Contiki

Trip Start Mar 31, 2013
1
7
15
Trip End Oct 14, 2013


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Flag of United Kingdom  , England,
Monday, May 6, 2013

The contiki blog is going to be a bit different, with me only posting what we did, as we are on the go non stop.

Day 1 (May 7th):

- Arrived at 6am, for a 645am departure.
- Drove to Cliffs of Dover and caught ferry into Calais, France.
- Back on bus to Amsterdam, and travelled through Belgium (making it 4 countries in one day).
- Arrived at Amsterdam about 5pm, and first job was to fix hack job of hair cut.
- Dinner at hostel, with a couple of Heinekens and a Dutch oven shot.
- Went into town, passed through the Grasshopper Cafe, went to a sex show and then headed out in the red light district.

Things of Note:

- Bikes are bloody everywhere and they have no regard for people on foot. I've saved a couple of lives already (not mentioning any names, Mike).

- Note to self, never try to cut your own hair with a face razor and mini scissors.

- It's fair to say that Amsterdam swallowed most of us (me included) and spat us out.

Day 2 (May 8th):

- Early start and felt so rough (worst I've felt to date).

- Went to cheese and clog factory. Watched how they make both, and ham flavoured cheese is definitely my favourite flavour, and I will never own a pair of clogs (so impractical).

- Went on a group bike ride around Amsterdam, through the windmills and beautiful countryside.

- Headed to famous pancake house for lunch and had awesome waffle there.

- Cam and I then walked around Amsterdam for a couple of hours, seeing the Amsterdam sign, the sex museum and tried to get into the Anne Frank house twice but the line was too long. Also caught the trams everywhere, to avoid the bloody bikes.

- Canal tour and dinner on the water with the whole Contiki group. Then went to Bulldogs, the shot bar, supposedly another pub (but I have zero recollection of that).

Things of Note:

- Paul in our group is a dead ringer of Bradley off Big Brother, and is exactly the same as him (aka mannerism).

- Funniest part of the day was watching Julia (aka Mrs Injury) crash her bike into Dre and take off half her knee.

- Party shirts were the go tonight, with Bill, Jay and I definitely looking the best.

Day 3 (9th May):

- Got onto bus for a 10 hour bus ride from Amsterdam to Berlin. Fair to say that no one was in a good state and all everyone wanted to do was stay in bed and sleep but bloody Kat thought it was hilarious to start the day with the Bangarang song (which quickly became a thing).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RjVMFpQYx7o

- The only thing worse then the Bangarang song was the Muppets song that was played before we stopped anywhere, to make sure everyone was awake.

https://www.google.com.au/url?sa=t&source=web&cd=2&ved=0CEEQtwIwAQ&url=http%25252525252525253A%25252525252525252F%25252525252525252Fwww.youtube.com%25252525252525252Fwatch%25252525252525253Fv%25252525252525253DOiHVM1hZmVI&ei=cJ6zUatfyZ3RBZf-gOAP&usg=AFQjCNHz_234QAYI39raC71fqB6qPW_Sww

- Once we got to Berlin we moved into our room (which was awesome), and then headed down for what would turn out to be, in my opinion, the worst dinner of the trip. Anytime the entree is bruschetta, it sets it up to be bad. Then there wasn't enough pasta to feed a baby. All in all, I was unimpressed.

- We all then stayed at the bar below our hotel and had beers (some more then others).

Things of Note:

- Jay turned in an absolute clanger in flip cup and single handedly lost us the game against the Canadians.

- This night escalated for some so much, that bar top dancing eventuated. I'm looking at you Danica, Julia and Rocky Boys...

Day 4 (10th May):

- Early start to the day, with first stop being the Berlin Wall Walk. We then went on a walk of Berlin as a group. On this, we saw the Berlin Catherdral, the History museum, Frederick Forum, Brandenberg Gate, the Holocost Memorial, the carpark/bunker where Hitler died, what remains of the Berlin Wall, topography of terror and Checkpoint Charlie.

- Following the walk, we tried Currywurst for lunch and then went in the Checkpoint Charlie museum (entrance between East and West Germany).

- We then went to the German History Museum, and to be honest, was let down, as it was more of a whole world history, instead of the Nazi's, which I assumed it would be.

- Bill and I then tried Bratwurst, and we both thought it was disgusting.

- We all then caught the bus back to the hostel, grabbed dinner and prepared ourselves for our pub crawl/race through Berlin.

Things of Note:

- Bill and I got lost in Berlin looking for our hostel after dinner, which didn't help with a couple of bum steers from locals. Once we got back, we decided that it was Zabi (our bus driver) fault, for moving both the bus, but somehow moving the hostel too.

- I love the Currywurst over here.

- The bikes in Berlin are just as bad as in Amsterdam, with everyone nearly getting hit by at least one.

- The Checkpoint Charlie Museum is probably the worst museum I've beer been to, as there was very little chronological order to it and information being all over the shop.

- Obviously our team one the pub crawl/race, thanks largely to the worlds fittest man Andy!

- The Matrix nightclub was awesome. Just as you would imagine a wild European night out, with cheap shots (that Ben and I did a squillion of), a dance cage and a sweaty dance floor. Another positive for Bill and I was that the night club was right across the road from the hostel (even if we nearly got in a cab to go home, and Cam pulled me out of).

- Everywhere you looked in Berlin, there was an above ground pipe, which was built not long after the wall was torn down, to ensure everyone had clean water.

Day 5 (11th May):

- Very rough start to the morning (as per usual), so got on bus and slept.

- We stopped in the picturesque Dresden for lunch and also went inside Dresden Frauenkirche (aka their Cathedral). Dresden has a lot of great murals, buildings and markets along the river.

- Stopped at Hradcany Castle and then went inside the Cathedral of St Vitus in Czech Republic. Apart from the rain and miserable weather, both were incredible.

- On arrival in Prague, we all got changed and headed down to the bar for a buffet dinner. Then we headed out for our Prague pub crawl, which quickly escalated.

Things of Note:

- Bill and I yet again got lost. This time being stitched up a local taxi driver, with him not dropping us at the hostel but instead a couple of hundred meters away. As a result, Bill and I were left walking around Prague for an hour and a half, arriving home at 5.15am somehow (despite bum steers from every local we asked).

- As Bill is a cop, he thinks it is relevant that every time we get caught in a bad situation, he needs to show his police badge. But as shown by the disregard by the Prague police, it means nothing over here. Good try though Brownless.

- Europeans are obsessed with cobblestone and nearly road is made out of them, for some stupid reason.

- It has become a trend that I am getting the best room wherever we go, and Prague was no different, as Mike, Blake, Cam and I got the Palace.

- I don't know if its true or not, but on the pub crawl (as it was in residential area) we were told to walk in the middle of the road and to be quiet or be prepared to have buckets of piss thrown on us.

- At Hradcany Castle, a local with a shovel followed us and tried to tag on the end of our group. Lucky for everyone else, the Ass-man was all over it, and wasn't having any of his shenanigans. As Dikembe Mutumbo would say "No, no, no, not today!"

- It was a bloody hassle to change over from Euros to Czech Crown but at least everything was super cheap there.

- While trying leave the five night club, Bill slipped over and was like he was trying to break dance, because he dead set couldn't get up for about two minutes (continuing to fall over, which made hilarious viewing for me).

Quote of the Day: As Darren has been labelled Christmas because he takes forever to do anything (and by the time he does it, it'll be Christmas), we labelled his little shadow Boxing Day, as she always seemed to follow him. As a result, he said "who gives a fuck about Boxing Day, everyone knows Christmas Eve comes first!"

Day 6 (12th May):

- Slept in and called my Nonni for Mother's Day, being the angel grandson I am.

- Once we got ready, headed into Prague and walked around the city. But to keep up with performances, Bill, Cam and I got lost and ended up in the suburbs, spending the rest of the day trying to get back into the centre of town.

- In afternoon, we did group bunker tour (terrible), had dinner (in which I had a local pork knee) and then went to a dark lights show (trippy but not great).

- On arrival back at hostel, washing and packing was on the agenda by Trail-Mix and myself.

Things of Note:

- Bill nearly broke my arm when we were mucking around today with a bloody "Jezalenko".

- The Czech Republic hasn't done itself any favors in my book, with me being let down by it. When the highlight is a huge pork knee, you know you have been disappointed. As a result, I won't be rushing back there anytime soon.

- The pork knee could have been the biggest piece of meat I've ever attempted to eat. As I didn't get to finish it, Kirsty, Jade and I thought it would be good of us to donate it to a local homeless person to eat, instead of throwing I out. Unfortunately, the one we were looking for couldn't be found :(

- The only memorable part of the bunker tour was when our token Maylasian guy on our tour knocked over a missile. As a result, all of us that were close to it, jumped about five meters in the air. Luckily the missile was not live or we wouldn't be here to tell the story.

Day 7 (13th May):

- Left Prague at 8am for Munich and stopped at Dachau concentration camp on the way. The concentration camp was extremely powerful and you really got a feeling of how hard times were back then.

- On arrival in Munich, we went for a bike around the town. We saw Max Joseph (the former king) Plaza, the statue of Queen of Bavaria and King of Prussia (which we re-enacted), the Tina Turner church, Field Marshall's Hall, the Bavarian Government Building, English Gardens (generally inhabited by male nudists but because of shit weather, we were lucky to miss them), stopped for a beer at Bier-Garten inside park and then checked out some river surfers.

- Following our bike ride, we headed to Hofbrauhaus Beer Garden for some schnitzel and steins of beer.

- The beers were awesome and after a couple of squillion schooners, we headed back to our hostel for some more, before heading to bed.

Things of Note:

- The English park in Munich is where Billy Brownless did a nudey run a couple of years ago.

- The river surfing was really cool. Just some guys in wetties, surfing the rapids in the river (check the photos to see what I mean).

- When we went out below our hostel, there was like 50 sixteen year olds in the pub (as the drinking age is lower here), hence the name the "twelvies" pub.

- Our bandits groups shenanigans have nearly gotten us into a bit of strife. With games like "Jezalenko" and pushy-shovey, we nearly came to blows with some local twats, who tried to attack Bill and Matho.

Day 8 (14th May):

- We had another early start, and headed to Hopfgarten (Tyrol), Austria. The scenery on the bus ride was second to none, and the mountain ranges dead set looked like a postcard.

- Upon arrival, we got some more bikes and rode around the amazing countryside of Austria. Within moments, Austria quickly became my favourite country we have been so far, purely on the serenity alone.

- The bike ride went for like 3 hours, and then got an amazing Austrian wurst and kraut salad.

- After riding into town for a look around, we headed to the mountain ranges to paraglide down them. The gondola ride up the mountain was good in itself, but it was one of those once in a lifetime things to cruise down there. Check the video and the photos below!

- Later that night, we had a tight, bright and white party at the bar below our hostel. We all had ridiculous outfits (me in particular), and enjoyed a good night of Austrian beer, games and competitions.

Things of Note:

- The hostel we stayed at was the coolest (but not necessarily the best) because it was a Contiki building and two other tours were staying there as well.

- I've decided that I need to buy a summer house is Austria when I'm older, as the scenery is just spectacular.

- A guy I used to go to university with named Adam "Guido" Saragozza funnily enough worked at this Contiki site.

- Brownless bought the worlds worst hat on our ride into town. It ended up costing about $70 Australian, purely because of the feather on it, that makes him look like Robin Hood.

- I have never see one man sweat so much as Canberra. Of course it didn't help that he wore a tight gorilla suit out, but later that night, he had enough steam and sweat coming off him, he could of powered a small African colony.

Day 9 (15th May):

- After being on the road for just over an hour, we stopped and got ready for our white-water rafting. This was sick, when you combine the rapids, the scenery, the fun and how good the water tasted! (Purest water I've ever tasted). Even the fact that all my extremities were numb by the end of it, couldn't even dampen the mood (pun intended).

- The rest of the day we made our way towards the Italian city of Venice. Along the way, I enjoyed my first Italian pizza and more breathtaking mountain ranges.

- This night we partook in the first beach party in the Venice campsite for the season. It was a pretty busy night, with four bus groups there, involving a wet t-shirt comp, sumo wrestling, and a strip comp. Our group came out victors on the night, after dominating all events.

Things of Note:

- The rafting was so much fun, in particular, jumping in the freezing water, wrestling on the raft, getting smashed by the waves and taking over Jay, Bill and all the weakiez boat.

- Josh "the animal" Morrison and L "pushy shovey" C, were unbelievable sumo wrestlers and did't lose once. This led to Mo-Town scoring the weakest Contiki girl to date.

- Brownless was in all-sorts this night, dropping a total of two full bottles of breezers on my feet, both time cutting my feet.

Day 10 (16th May):

- Another early start, but in a stroke of bad fortune for us, the weather was shithouse, as it was rainy and windy (near hurricane like). None the less, most of the tour group (that could be bothered to get out of bed (Jay and Cam didn't) went into Venice).

- The weather didn't clear all day and we did a walking tour of the city in the rain. Following this, we walked around the city, seeing the markets, Doges Palace (which was amazing and contains one of the biggest rooms in Europe still), climbed the Venice Bell Tower and went inside the flooded St Marks Cathedral. Thank Christ the bloody Gondolas got cancelled, otherwise we would of all ended up in the drink.

- While we did all this, Venice slowly started to flood (when you combine the rain, lack and drainage, the wind and the fact the city is built on water). By lunchtime, there was huge puddles and by mid afternoon, there was sections of water up to my knees and the only way to get from A to B was through it. As a result, most of us take our wet shoes off and just decided to bite the bullet and walk through the water. But, being the gentleman and scholar I am, I offered to piggyback my little friend LC around everywhere.

- During the day, I tried the tortellini, rossito and gelato. All of them were amazing and definitely the best I've ever had of all of them.

- Once we finally got home, from one of the longest but most unforgettable days of our lives, we showered, had a BBQ banquet and had a quiet night.

Things of Note:

- Inside the Doges Palace, each room was magnificently designed, including the council room, senate room and the chamber of council of ten. We also caught a glimpse of the dungeons inside and the Bridge of Sighs.

- Even though the weather wasn't ideal, we all agreed it was a day none of us will ever forget. How often can you go into a city you have never been to and sight see while it is flooding?

- It has become apparent that Jay, Cam and I made a rookie error not buying a sleeping bag on the first day. I thought my little red blanket would be enough, but I was severely wrong. I don't think I have ever been so cold at night as I was this night.

- Dre and I quickly became gelato buddies, trying some in every Italian city we visited. And after trying many flavours, the best two were Nocciola and Stratachella.

Day 11 (17th May):

- Left campsite, which still had miserable weather, for Rome.

- Luckily we had the Apennine Mountains to look at, to pick up all our moods.

- Once we arrived in Rome that afternoon, it was apparent straight away that the traffic was shithouse here and that smart cars were a thing here (as nearly every fourth car was one).

- We then got of the coach and did a bit of a walking tour around Rome. We passed Monument to Victor Emmanuel, made a wish in the Trevi Fountain, got wowed by the size of the Pantheon and then enjoyed a full on Italian meal in Piazza Navona. This was tipped off with Gelatos for all, which is quickly becoming a thing between lanky and I.

- After dinner, we headed back to the coach (minus one hot air balloon) and then headed to our campsite (which would end being the coolest place we stayed in my opinion).

Things of Note:

- As soon as we got to our campsite, everyone headed up to the bar for free wifi (something which we hadn't had in nearly three days). It may sound sad, but its our only form of communication at the moment.

- The wood-cabins we stayed in were awesome, except they are absolutely freezing at night again (as Cam and I both nearly froze to death, despite wearing warm clothes to bed).


Day 12 (18th May):

- In the morning, we did the Colosseum tour and then walked around the Roman Forum. The Colosseum was absolutely breathtaking, when you consider how big it is, and how long it has stood there for. Visiting here made a lot of us want to sit down and watch Russell Crowe's Gladiator.

- Most of us then headed to Vatican City for tour but on the way on the metro train my phone got pick pocketed, as the train was fuller then a state school. It was a hard way to learn you can't trust anyone, especially gypos!

- Vatican City tour was good (mainly the Sistine Chapel) but too long and boring. Thankfully we saw the amazing paintings inside the chapel because we couldn't see St. Peter's Balsilica, as the pope had an address organised for that afternoon. Pretty inconsiderate on his behalf really.

- After that, Bill and I tried to find the Polizia (police) station and after half an hour looking and asking for directions, we thankfully ran into Italian speaking Danica, who helped us find it and translate at the cop shop (so I could get a police report).

- By this time, it was getting late, so we grabbed some grog for the night ahead and headed home. But staying true to form, we caught the wrong train (as did Liz, Alec, Andrew and Clare). This meant we missed dinner and turned up late to the campsite. But we didn't let this get us down, with Danica and I finishing a bottle of rum between us and Bill half a bottle of bottle of voddy before we got home. It was fair to say we were toasty when we got back.

Things of notes:

- I'm sick of losing shit. Such a hassle to replace them, especially when it's not my bloody fault.

- Because of that pope fella, Vatican City was chaotic and just pure annoying.

- Bens birthday will probably end up being the loosest night on the trip. As mentioned above, we were drunk when we got back to the campsite and once we got to the bar, most of the night is a blur (especially for Bill, ended up passing out and hugging the toilet).

- One thing I do remember is hooking up with future wife Dre. This was the first night of the rest of our lives, as our romance will only blossom from here on in.

Day 13 (May 19th):

- Left Rome and made our way towards Florence. Arrived there around lunch time, had group photo looking over the town and then went into leather factory (where I got volunteered to try and gold press a piece of leather but failed miserably).

- We then toured around Florence (with our private guides Courtney and Danica), had some pizza, cannoli, saw statue of David, Ponte Vecchio (the old bridge that still remains despite the wars), Duomo, Statue of Dante Alighieri (founding father of the Italian language, Santa Croce Church, Markets, Florence pig (with lucky gold snout) and street paintings.

- Then headed to campsite for relax, send email of to dad about phone details and then went back into Florence for dinner. Enjoyed ravioli, carbonara and gelato before heading home and going to bed.

Things of Note:

- At night, Rome and Florence have been freezing and with us not having a sleeping bag and a blanket instead. It's fair to say the last couple of nights have been coldest I've ever been.

- Traffic in Italy, in particular Florence, is shithouse. These travel gates we have had to go through take forever to get through an unnecessarily cause congestion. Thankfully our stand-n driver Gabrielle was a man or initiative and cut across three lanes to force his way onto the highway.

- I loved our guided your around Florence by the two Canadians (who had been there before), because they made up random facts about each monument, which were hilarious.

Day 14 (May 20th):

- Travel day from Florence to Switzerland. Today was dress up on the bus day, so we all wore stupid thrift shop/tight clothes.

- Had the pleasure of sitting next to the travel wife on the trip, which was tough, as we are the two lankiest people of the trip. Haven't bought her a ring yet (did give her the leather I gold pressed though), even though are marriage is in Paris in a couple of days. I'll get around to it once she gets her boob job done.

- Stopped in Lucerne, Switzerland to go into Swiss Army knife store and Swiss watch store. Also experienced how expensive Switzerland is, paying 8.50 Swiss franks for a coffee.

- On way to campsite, saw amazing Switzerland landscape (rivalling Austria) and got a group photo at the peak of one of the mountains.

- We arrived in Lauterbrunnen about dinner time, ate a very good bratwurst, and then went out for a couple of Austrian beers (where Josh and I dead-set didn't move, watching both Jackass and people in the pub).

Things of note:

- Dre and I have planned our lives together, and are moving to Perth to live next to Ben and Kirsty and Josh and his Californian weakie aka Tori. Sat out house plan (including gelato bar), child names and sports they will play.

- Szabi had a moment to forget today, when he was pulling into the campsite, he scratched the side of his precious bus. No doubt he was a shattered man that night.

- In a bold move by Trail-Mix, he went home with an aboriginal girl, from another Contiki group, but forgot to wrap up. Their are now jokes that he is going to have an Australian kid now and can visit us all when he moves here to look after it. Lets just hope he didn't inherit anything else from that experience...

- Watching Bill try and feed a duck in Lucerne was hilarious. He has this master plan that he would feed and while it was eating, steal one of its' feathers for his Robin Hood hat. But knowing Bill, things never go to plan and the duck quickly cottoned on and bit Bills' finger haha.

Day 15 (May 21st):

- Woke up early this morning as we were heading up to Jungfrau mountain for the day. This mountain has the highest train line in all of Europe. It took about two hours to get up there, but once we did, it was amazing. We stayed up up there for about four hours and then headed home, as we were freezing our tits off by that stage.

- While on top of the mountain, we a got lost in the ice caves (especially Mike and I), had snow fights, Jezalenko'd each other (with Kristy getting an absolute beauty on me) and for some reason got naked. On top of this, Jade thought it would be funny to pour snow down my bare arse crack (but, in true Courtney form, I got the sly dog back straight away haha).

- On the way home, we had heard there was a good pie joint, so we all decided to stop there.
But as there was a group on front of us who had taken all the pies, we had to wait about 30 minutes for them to cook. But, in bad news for us, they were well below the standard I'm used to. Maybe it was the satay chicken pie I had (containing shredded chicken, which is not a thing), but no one left there satisfied that day.

- Had cheese fondue for dinner and then went out for swisco disco, which ended up being really fun.

- Things of Note from the trip:

- The scenery in Switzerland was nearly as good as Austria. Huge mountains ranges, valleys, waterfalls (just outside our lodge), and the snow capped cliffs were amazing. Somewhere I could definitely get used to waking up in. This was topped off by us being snowed on at the train station on the way home.

- Butterfly and I both picked up born again Christian sisters, both who were massive weakiez from the other Contiki group. Lets just say we both had blue balls in the morning.

- Christmas was a man on a mission tonight, securing the first (and what would be only) double dipping of the trip.

- The Redbull shots in a bottle, that were on offer at the bar, were everyone's kryptonite, levelling everyone eventually. In saying that, when they are that cheap and you can win a free one by making a basketball shot, why would you say no?

Day 16 (May 22nd):

- Got up exceptionally early this morning, as we had a 10 hour bus ride to Paris today. Just the thought of it made me sick.

- Once we got to Paris, we quickly got changed and headed out for some French cuisine. The best part was easily the arrangement of dips, with the Turkish bread, that Xmas, Josh, LC and I absolutely went to town on.

- We then went and tried champagne and snails, neither that I took a liking too. But it was good to try the snails.

- We then drove past the Arch de Triomphe, saw where Napoleons Tomb and then the Eiffel Tower by night. All were extraordinary, but the Eiffel Tower takes the cake.

Things of Note:

- I think my body is finally adjusting to early starts and being hungover (touch wood). It probably helped that I drank 10 litres of water before I went to bed, due to some Christian, causing my mouth to be extremely dry haha.

- To keep up with the theme of the trip, in terms of my wife, I proposed to her in front on the Eiffel Tower. And of course she said yes. Our engagement party is on tomorrow night.

- I think just about every girl, especially Kirsty, had a mini orgasm when they finally saw the Eiffel Tower. It's all most of the girls have been talking about the whole trip.

- On the way in, we went through the most hectic roundabout in the world, with no marked lines (meaning like 15 lanes wide) and the most fatalities annually occurring there.

- We had to wait outside our restaurant for about 20 minutes, as there was a police raid going through the building. Complete gee up, as I have never seen so many cops just standing there and chin wagging (or smoking on the job for that matter).

- As there are bloody Gypos everywhere, especially around the Eiffel Tower, it was good to see one of us get one up on them. Bill figuratively stole off them, paying all of €2 for 15 little Eiffel Tower figurines. Fair is fair though, as these white dogs probably stole all their merchandise off the back off a truck.

- Dre's blonde side came out tonight. As Kat was signalling for us to go back to the bus, I said to the Wifey "lets make a tree and" and before I could finish she said confused "stand?"
I was like, firstly, why would we need to stand and secondly, the correct answer is "leave". I doubt she has got her head around it now.

Following this, Bill the genius came up with these alternatives:
* let's make hay and bail
* let's make like a shepard and get the flock outta here.

Day 17 (May 23rd):

- Today we spent the whole day wandering around Paris, but as we are here for a couple of days after, we didn't need to rush. The day started with the whole group going to a perfume shop, and smelt some of the best fragrances in the world.

- I travelled around with the Jackson 5 and twin towers, after we all dispersed. We started by going to the Musee Du Louvre, and looked at the most overrated painting in the world (also known as the Mona Lisa) and then also saw the Venus De Milo.

- We then were starving, so we all tried some crepes, with me choosing the chicken and cheese one. Others went for flavours like sugar and lemon, caramel and Nutella. We also had the worst hot choccy ever, with it being more like melted down chocolate in a cup (too rich and thick).

- Following this, we headed to Saint-Chapelle's Cathedral, but it was closed and then to the Arch de Triomphe. We wanted to climb the Arch, but the weather was shithouse, so we headed back to the hotel, to prepare our final big family dinner. It was the perfect way to end the great tour.

- We all dolled ourselves up for this dinner, which was right in the middle of Paris. It involved French food, bulk alcohol and speeches.

- Following this, some of the ladies went to the cabaret, while the rest of us went to the Australian bar, for some local brews I've been missing. This got out of hand and then we went to the Irish night club across the road, where things escalated further.


Things of Note:

- In the jerk move of the day, Ben offered me the worlds hottest hotdog (due to mustard sauce) and watched me tear up, as it was that spicy (and we all know I'm a girl when it comes to spices).

- Most of us quickly found a new favourite sport, called "Gypo Herding". It's hilarious watching the Gypos run for the hills at the sight of the police.

- As Beno called them "kamikaze pigeons", we have quickly found our that Paris should be renowned for their dangerous, low flying pigeons. Tala and I nearly got killed on two separate occasions.

- As advanced as Europe is, in terms of technology (such as sensor taps, soap and hand dryers in their bathrooms), France definitely are behind in a couple of aspects. In particular, they suck at making staircases, which was evident with slopping steps in De Louvre. They are better at making floors either, with so many wooden floors being creaky.

- The total has now come to three, for the amounts of scuffles we have found ourselves. This night just so happened to have two. The first started with me yelling "keep running you fucking Gypo" to a Gypo that ran passed us all on the way to the the Aussie Bar. This stopped him in his tracks and he came straight at me but Bill stepped in and pushed him. Before he knew it, all the boys from our Contiki group had surrounded him, but that didn't dampen his confidence, yelling profanities as he ran away.

It would of been about fifteen minutes later he caught up to our group with about four mates but before I saw him, Jay started telling at him to come and take on all twenty of us at once. They quickly retreated, with their tails between their legs.

The second fight occurred right at the end of the night in our hotel. As everyone was keen to kick-on for the last night, there was a fair bit of noise being made (mainly by Brownless and Christmas). But somehow Bill and I ended up together about 4am in the corridor, and then a not so happy black security guard found us and escorted us to the elevator. Me being me thought he was just walking us to our rooms, so when we stopped at level two I tried to get off and may have gave him a little shove, for him to retaliate and manhandle me by throwing me back.

Once we reached the ground floor, the security guard, his two accomplases and their muzzled dog (which was the size of a horse mind you) started going crazy at us. They wanted us out of the hotel and Bill and I both thought the police were coming to get us, as none of them spoke a lick of English. After about half an hour and with Jade's help, they were finally convicted that we actually had rooms in the hotel and let us go. These situations just seem to follow Bill and I.

- This could very well be my moment of the trip. While out on the last night, I witnessed Brownless (who is a police officer mind you), get flogged by one of the girls from our Contiki group. I think she got the wrong impression when he was talking to her. But the best part is that she threw the haymaker so hard it skimmed off Bill's and also hit Jay in the face. As a result, I was on the floor laughing, as it's not everyday that you see a cop get punched.

- In what will go down as the best pushy-shovey in my opinion, after our dinner, Mike and I decided to double team LC (who was quite drunk at this stage). The plan was, I would pushy-shovey her into Mike's Jezalenko, but as soon as I pushed her, she fell over, before Mike had even made sontact with her.

Day 18 (May 24th):

- The final day of our tour, but as most of us were staying in Paris, we didn't need to pack our stuff up too early. But we still needed to get up at 7am to say our goodbyes to everyone that has jumping on the coach and heading back to London. Not going to lie, the water works were well and truly flowing by the girls. In saying that, it was really sad to see the tour end already, as it felt like we only just met but were already family.

Thanks everyone for making it one of the best memories of my life. I've made plenty of friends, most who I hope to keep in contact with for life (and their profiles are listed below).


Player Profiles of the Backseat Bandits:

- The Jackson five from Perth: Ben (Bunn), Kirsty, Christmas, Josh (Buttefly) and Jadey.

Ben: where do I start, one of the best lads I have ever met. We have gotten on like a house of fire and will definitely stay I'm contact for years to come. Every morning we would try and rehash events from the night before and more often then not, there are massive black holes. Ben gets my "mate of the tour" award, even though he spanked me every time we played stick cricket in the bus.

Kirsty: Bens better half and my mum of the trip. Would do anything for anyone, and that's huge when she has only known most of us for about 3 weeks. Also took the jezalenko mark of the trip on me on top of Jungfrau.

Josh: Bens younger brother and another top bloke. From wrestling on the white water rafts, to both falling in love with born again Christians, to both tripping balls in Amsterdam, we were together nearly every step of the way. To add to this, we both hate awkward situations and just go quiet in these instances.

Christmas: Made the rookie error of getting contiki wife on the first day and as a result, had a shadow named Boxing Day following him around all tour. None the less, he is a top bloke, who spent a lot of the trip in regi's and with rock by his side. Loved a beer and chasing the weakiez that were on offer each night out (it helped that he had rocks guidance through all of the trip though).

Jadey: Just like her besty Kirsty, is a sweetheart (except when she throws snow done me arse when I'm naked in the snow). Had some big performances, particularly in Venice, but unfortunately the contiki cough got the best of her towards the end of the trip. But everyone was proud of her when she conquered her fears of heights by paragliding and of the freezing water at rafting. We also acted as a couple on numerous occasions to stop guys hitting on her and on dinner dates.

A superb group of guys, that I'll hopefully catch up with sooner rather then later.

- The two Yanks (also known as Fruit and Nut (as he has about a squillion nationalities in him) and the 4'1 sorority weakie named LC.

Mike: at first we couldn't understand him (thought he was saying cake when he was saying keg) and he struggled with our slang terms. I also had to look after him heaps (saving his life in Amsterdam from a bike and then wing-manning him in Switzerland). But apart from those indiscretions, he goes alright haha. We had some great times sharing the best room at every place, listening to out resident hot air balloons' wise comments and generally disagreeing about how self-centred Americans are.

LC: my little minion for the trip. We explored all of Europe together including piggy-backing her all through the rivers in Venice, eating bulk sausages in Berlin and skulling (chugging) steins in Munich's beer halls. She's always a pretty good little wingwoman, befriending all the weakiez and setting up anyone who needed to be or just volunteering herself for a cheeky spoon (which I took advantage of). But don't stab her in the back, whatever you do, because she is a mean sumo wrestler, as Venice showed us all.

If only I had met these two before I had gone to the States, I definitely would of visited them in Philly. But not to worry, once Mike is President of the United States, he will have to make regular visits to Australia to see his child (after sleeping with an Aboriginal on the trip).

- Team Canada, consisting of Rangadang, Lanky, Mrs Injury and Tittasaurus Rex

Rangadang: one of the three Courtney's on the trip. This trip has massively opened her vocabulary up, learning new words/phrases such as: G'day Maaaaate, I'm in (liquorice) all-sorts, Sssspppppppeeewwwwing, I'm in Barney Rubble, Bullocks, Yeeeewwww Beauty, Cheers C**t, free woifoi, pushy shovey and I'm in a ripe mood.

On days when I was seriously hungover, her impersonations would make me laugh and feel better, which is something I'll miss. I'll never miss the time she tried to tour guide us around Florence (making up random facts about things), the way she calls thongs "flip flops" or when she would be drunk or hungover and come and tell me she's I'm "All-sorts", but ill be happy to never see her birkenstocks ever again.

On a side note, we both nearly died from laughter in Venice, when LC slipped over and nearly ate shit. We both were in hysterics after this.

Lanky: also known as my wife from the trip. She is deadset a girl version of me, as we both are tall and lanky, have brown hair, are always hungry, get moody quite easily (which leads to whinging) and both can't stand still for too long (as my nonni would put it "you have bees up your bum"). Can also be recognized from a long way away by her favorite catch phrase "Ahhhhh, yehhhhh!"


Mrs Injury: I first noticed her clumsiness on the second day in Amsterdam, when she crashed into Dre's bike, ate shit and took off half her knee. Other incidents include getting bitten by a tame horse in Rome and hitting her head numerous times on the bus.

On top of all this, she is as bad as Courtney at accents and continually do bad Australian phrases. She has been known to wake up laughing (with Courtney) thinking about their poor impersonations.

Tittasaurus Rex: this legend has saved my arse so many times on this trip, it's not funny. In particular see came to my rescue in Rome. After my phone got stolen, Bill and I tried to find the police station, but because the pope was doing his thing at St Peters, the main one was closed. Luckily we found Danica, after an hour of looking and she helped us find it within an hour (because she could actually communicate with the locals, being Italian and all). And then she translated for me at the cop shop. If it wasn't for her, we might be still there sorting out the police report. She has also counselled me on weakie issues, sewed my jeans and got shitfaced with me on the train back from Rome (when we missed trains and took forever to get home).

- The twin towers from Campbelltown: Tiffany and Quadie

Tiff: the little blonde bombshell, who always seemed to know exactly how to fix all my problems (which ended up being numerous each day), such as lending me her iPad all the time on the bus. But one of her hobbies that has developed on the trip has been taking ordinary photos of me. These include me sleeping, in the dick of the day outfit, kissing weakiez and hungover photos. Sure everyone wants the odd 50 photos of me (hence the Mr 10 nickname in Bathurst), but I think you might have a problem mate haha. But seriously, she has been my guardian angel this trip and without I would have probably lost more shit.

Quadie (derived from stating that four guys finger her in one day): First impressions go a long way and in terms of hers, they couldn't be worse. She put in two absolutely terrible performances I'm Amsterdam and followed it up with a clanger in Prague. But apart from those, she has been an absolute blast, with catch phrases like "awww, fuck off" and "shuttt uppp, Jared!" On top of this, her 3'2 frame makes her the perfect pushy-shovey target for me and usually ends up with her injured and then kicking me back.

Just for good measure, here's the Quadie dance song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AMT698ArSfQ

- The romantic duo from Newcastle: Andy All-sorts and Courtney.

Andy: where do I start on this dead set legend? This man was always ready for what ever the tour threw at him. And he also came up with some stupid ideas, which I of course followed, such as naked snow photos and a million red bull shots in Switzerland. But I was most proud of the way he (and Mike) adopted the weakie lookout and signal. Excellent form bro.

Courtney: firstly, great name. It's hard to see how these two polar opposites work but somehow they are excellent together. Despite all we went through, rafting, snow etc, Court managed to still looked good, while all of us looked terrible.

Great couple and don't want to jinx it, but I think they have a grand future together!

- The tripod from Rockhampton: Rocky, Canberra and Radedlaide.

Rocky: started the tour on rocky terms, by losing his wallet to a pickpocketer on the first day, at the Heineken factory. But since then, he has been a man on a bloody mission, to party. The way these three 26 year olds backed up every single night is extremely commendable. Also, a fellow Gunners die-hard, so I can't say a bad word about him.

Canberra: would have to be the sweatiest man I have ever met. The way sweat and steam was flying of him in Austria, he could of put Australia out of drought a couple years ago. None the less, consistently one the funest blokes on tour, with great banter and his "Sandilands" like performances at night. A thing of note, his girlfriend better be happy with him when he gets home, because the amount of coin he spent on her (including the Swiss watch and French fragrances), she better be all over him like white on rice when he gets home.

On a side note, I wish I was present to watch Canberra go to town on the Prague can drivers.

Radelaide: also known as Mr Abs, for the strip show performance he put on in Venice. By all reports, he was very nervous that night and did over a thousand sit ups in half an hour (is that even humanly possible?). This was one of the performances of the trip, which no doubt helped his weakiez tally.

- The pedophile known as Brownless (Mr Moustache ride): I had only met this struggler a couple of times at university before this trip, but we have definitely made a huge bond on this trip. It all started when we sat next to each other on the back seat and from then on, it has only gotten stronger (or worse, depending on what way you look at it). We have somehow gotten lost in Berlin (not being able to find our hostel as Szabi, the bus driver, moved the bus), Prague (for 1.5 hours in the early hours one morning) and in Rome. I don't know why we hang out together, especially on the piss, because we are the worst influence in each other. This led to him being absolute slop-dogs on nearly every night (and generally the most drunk every night).

He even grew a travel beard, which developed into a pedo moustache, leading to his saying "who wants a moustache ride?" He used this on a lot of the girls on the trip, in particular the tour manager Kat to no avail, with two stern rejections coming his way.

He also bought the most expensive and worst Robin Hood hat ever. This is probably why me and him got in three scuffles with locals on the trip. Despite all that, I hope he stays a friend for life.

The Albino Rhino (also known as Cam): Cam developed the nickname Koala Bear on tour, because most days it would seem all he would do is eat and sleep (as he somehow gets all the worst hungovers the world deals out, such bad luck). This man also knows how to twist my arm like no other and as such, is a terrible influence on me.

Jarry (or as he was known, Coach): led the charge every night, as he loves nothing more then getting shitfaced and chasing tail at night. As a result, ended up with some bad war wounds. But the tour wouldn't have been the same without him leading all the chants, such as "gang bang", "yogi bear" and "I wish that all the ladies", or him constantly saying "You'll be right, can of corn!"

Power Rankings of the Cities visited:

1. (Tyrol) Austria: the countryside was just breathtaking. When you combine that with an excellent bike ride, paragliding through the valleys, a great Contiki site and night out, it's impossible to top. Would live to one day own a summer house there.

2. Berlin: probably the city I was most looking forward too, purely based on the fact of how much history the city possessed. The walking tour was amazing and explained all the sights well, especially in regards to the holocaust. The food was also very good there and I would love to go back there one day.

3. Swiss Alps: a very close third. Absolutely amazing scenery, both at the campsite but also on top of Jungfrau, great bar and food set-up and lodge. The only downfall I could find is triple bed bunk beds (which I'm pretty sure aren't a thing). If the "snowfun" part of Jungfrau was open and we could of tobogganed, it would have been higher.

4. Paris: was a pleasant surprise, as I had heard bad reviews about the place (such as the people were ruse or the city was dirty), but I didn't have any of those sort of problems. I loved all the history that engulfed the town, and the pure beauty it has (with the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame and De Louvre).

5. Venice: despite it being cold, wet and miserable, the town was crazy. Maybe the fact we had to walk through a small lake to get from one side of St Marks Square to the other, made it more memorable then it should of been, but I wouldn't change that day for anything. It led to less lines into the landmarks and more laughs as we were all bulk wet.

6. Munich: would loved to have spent more time there, but I know I'll go back there soon. Beautiful town, full of intrigue and bier. Add on to the fact that we also stopped in Dachau, just outside Munich, I loved the city.

The following four places I have now been and won't be rushing back to anytime soon (even of they had good aspects).

7. Florence: beautiful city, full of statues, markets and chapels, but is definitely a city tailored made to the female race. Also, the traffic situation needs to get fix there as soon as humanly possible.

8. Rome: sure, the old monuments (such as the Colosseum were second to none), but I hated how dirty, busy and impolite I found the Italians there. Add on to that I had my phone stolen and we got lost in the big crowds around Vatican City, Rome had left a sour taste in my mouth.

9. Amsterdam: was everything that it is cracked up to be, maybe even more hectic. But during the day, there really isn't to much to do, except stay alive by avoiding dangerous cyclists. On top of this, the first night there, I have never felt more out of my comfort zone, thanks purely to the space cakes and truffles.

Dead-last. Prage: did absolutely nothing for me. Shit optionals, not a greatest city to walk around, annoying currency and locals unwilling to speak a lick of English. Fair to say in done and dusted with Prague and can Czech it off the list. Not to mention the most useless police force in the world, quote-unquote Brownless.

Things that Europe are good at and can't quite comprehend:

Can Do:
- Make a mean Orange Juice (especially in Spain)
- Reverse Parallel Parking in France (fair dinkum, the cars were separated by a bee's dick)
- Produce weak women. Dead set, out of the fair dinkum department, the women over here are amazingly good looking (in general of course).

Can't Do:
- As just highlighted to me, Europeans have struggled to come to terms with the art of running (and I know some of you will say I'm being a hypocrite with my pelvis and all, but they are worse). Josh will back me up here.
- As good as they are at Reverse Parallel parks, they can't park any other way. They park in the worlds worst spots (aka on corners), which just plain out hinder other vehicles.
- Make a bloody decent Carbonara. So much for Italy being the pasta capital of the world. How hard is it to our mushrooms, bacon, cheese, chicken, onion and sauce on some fettuccini?
- Making a coffee, and my research was done by one of the biggest coffee drinkers I know, Brownless the Cop. This guy enjoys plenty of brews at home but apart from Venice, everywhere has let him down (not mentioning the frothed milk incident).

That's it for this Blog guys, thanks again for reading.

PS. Even though there is already over 200 photos attached, more will be uploaded as I get my hands on them.
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