Existing Member?

Nicola and Christopher's Grand Adventure! This is a little story of our 3 month journey through, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia. We hope that you (our friends and family) enjoy reading about our trip!

And that was that...

UNITED KINGDOM | Saturday, 25 September 2010 | Views [410]

Well folks, we are now safely in the UK and pretty much recovered from our jet lag, although our trip from Bangkok to Paris was not without adventure...

We were all ready to depart Thailand having checked our luggage and received our boarding cards when we were informed that our plane would be delayed for 20 hours for an undefined technical problem (we would be told mid-flight the next day that it was leaking fuel... reassuring!). We left our passports with the border officials and were transported to a 4-5* hotel on the airport. It was all v. nice but not quite what we, or the other 300+ passengers quite had in mind for that evenings stay. We emailed our hotel in Paris, hoping that they would keep out reservation (accommodation in Monmatre isn't the easiest to come by at short notice). Not quite how we wanted our trip to SE Asia to end really.

We were woken the next morning at 3am and were finally airborn by 6am, and on our way to Paris. It was all a rather bizarre feeling. We made it to the hotel in Paris, a small place a couple of minutes walk from the metro station, in a quaint street with a view up to the Sacre Coeur. It did cost about three times more than anywhere else we had stayed in Asia... we would end up spending more money in Paris in two days, than we had in Asia in two weeks. Nicola is still horrified by how much everything costs in Europe! We were tired but ventured out to have a look around the neighborhood of Monmatre, the views of the city of Paris were quite something, welcome to Europe!

We had lost a day in Paris due to the plane nonsense, and so Friday was a full on blitz of the city. We were up early (it didn't matter as with the jet lag we were awake at 4am). First order of business was a 9.30am date with the Eiffel tower. We were fifth in line with our pre-booked tickets and on the first lift up. We were rewarded with amazing views of Paris, again. It was a little windy and we were struggling to adjust to the lack of humidity and heat, this is probably the reason Christopher was unable to get down on one knee (what with the seized up old joints and all).

We then strolled up to the Musee de Rodin for a little art, the wide boulevards and traffic that actually adheared to the road rules was very refreshing. We could see the origins of the city designs in Vietnam all the more clearly now. A quick look at the Arc de Triumphe and a stroll down the Champs Ellsys (sp?) and it was time for a little more art. We stuck our head in the door of the Musee d'Orangerie and were rewarded with eight magnificent Monet paintings. We recommend everyone going to Paris see them. It was a great prelude to our visit to Giverny and Monet's home the next day. We were now well and truly in need of a little sustenance, a baguette in the lovely Tuelleries gardens fitted the bill. The buildings in central Paris are magnificent and European history appears to be everywhere you turn. The Louvre and its pyramid dominate this part of town, we would be returning later in the day for our date with Mona, it was late opening Friday and the tickets were cheaper.

Notre Dame and a stroll to the Pantheon would round out the afternoon, time to head back to the hotel to rest up before hitting the Louvre in the evening. It was stretching the day out but Nicola was determined to see Mona, along with every other visitor to Paris. Actually, the lines to get in were non-existent. We spent a couple of hours looking at the highlights and were suitably impressed, although Christopher would have liked to have had more time with Mona, and maybe get a little closer. Christopher was in danger of falling asleep on his feet though at this time in the day, as it was near 10pm (3am Thailand time) so we headed back to the hotel for the final time that day and crashed. A whirlwind tour of the highlights of Paris thanks to the metro and RER was quite the welcome to Europe for us.

Our second day in Paris was a little more sedate, with a morning coach ride to Giverny and the afternoon trip out to Versailles (along with everyone else that was viewing Ms Mona the day before). The gardens and Givegny were amazing, the paintings that we have seen in galleries all over the world leapt off the canvas for us, bringing them to life. The Palace of Versailles was magnificent but brought home to us one of the root causes of the revolution of 1789. It was quite a relaxing day and refreshing to be shuttled around without having to think too much. We were the youngest on the tour by about 20 years, well Nicola was...

One more trip the next morning and we would be in the UK, a hop on the metro to the Gare d'Nord and we were checked in for the Eurostar to London. For a moment it lookd like the UK border folks were going to give Nicola a hard time about her visa but thought better of it after they asked to see Christopher's passport. It was quite funny when they asked if he had a visa for the UK as well...Nicola informed them that he really didn't need one. We think that the border official felt slightly silly when Christopher produced his lovely maroon passport. It was a very nice feeling that our last border crossing went so smoothly. The easiest train journey in three months and were were in London. In many ways it didn't feel like we had been away for nearly fifteen months...

Finally, this is our last blog entry. This trip to SE Asia has been filled with so many experiences beyond what we have been able to convey here. We hope that you have enjoyed the little snippets that we have been able to pass on to you. We have had our fair share of giggles (lots) and tears (a few) along the way, we have had cross words amongst ourselves and with others, there have been challenging moments and those filled with joy and relief, we have seen things and had experiences that only the two of us will remember, we have laughed, joked and generally been silly (well Nicola has), and we have missed our friends and our families and what we know to be familiar. This trip has stretched us as individuals and as a couple we have been challenged in ways many do not (but probably should), we have learned things about ourselves and each other but most importantly we have seen that through it all we have each other.

Take care and thanks for reading.

Love Nicola and Christopher.

Add your comments

(If you have a travel question, get your Answers here)

In order to avoid spam on these blogs, please enter the code you see in the image. Comments identified as spam will be deleted.



Travel Answers about United Kingdom

Do you have a travel question? Ask other World Nomads.