Today we had no breakfast included in our accomodation. So we slept in a little later and woke up around 9am. We got ourselves organised and went next door to Macas and had breakfast. I wanted hotcakes. I loooove Macas hotcakes. After breakfast we went back to the hotel room to grab our bags and check-out. We left our bags at reception and went walking around town. We didn’t feel we had enough time to do anything. What we really should have done is bought a ticket to the bus tour and seen the city on the bus.
We stopped for a Mocha at a cafe called The Sweetest Thing. Was a chocolate heaven. However was no customers so the owner was happy for us to kill some time here. After coffee we walked for some more, then some more again before stopping at another hotel near ours for lunch. It was a little pricey but Rhian was paying.
After lunch we went back and collected our suitcases from the reception. We decided we would just go to the airport and just wait it out there. Upon getting to the airport and dropping our bags off. The counter person told us to wait while he went to check our paperwork. I thought this might happen because I had a receipt for the baggage however our tickets still claimed that we had no baggage. Being a programmer I knew something had stuffed up and I was right. However after checking it out with a supervisor all was ok and our bags were accepted.
The time at the airport went by fast enough and sooner than later we were on our flight to London. I got the window seat this time and enjoyed looking out the window watching the land and sea fly by. Because it was only a short flight I don’t think we reached more than 10,000 feet. The ground was always close enough the see what was down below. Again we were sitting next to the engines but I was able to look down. I enjoyed the landing into the City airport as the desent is quite steep. This is a special airport that has a speical landing approach and you do feel the steep desent into the airport.
After landing at London City Airport we collected our bags but did not have to go through immergration. This was very strange as this was our fourth time through UK immergation and this time it did not exist. Every other time no matter if it was from an airport or ferry we have had to fill out an immergration card and go through immergration. However on this entry there was nothing. Seemed very strange. Next was customs. There was a red gate, a green gate and a EU gate. We went to go through the green gate because we are non EU but you could not walk through the green gate. Our only way through was the EU gate. So we walked through the EU gate and I was just waiting to get caught or grabbed. Nothing. Felt like we were doing the wrong thing. Technically we were but we could go through the correct gate. This was the most laxed entry into the UK we have had since visiting Europe.
After exiting the airport we headed straight for the train station. We topped up our oyster cards via the machine. Very easy. Tap your card. Insert credit card then tap your Oyster card again and job done. Perth has so much to learn. We caught the trains back to our new hotel. I pretty much got the underground sorted here thanks to Google maps. Our hotel is a bit of a dump this time but it’s not too bad. It will do for three nights. It is still better than the Umi hotel around the corner where we started our Europe Topdeck tour from.
After checking inn we went to a locat restraunt around the corner. Was an italian restraunt and wasn’t too bad. After dinner we walked back to the hotel and went to bed.
Today was day 30 of our Topdeck Discover “Dicover” Europe. This meant that it was our last day and all was left is to travel the four countries back to London. It was an early start with an 0730 departure from the Botel in Amsterdam. We travelled on the bus for four and half hours with no service stops. This was the longest stint non stop of the entire jorney. Because of traffic we arrived in Brugge around an hour and half late. This left us with only an hour to explore. Pretty much this gave us enough time to find a magnet and get lunch. We found and purchased a fridge magnet in five minutes. All the restraunts were expensive so Rhian and I walked around for half an hour before giving up and just going to pizza hut. After lunch it was time to get back on the bus.
Our next leg was to the Port in Calis in France. We arrived around 1530. We were due to get onto the 4pm ferry however it turned out the ferry was running an hour late so we actually left at around 5pm. This was the last stop for our bus driver Krzys. Sad to say goodbye he weas an awsome bus driver for the last month. Probably because his Polish. He was eager to get home to his pregnant wife and child. He drove us a total of 7,950kms around Europe and said himself he enjoyed this group., It was like travelling with mates not clients.
The weather across the English Channel was not very good today. Was very choppy but the ferry had stabilizers. This apparently eased it somewhat. I didn’t look out the window. Wasn’t helpful. We reached Dover port about 1830. We walked of the ferry and onto our waiting shuttle bus. This was an old shitty bus compared to the limo we travelled Europe in.
The bus ride into London and to the Umi hotel seemed to go on for a long time. We managed to watch an entire movie in the time it took to reach the Umi Hotel. We arrived at the Umi about 8pm. Sad moment saying good bye to all those we had spent the last thirty days with and those others we picked up along the way. Rhian and I both hope to see a large number of you again. After saying goodbe to everyone Rhian and I set off to catch the Underground to our hotel.
It didn’t take too long to reach our hotel however after arriving and trying to checking the fun began. We handed over our paperwork with the confirmation of our booking. When the assistant looked up our booking he told us to wait a moment while he went out the back. I turned to Rhian and said. He doesn’t have our booking. Sure enough when he returned he told us our booking was cancelled and showed us an email that stated our booking was cancelled on the 8th August. However our paper clearly stated our booking was valid and confirmed on the 17th August. The assistant agreed something didn’t add up. Short story is that we handed over the credit card to book a room and they just took a pre authorisation on the credit card until the mess could be sorted out. Upon getting to our room that was freezing. Rhian turned on the heater and it started to leak water over the floor. We called reception and they sent someone up to have look. It had stopped leaking and was working so they said they would have maintence come check it tomorrow.
By this time it was close to 11pm and Rhian finished writing her narky email to the travel agent about the booking screw up. We went across the road to a hotel for dinner. Food was ok and was not too expensive. After dinner we came back to the room and passed out.