]
bullet  [10 - 16 June - Liechtenstein, Lucerne, Lauterbrennen, Koblenz, Amsterdam]
bullet  [Contiki FAQ page]