A Travellerspoint blog

Mt. Pilatus, Lucerne, St. Goar,Amsterdam

Hey everyone! Yes I know this entry is about 2 months late but I guess its better late than never! :) Things have been busy since I came back and the adjustment to graduate school has taken up my time but I really wanted to write one more entry to complete the trip.

So, after Munich we headed off to Swizerland and boy was that place beautiful! We stopped in Liectenstein for a lunch break and I took the opportunity to get my passport stamped.

When we got to Swizerland our hotel was located on top of Mt. Pilatus, I think it is considered the highest hotel in Europe. In order to get up there you have to take this tram that takes you up the mountain forever and forever.. it was really quite trippy! I just kept telling myself not to look down... im usually not afraid of heights and I was pretty sure nothing was going to happen but when the tram kept going higher and higher, with the weather getting foggier.. I was just hoping and praying that the wire wouldnt break. We reached safely up the mountain and I was soooo relieved. There was really not much to do on the mountain though so that night we just ended up watching Eurotrip in one of the rooms that doubled as a theatre. That movie was sooo funny! I will definately think of Europe everytime I watch that movie :) Early the next day, Trevor,Sheree, and I climbed up a bit higher on a hill to get a better view.. It was absolutely breathtaking...later that morning we headed out to the town of Lucerne. There is really not much to do there besides shopping so thats what I ended up doing. Although I did get to take some pics of the Chapel Bridge and the Lion Monument as well as eat some awesome fondue with Alysha and Shawn. I had heard there was another really good Picasso Museum there but unfortunately I didn't get the chance to visit it. After a bit of roaming around I met my group again and we headed for our boat trip around Lake Lucerne. It was really relaxing and very nice. Later that night, on top of the mountain we had our Swissco (70's disco party) and it was sooo much fun to see everyone all dressed up in 70's costumes. It was Fabulous!

The next morning, we headed out to the Rhine Valley/St Goar.We spent one night in St. Goar on our way to Amsterdam. Went to a beer stein shop and more wine tasting. YUMMY! Unfortunately, Jeff had a little more wine than he could handle and I ended up taking care of him on our cruise around the lake. That was definately quite a task..:) Whn we arrived in Amsterdam the next day, we stopped in the Village of Edam where most of the tour was going to go on a bike ride around the town. Unfortunately, I dont know how to ride a bike so I wasn't able to join them. My other tourmate Alysha was really ill and was unable to join the group as well so while the group was riding around the city Alysha and I stopped by a nice little cafe and had some lunch and hot chocolate... :) After the others returned from their bike ride, we drove a bit more and stopped by one of the windmills and took some pictures. Our next stop that day was to a Cheese and Clog Farm where I got to see how they made cheese and clogs. I was tempted to buy some clogs but I couldnt find ones that fit me quite right so I gave up and bought cheese instead. When we go to the hotel, some of the tourmates decided to head into town early and explore the "cafes", I decided to stay at the hotel and enjoy some drinks with Rex and a few other people. Later that night, the rest of us on tour went and explored the Red Light District... all I have to say is that it is definately an experience in itself and that is all I will say about that. We have officially termed Amsterdam as Amster-damage! The next morning, we went out to explore more of the city. Jeff and I decided to go find Anne Frank's house as well as the Homo Monument. I met up with Shawn and Alysha later and we walked around looking for a candy shop so Alysha could buy her dad some salted licorice. After our candy search was over we headed out to the Heinekin Brewery where Heineken beer is brewed! By far the best experience of the trip.. we definately drank our 10 euros worth of beer! We even experienced what it was like to be a beer bottle! That place was sooo much fun, especially after we ran into Steven and Tiffany. By the end of it we were all totally smashed! I dont really even know how we made it back to the bus in time.. Since this was our last night on tour, we all had a group dinner and ended up taking a booze cruise around the canals in amsterdam! Definately one the most fun and craziest nights of the tour especially since one of my tour mates ended up dancing naked in the back of the bus...it was preety hilarious. Definately very unforgettable.

The last night on the trip, I was filled with mixed emotions. I was ready to go home but at the same time I was having so much fun that I didn't want to believe it was ending. Like all good things, my trip had to come to an end. I will never forget this awesome experience and the wonderful people that I have met. I will hopefully get the opportunity to go to europe again some day but for now I am extremely happy with the moments and memories of the people that made my trip as wonderful as it was.

Posted by aditi82 23:53 Comments (0)

Vienna, Mauthausen, Mondee, Munich

Hello from Munich everyone! I really love this second half of the tour.. the weather is beautiful here in Munich today. It was raining in the morning but it cleared up to a nice and sunny day. It's so wonderful here especially with the place we are staying. We are staying in these service apartments which are quite funky and really homey. Fantabulous! So here is what I did in the last few days. My free day in Vienna was really relaxing and quiet. Most of us went into town and did our own thing. Jeff (another tourmate) and I decided to hang out together and explore a little bit outside the main city. We saw St. Stephans Cathedral and then headed towards a tram to go and see the cemetary where Beethoven, Mozart, Brahms, and Shubert are buried. From there, we had just enough time until we had to meet the group up to go to the Vienna Shnapps Museum. That place was so COOOL! I definately drank my 5 euros worth of Shnaaps (about 14 shots ;)) I bought a bottle of Vienna blood and I can't wait to get home and open it up... apparently its also a cough curer.. I had a sample shot of it and boy was I cured! ;) hehe. From the Shnapps Museum we went for about an hour walk around Shobrunn Palace.. I wish I had enough time to go inside and discover the rooms but it was beautiful just from the outside. I wanted to go in the outside maze and labyrith but Jeff wouldn't let me because he said I wouldn't beable to find my way out since I was a little tipsy. Oh well.

Yesterday morning we headed out of Vienna towards Munich which is the capital of Bavaria. On our way to Munich, we stopped at a place called Mauthausen which was a former concentration camp in Austria. It was a really sad place to be and I have no words to describe the feeling you get when you are there. I was shocked when I realized that such horrible things had happened in such a beautiful place. We walked over to see the Quarry and the Stairway of Death and later on explored the Gas Chamber and the Creamatory. Just the smell of that place was disgusting 40 years later. We had a happier stop later on and stopped at the Church that was in The Sound of Music. It was located in Mondee, a very cute little touristy town.

We arrived in Munich last night and went into town and had dinner at the Haufbrou house and had the HUGEST STEIN ever! Everyone was drunk last night, it was hilarious! This morning, we went back into town and just walked around. I saw the Glokenspeil, Deutches Museum of Technology and went around the fruit market. Checked out some shops for shopping and came back. Tomorrow we are heading to Mt. Pilatus and then Amsterdam! Woohooo! Catch ya guys later!

Posted by aditi82 09:07 Comments (0)

Athens, Veince, and Vienna

Hello again! Well, I've been getting lots of emails from everyone and I just wanted to let you guys know that I miss you all too! I can't believe I've been on this trip for about 26 days now. It's going to be really wierd when I come back and I don't have to wake up early to head to the next destination. All this go go go is making everyone on the bus sick... Im preety sure everyone is on some sort of antibiotic. Despite everyone being sick, we are still enjoying our days out here.

I left Mykonos a few days ago to head into Venice. We stopped in Athens for a day tour of the Acropolis and the Parthenon which was outstanding. The weather was really hot and windy though, which didnt help my allergies at all since dirt was flying everywhere. From athens we had about 2 nights on a VERY BORING ferry where we had nothing else to do but drink and play cards. By the end of that ferry ride we were all glad to be out of Greece and back into Italy! On our way to the hotel we stopped at Lake Grata which is the biggest lake in Italy and also Verona. For those of you that don't know, Verona is the place where the story of Romeo and Juliet takes place. Apparently Shakespeare based his story on a real family so we were able to see where Juliet might have lived... I think this was the most touristy and cheesyest stop yet...but it was still good fun.

Venice was great! I was able to see alot of the city just in one day. We went to a glass blowing and lace making demonstration in the morning since that is what Venice is known for. I bought a nice Murano watch so I can tell time now, since losing my cell phone. I went to St. Marks Basilica and Doges Palace both of which were amazing. I crossed the Bridge of Sighs into the prisons of Doges Palace which was VERY VERY CREEPY... just the energy in there was ominous. From there I walked a bit and crossed over to the bridge where the Accademia is and took pictures of the Grand Canal. Later in the evening I went on a Gondola ride with some of the other people on tour. It was fantastic!

Yesterday, we drove into Vienna and it is absolutely stunning here! If I were to live any where in Europe I think I would definately live here! I'm a little high on Schanpps right now so I'll update later on Vienna. Aufwiederzien!

Posted by aditi82 10:29 Comments (2)

Sorrento,Capri, Mykonos

Hello there! I can't believe I've been gone for over 2 weeks now. My trip is going by so fast! Here's my little update for you guys :) So, from Rome we drove all the way down to a little town called Sorrento. On our way to Sorrento we stopped at the ancient city of Pompeii where lots of people were killed when Mount Vesuvius erupted a long time ago. It was really wierd to be walking around and thinking that an ancient civilization had existed there. I saw their forum, the bakery, and the church and the bath houses. In the bath house, there were 2 bodies on display that were frozen in time. It was very creepy to see the actual expression they had on their face and made me sad to think what their last thought must have been as they were being buried alive in ash. One of them looked like he had a smile on his face.

We reached Sorrento in the evening and wow, was it beautiful. It was definately a very touristy town but it was sooo much fun. We hung out by the pool for a bit at the hotel before the rest of the group headed out for dinner. I hadn't signed up for this dinner so I ended up going into town with Sean, Sheradon, and Jeanette. We had dinner at a place called The Garden (fabulous food!!!!) and then went around window shopping at all the different places. We stopped at a local Gelati place called Primavera, it was by far the best gelati I have EVER had. I ordered the Mango, Watermelon and Limoncello in a small cup. You guys at home in the states are definately missing out on this stuff. YUM! Got back to the hotel about 11:30pm and just sat outside my hotel room balcony and enjoyed my ipod and the view (sooo gorgeous!! The next day, some of us decided to head out to the Island of Capri for a little cruise. Our Cruise lasted about 2 or 3 hours and we stopped at a couple spots so people could expeience swimming in the beautiful water.We stopped at the Blue Grotto which was about an hour wait to get in to see (definately an experience to see how the boatmen take you into the cave. We then swam in the Green Grotto and took pictures of the White Cave. After the cruise around the island we had some free time to get some lunch and explore the island. Almost everyone spent this time at the beach so I just laid out in the sun and enjoyed the water. I was so tired from my relaxing day that I ended up napping by the pool for awhile before dinner. The next day we got up early to check out of our hotel and spent a few hours roaming around town before heading to Patras via Bari to catch our over night ferry into Athens.

The Ferry was really nice and it was great to have a cabin to sleep in on the boat. There was another "camping" contiki group that was parallelling the tour we are on and they ended up sleeping on the top deck of the ship where it was outdoors, very hot, and people lying around on the floor in sleeping bags. They were literally sleeping on top of a covered pool. It was absolutely insane! I am sooo glad I spent the little bit of extra money to do a hotel tour! At least our cabins had little showers in them...lemme tell ya those campers were stinky!

We arrived in Patras and drove all day into Athens. We had a little bit of time before we headed to our Greek dinner and enjoyed some greek dancing as well. We ended our night in Athens preety early since the next morning we had to wake up the butt crack of dawn(pardon my expression) with a departure time of 5:15am to catch another ferry into Mykonos. After being spoiled on the Ferry into Patras, the ferry into Mykonos was damn horrible. We were put in last class with crappy plastic chairs, smokers, and deisel fuel blowing on you... I tried to make the most of it by catching some sleep for a bit, but I could only sleep for like 1 hour of the 5 hour ferry ride. I was so glad to be off that boat and in Mykonos!!!

It is absolutley stunning! Our hotel is right by the water on Kalafati beach... far away from the main town but very beautiful. I was so excited to finally be in Mykonos that on my very first afternoon there I ended up swimming with my cell phone in my pocket. All I have to say is, you wouldve ran into that water too after all the travelling and the insanely long and uncomfortable ferry ride. I still can't believe I did that, but it's ok, I'll buy a new cell phone when I get back to the states. :) I am having so much fun here in Mykonos but I will update you on this later as it involves lots of partying, Stay Tuned! :)

Posted by aditi82 09:49 Comments (2)

Nice, Florence, and Rome

Barcelona was relaxing, our first night we went club hopping along the beach...didnt really do that much during the day...slept in, went to the beach, shopped for flip flops and slept some more. I went to a Flamenco show, it was good but went on a bit too long because I was so tired.

I cant even start to tell everyone how beautiful it is here! I went to Monte Carlo and Monaco for dinner! The night before in Nice we went to a local pub called Waynes Bar.. it was absolutely insane and packed in there... we had a section of the bar reserved just for our tour and we ended up having party crashers because our party was so awesome... It really got insane when the live band came on and everyone ended up dancing on tables (including me) with glasses falling everywhere... It was sooooo much fun! Monaco was absolutely beautiful! I wish I could afford to live there.. the application to become a citizen is 1 million dollars and that doesn't even guarantee that the Prince of Monaco will choose you to become a citizen.. the Monte Carlo casino is a bit overrated.. I didn't even bother to go inside but the people from my group that went weren't that thrilled about spending 10 euro for entrance to lose money ;) I had a nice walk and a few drinks with some of my tour mates spending my 10 euro on something a bit better ;) hehehe

The next day we headed out to Florence and got there in the evening... Some of us decided to go out to a bar near by to do some Karioke.. it was fun for a little while but it got packed with the other contiki tour and I wasn't up to party that much. I ended up finding my roomate and we went to eat gelati and pizza around the corner! My mango gelati was soooo good! At around 11:30 the bus picked us up to head back to the hotel and we ended up dancing on the bus doing the macarena..it was silly but everyone had a blast!

The next day in Florence we took a guided tour around the sites... We were in Florence on a Monday so all the major museums and some of the sites were closed for maintenence. I still got to see alot though, the Duomo and the piazza, and ate more Gelati. My roomate ended up going to like 5 different gelati stores in a span of one hour.. I was in shock at how much she ate, considering she is so tiny! We had a nice lunch at a place called Paoli that was in both our guidebooks...it was a great place, our waiter was so nice, He was like ...for you bella, I would do anything! ... it was soo cute! We then went back to the hotel to freshen up for our dinner and group photo.. The entertainment at dinner was fabulous! Everyone had sooo much fun dancing incuding me... we did the macarena and chicken dance too... it was hilarious... I had fun slow dancing too (sorry guys, no boyfriend here, he's married :P) On the bus to the The Space Electronic club is where the party officially began..I dont know how many drinks the people in the back had, because they were partying it up back there.. there were people dancing and (the guys) shirts were flying off... It was a great time, probably one of the best nights so far! I didn't go to the club because I was a little sick but I am sure there will be many more fantastic nights like that :)

On our way to Rome I saw the Leaning Tower of Pisa, it wasn't as big as I expected it to be but still good. Last night, We took a little tour when we got in and got to see Piazza Navona, Spanish Steps, the Trevi Fountain, and the Pantheon and also had some dinner. This morning we went to Vatican City and since we were here on a wednesday we had hoped to see the Pope conduct mass but he went Skiing in the Swiss Alps (so we heard)... I can imagine why cuz its sooooo FREAKING HOOTTTTT over here! We were a little dissapointed but Rome has so much to see! The Vatican is nice, but by far my most favorite place was the Sistine Chapel with Michealangeos frescos.. OMG.. is all I can say because I was sooo speechless. I even saw where Pope John Paul II is buried down in the grottoes.. when I left the Vatican , I remember from the news coverage that the exit I walked out of was the same path that the Late Pope was carried out of towards the Cathedral... it was preety surreal to be standing there and realizing how many people were packed into that square. After the Vatican we went to see the Colloseum and Palentine.. I took pics from the outside it was preety magnificent by it self.. the line was too long to get inside so I didn't want to bother standing out in the hot sun, walked a little bit around the colloseum and now I am back at the hotel. There's not much else to do right now, I'm not that big of a shopper so just going to relax now for a bit before dinner. Caio!

Posted by aditi82 07:45 Comments (2)

London and Paris

Hello Everyone! Wow what an adventure this trip has been! Here is a mini journal of what I have done so far...

London: So I arrived in London the day after the terrorist attacks and it was a little hard to get to my hotel because my hotel was located near Russell Square where a bus blew up. All the roads leading to my hotel were closed so I had to take the tube to Hyde Park and then get on the bus to one of the main streets and walk down about 5 or 6 blocks. It wasn't as hard as I thought it would be and the city was preety normal despite what had happened. I checked into my hotel and headed to the contiki basement to relax. I ended up meeting some girls that were on a different tour and we went to eat sushi together at a restaurant nearby and went to a near by club to check out the nightlife. The next day I ended up running into one of the girls on my tour (Holly) and I asked her if she wanted to explore some of London with me. We started off towards the direction of Trafalagar Square, then we went to the London Eye, then across the bridge to Big Ben, the Parliment, Westminster Abbey, St. James Park, and Buckingham Palace, and back to Trafalagar Square and the Hotel all on foot! Later at the pre-tour meeting, I ran into Jessa and Sandy and we ended up on the LONGEST walk of our lives to St. Paul's Cathedral. I was so bummbed I couldn't go inside because it was closed but it was so beautiful anyway. I definately want to come back to London it was amazing!

London-Dover: Woke up super early the next day about 6am to catch the bus at 7am. MANNNN I was sooooo sore and sleepy!!! But I made it on the coach and headed off to Dover to catch a ferry into France. Met a few people on the Ferry that lived in the area I grew up in which was kind of cool and one of the girls actually played baseball with a girl I went to High School with! What a small world! :)

Paris: After getting off the Ferry into France, we spent the rest of the day driving into Paris. Played a kind of speed dating game on the bus to get to know the other people on the tour and to pass the time. We reached the hotel where the area was kind of ghetto (some thing I expect now for the rest of the tour) got checked in and headed off to a group dinner. The place was only supposed to be 15 mins walk away from the hotel, but our tour guide got lost and we ended up walking around the city for about an hour and a half. After dinner we were soooo glad to see our driver Brendan with the coach and we took an Illuminations tour around Paris to get a feel for what we wanted to see on our free day. I ended up going to Notre Dame, Les Champs Eleyes, the Louvre, and the Arc de Triomphe... my roomie (Ronnie) and I ended up huffing up the 500 spirling stairs to get a nice view of Paris from the top of the Arc! It was insanely beautiful! I love it! So worth all of the pain it took to get up there. We headed back on the metro to get to our hotel but we ended up getting lost for another hour on our own. The ironic thing was that I ended up using hindi with 2 pakistani guys to get back to our hotel. They even walked us all the way back which was extremely nice considering they were walking the opposite direction when I stopped them. I got ready really quickly and went with Trevor and Shree to see the Moulin Rouge show! It was an awesome show and I definately will come back to Paris to see the rest of what I missed.
The next day we got up really early for a long bus day towards Barcelona via Bourdeux and had a stop to see Chambord Palace. At the rest stop, Ronnie and I had a great Salad and a Super Yummy Nutella Crepe! We Reached Bordeux in the evening had some dinner and went back to the hotel to relax for another Long day on the bus towards Barcelona! :)

Barcelona and Nice will be the next entries since now my time is running out! Getting ready to go to dinner in Monaco and see Monte Carlo :) Will keep you updated!

Posted by aditi82 06:07 Comments (0)

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