European Wonder 9th May 2013


#1

Hi Everyone,
I’m doing my first Topdeck Tour on my own - is anybody else going solo on this tour? :slight_smile:


#2

Hi Alicia,

I am booked on this tour however wasn’t brave enough to go it alone. I will be travelling with my cousin. We are super excited as it is our first trip overseas ;D.

Trey


#3

Hey Trey,

Haha, fair enough!

I can’t wait either - it’s my first trip to Europe! :slight_smile: It should be AWESOME!!

Alicia


#4

Hey guys,

I’ve also just booked onto the tour!! Going solo as well Alicia :slight_smile: Coming from South Africa! So excited!

Keen to chat more :slight_smile:

Jenna


#5

Hi Jenna,

Awesome!!! Have you done any topdeck tours before?? This is my first tour, and my first time to Europe, so Im a little nervous, but really excited!!! ;D

I’m glad there’s others going solo! :slight_smile:

When do you fly to London?


#6

Hi Alicia & Jenna

Are you staying at the clink hostel before the tour?

Tracey


#7

Hey Tracey,

I was going to, but now I’ll be staying with a friend who lives kind of nearby.

Are you staying at the Clink??

Alicia


#8

I thought the clink looked kinda cool on the website, but a friend of mine did a topdeck tour last year, and she said that everyone on her tour who stayed there gave it really bad reviews. :frowning:

But its so conveniently right THERE, easy to meet the tour, so I probably would’ve stayed there the first night anyway, If my friend didn’t live in London. Lol.

When are you guys arriving in London?? I’m getting there just the day before, so I hope I’m not too jet lagged for the first few days!!! :-[


#9

We are arriving in London the day before the tour as well. We arrive about 7:30 in the morning so we have all day to look around London.

I don’t know if you have been given any tips regarding Jet lag but I have been told not to go to sleep until night time local time. So it is going to be an interesting day trying to stay awake for so long especially after such a long flight.

I know some people in the London area also but they apparently live to far from the city so we are staying at the Clink the night before the tour because of the convenience and the time that we need to check in for the tour. We are only staying there the one night so if it is as bad as the reviews you have heard so hopefully one night will not be that bad :).


#10

hi all

I just booked to go on this tour today and just wanted to see who else is going. I am travelling alone and this will be my first time in Europe and doing a tour like this.


#11

Hey Trey,

Yeah, I doubt one night would be too bad. And it looks good on the website, so maybe the reviews I heard were all princesses haha. :stuck_out_tongue:

Yeah, Im arriving very early in the morning as well, I think also about 7.30, and I’m worried about trying to stay awake lol. Who are you flying with? If we’re both landing around the same time, we might be on the same flight lol. I’m flying Virgin.

I’ve got a countdown on my phone…only 71 days til I fly out, and 73 til the tour starts!!! Yayyyyy! Getting so excited!!!

;D ;D ;D


#12

Tracy015 - I’m travelling alone too!

I’m a little nervous about it, but I figure, a bus of 40-odd people, there have to be others going it alone, and we can all stick together haha. I’m more concerned about the free days we have in some cities. Like Paris. We’ve only been on the tour for a couple days, and then we’re going off on our own the last day in Paris, “with our new friends”! I hope I’ve made some new friends by then LOL! Otherwise, I might get lost, and never make my way back to the tour group that night! hahah!

I’m sure we’ll find other loners too tho :smiley:


#13

hey Alicia

yeah the getting around by our self’s is a little scary but I’m hoping to book some optional exertions so i can pre pay and not have to wait in lines :slight_smile: I’m sure we will all be on the same page and want to see most of the same things so fingers crossed it will just be fun with out getting lost :slight_smile:

iv travelled before but never to Europe so am really looking forward to it.


#14

Hey Tracy,

I’ve never been to Europe either. I was hoping everyone would want to see most of the same things too! I’m looking forward to Venice the most! The two main things I’ve always wanted to do in Europe are Venice and the Palace of Versailles. This is my bday present to myself haha!! Our last day in Venice is my bday!! ;D Which is completely PERFECT!!! haha.

Yeah agreed on the optional activities. Have you seen a listing for those? I’ve only seen a partial listing online. But I want to book in a few of those too, so can pre-pay and not have to worry about the money lol. Nobody has money as brightly coloured as ours, so I’m worried I’ll give them the wrong note, like a $50 instead of a $5, and they’ll be thank you! Hahahaha!!

:slight_smile:


#15

Hi Alicia,

It looks like we might be on the same flight. Do you connect to London through Abu Dhabi? Dani and I are flying with Etihad, which my travel agent told me is in partnership with Virgin. So if you book a Virgin flight you may end up on the same plane as people who booked with Etihad ;).

Dani (Danielle) and I have looked at the optional activities for the tour and have decided on mostly what we want to do. Gondola ride in Venice is top priority ;D. Dani wants me to go Canyon jumping in Austria but I have a major fear of heights so not sure if throwing myself off a cliff really appeals to me. I did make a new years resolution to go outside my comfort zone. So I may have to go with it ::). Do you have any ideas of what you want to do?

I am counting down too. I have a countdown app that I have had counting down since about March last year. Sad I know :-[. 10 weeks today (I tried the days countdown but it felt like forever). I also have the Topdeck meet app on my phone.

The main things I am worried about at the moment is have I saved enough spending money and is there enough time between my flights to make the connections? Also how much of each language to I need to know to be able to communicate with the locals? :’(

It’s awesome that your birthday is while you are on the tour. What a way to celebrate!!!

Trey


#16

Hey Trey!

Nah I’m stopping over in Hong Kong, so we must be on diff flights, but might accidentally crash into each other at the airport. Not that we’ll know til we all meet for the tour, and recognize each other lol. :stuck_out_tongue:

Omg there is NO way I’m going Canyon jumping in Austria! :o While y’all doing that, I’ll catch up on sleep or watch from a safe distance haha! YES I’m definitely doing a gondola ride in Venice!! I can’t wait for Venice!!! That’s my favourite part of the tour! ;D ;D I’ve had a look at the optionals list that I saw on the website, but it’s not very long…is that the only list you’ve seen?? I’ve picked most of the things I want to do from that list though. Definitely want to go to the Cabaret show in Paris (and then when I go back to Paris after the tour, I’m going to the Moulin Rouge lol), and my friend told me to definitely do the sex show in Amsterdam - she said its “an eye opener” hahaha!!

I prefer the day countdown app just coz the weeks scare me lol. It feels much too close when we talk in weeks, and I haven’t saved enough money yet, and I haven’t done ANY exercise to prepare for all the walking we’ll be doing! :-x And I haven’t even bought all the travely sort of things I’ll need yet. I bought a travel doc wallet on the weekend (and it’s pretty!!), but still need to get power point adaptors, and all that sort of stuff lol.

Does the topdeck meet app come in android as well as apple, do you know? I just changed from apple to android, so didn’t even think about the app. Might check that out tho!

Yeah I’m worried about languages too!! I’m trying to learn French before we go, because I’ll be going back there for a weekend after we come back, and because they’re supposed to be a bit snooty if you don’t speak their language. But the learning part isn’t really going so well… lol. :o But I don’t know even a little bit of italian, or german, or anything else that we might need! What about you? Do you or Dani know even just the basics of any of them?? I’ll hope that some of the others will know, and can steer me in the right direction haha :-[

Don’t worry about the connections thoufh. I was worried about that too, but my travel agent told me that it’s the same flight, not changing flights to diff airlines or anything, so they don’t depart til everyone back on the plane. So if yours is like mine, you’ll be all sweet. :-[

I know!!! When I was booking the tour, I was actually looking at the tour before or after, so I wouldn’t be on the tour for my bday, but then thought, what better way to celebrate, than to be somewhere awesome!!! ;D

Are you staying in London for a while after the tour? I’m staying there for about a week after we finish, so I’m looking through my London guidebook for all the touristy places I want to see. It’s making it all seem so close and so real!! My flatmate went to Europe last year as well, so she was giving me some tips and places to go last night. Squeeee! So excited!!! ;D

Speaking of the clink earlier though, I’m still tossing up whether to stay there though, for the chance of meeting some of the tour people. Would be nice to meet some people the night before, so I don’t meet all 40-odd people at once lol.

Alicia


#17

That’s a shame. I was going to ask (if it wasn’t to weird) if you wanted a couple of travel buddies through to London you would be more than welcome to meet up with us at Sydney Airport.

I am not sure if the Topdeck meet app comes in android. It’s alright. It uses facebook to log in but you only have a limited number of characters to type ypur messages.

I brought the lonely planet phrasebooks for French and Italian. I have 8th grade french under my belt that i did years ago and that’s about it. The French is easy compared to the Italian. First word I had to learn was Fish as I don’t eat seafood. I found it hilarious that in French it is spelled Poisson (pronounced pwa-son). The phrasebooks are pretty good. They give you the basics and then a dictionery at the back however I get confused as to when to use the masculine or feminine forms of the word. I think from memory of my high school french class the feminine forms of the words are what the women used but not sure if that is correct now. I haven’t found the lonely planet phrasebook explain that properly.

Italian is scaring me because it looks like it takes twice as long than french to get out the same sentence. Not sure if it is worth getting the German phrasebook as well (My German consists of Good Morning and Good Night - 8th grade German class) :P.

We are staying in London after the tour (not at the clink 78. We are staying at a hotel closer to Kensington Gardens) for a few days before heading back to Paris on the Eurostar. We are doing a Day tour to Bath, Stonehenge and Salisbury then have two days to visit all the sites in London, or at least as many sites we can fit into 2 days. We got the London Pass which is about 60GBP (without travel for 2 days). It gets you into most of the tourist attractions without having to fork out any money while you are over there, plus you can skip the queues at some of the attractions and it offers discounts in the gift shops and around London (www.londonpass.com). It also comes with a guide book.

When we go back to Paris we are going to Disneyland and the French Tennis Open and will have another 2 free days to revisit some of our favourite places and discover other places we didn’t get time for while on the tour. We also have the Paris pass (www.parispass.com) for the two days. It works the same as the London pass and includes transport. I am hoping the passes are worth the money. I have tried to prepay as much as I can so that I only need spending money for food, a couple of souvenirs and the optional extras on the tour.

A friend of Dani’s has been to Italy and he gave us the name of the best Gelato place in Italy. It’s in Florence so we are going to try seek it out while there. It looks like it is in a side street just off the Piazza Duomo. According to some of the reviews on Trip Advisor it can get busy but the service is really fast so that should be good.

I have not done any consistent exercise for this trip either. I have been going in some fun runs (walking it only) to prepare but my muscles scream at me after it. I did City to 2 and run 4 fun last year and a couple of weeks ago we did the colour run which was awesome. I really need to start walking so that I don’t spend the first week of the tour barely being able to move :-/.

Tracey


#18

P.s. as for shopping I have a 2 page list. I have got a backpack. I got a really good deal at Kathmandu Birkenhead point. If you haven’t got a bag yet and want to take a backpack style bag I recommend checking it out. It’s $10 to become a member or if you are a student it’s free. I ended up getting a backpack with a daypack for $150.00 down from $550.00 on the Xmas sales. I also got my conversion plugs there for 40% off. Birkenhead point is the factory outlet so they seem to be slightly cheaper than the shops and you can probably get discontinued items really cheap. I haven’t even started on a to do list yet.


#19

Damn! That wouldn’t have been weird at all! Would’ve been good to have some people to talk to. Damn :frowning: but we’ll probably meet up at the clink the night before :slight_smile:

Yeah I’m thinking about doing the london pass. I think the skipping lines is a really awesome part lol. And yeah, prepaying as much as possible is a good idea! I had a look at the Paris pass, but one whole day will pretty much be spent at Versailles, and then we onky have one day after that, so probably wouldn’t get my worth out of it. Which is a shame, coz I wanna go to the louvre, just to see the mona lisa, maybe a quick look at other famous ones, then get out lol. So don’t want to stand in linefor three hours just for one painting lol. I also really really want to go to notre dame!

Wow you guys are really seeing a lot!! I dont think ill have time to do anything outside of London, but that’s Ok im sure there will be plenty to keep me busy in london :slight_smile:

Omg! Colour run! That would have been so much fun!! Ive essentially sat on my bum since christmas :frowning: lol. I got 69 days to whip my ass into shape! ! Lol

Yeah I decided to get a suitcase, to make packing easier. So im all set there. Although I need to go to Birkenhead this weekend to check out some other outlets, so I might mosey on in to kathmandu and take a look at all their travel accessories!! :slight_smile: thanks! I didnt realise there was an outlet at Birkenhead! !

Ooh the best Gelato, you say? Sounds delicious!! I might have to join you on that hunt lol. I can’t wait to hit up the murano glass stores in Venice! And I want an italian leather handbag from florence or Rome! :slight_smile: omg sooo excited about Italy!! Are you guys doing the Vatican city tour? I think it was only optional? I want to!!

Alicia


#20

We have budgeted to do the guided tour at the Vatican but not a 100% sure if we will do it. We basically looked at the ones we might like to do and budgeted for the most expensive. I figured if we decide to do it, financially we are covered. If we change our minds and go for the cheaper excursion than we have more spending money elsewhere. Are you going to do the train trip to the top of the mountain in Switzerland?

Have you decided on what you are going to do about a mobile? I have my old iphone so not sure whether to get a travel sim for that or just buy a cheap phone in London. I also need to find a prepaid visa card or mastercard. So many options now. When I first started looking at the Multicurrency cards only ANZ offered them. Now every bank has their own version at different exchange rates not to mention the post office load and go one. It is so confusing. I think I better start making a to do list otherwise it will get a week out and I will be stressing trying to get everything done :).

Trey