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6th July 2011 - The Little Hopper

4 Jun 2011 JP asked

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Hey,
has anyone else booked this tour?

  • 5 Mar 2012 mel said

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    going June 2012….did you go…any feedback?

  • 6 Mar 2012 JP said

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    Hey Mel,
    Yeah I did go, it was lots of fun.
    Just be prepared to set up your own tent, you don’t get instructions on how to do this, you just need to figure it out. You get split into different teams to complete tasks to make the camping experience easier like a group to ensure the bus is packed and unpacked, a group to help setup the cooks tent, one to help cook and clean.

    All in all it is a lot of fun though doing this because you get time to socialise while doing something. If you not into camping and doing a bit of work then you might not enjoy the camping. If you have any specific question, just ask.

  • 7 Mar 2012 mel said

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    Thanx for info…don’t mind camping. Was it much colder in Switzerland? and wondering about getting from campsite in Rome to Airport. Any suggestions as to how to get to airport as they dont seem to drop you off at airport.

  • 7 Mar 2012 JP said

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    Surprisingly where we stayed it wasn’t cold at all, it even rained while we were there and it was fine. Yeah getting to the airport from the campsite was actually rather easy. They have a shuttle service from the campsite to drop you off at the train station which cost 1 Euro which was nothing. The from the train station you just buy a ticket which takes you to the airport. There is once change over for the train but its real easy to do. Just make sure you give yourself a fair amount of time before you flight out. If I remember I think I flew out from Fumanchini airport at around 8PM or so back to the UK and we left the camp site at around 2PM but had about an 2 hours or so to wait at the airport before we could board. We still went on the tour of the Vatican City that day before we left for the airport.

    Hope that helps.

  • 7 Mar 2012 mel said

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    Thanx a million..so many questions…BIG question …MONEY? optional extras obviously we have to pay…but what about entrance to all other museums and galleries. They say you will see Eiffel tower, Louvre, Vatican city , Statue of David etc…do you actually go in and is it sponsored by Contiki or do we have to pay. Trying to work out how much spendin money per day. Somewhere it says about 100 euro a day…? would that be more than enough. Apologies for all the questions, but so nice to be able to ask someone that has been.

  • 8 Mar 2012 JP said

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    Money is always the hardest thing to try and get right. I honestly don’t know exactly how much I spent on that trip. A lot of the other museums and things were free to get into when you walking around the places. This is going to be a long one but lets see how much I can remember of where we went and what we did and what extras I had to pay. Not sure if this is going to be of any help.

    We departed very early the day of the trip and were in the bus all the way up until we boarded the ferry at Dover. You get to walk around the ferry which was awesome. If you want anything on the ferry, you have to pay for it. When we went we could only get onto the rear platform of the ferry to get to look out. To get there was confusing, we had to go through the games room at the back of the ferry.

    Then there was a bus trip through the country side towards Paris with some rest stops along the way. We arrived in Paris, setup camp, took a bus tour around the city at sunset, on the tour the arc de Triomphe is on your left and then the Eiffel Tower is on your right during the trip so chose a side or try where there is open seats on either side. There was an awesome sunset shining on the Eiffel tower when we went and I got some nice pics of that and the arc de Triomphe was close so no really good pics there I found.

    That evening is all about socialising, there is a bar but you have to pay for everything. The next morning we had the day to ourselves, you get dropped off at the Eiffel Tower. If you want to go up, book online well in advance because the queue’s can be long and take up a lot of time waiting and there is a chance the top gets full and gets closed off for a few hours like what happened to me, then you have to wait longer on the first floor to go up to the top. You have to pay for your own lunch this day.

    I’m not sure if you can get tickets online before hand for the arc de triomphe but if you can do that because the queues are huge as well. Most of our time was spent in queues in Paris so try and get tickets ahead of time for any place you want to go if you can find them online. There are around 400 Steps to get to the top of the Arc de Triomphe so be prepared for that but at the end the view is worth it.

    The Louvre and Notre Dame I didn’t have time for thanks to queueing so I can’t give advice there. Supposedly there is a side entrance into the Louvre which is a lot less busy than the main entrance and you can get in quicker. Just ask about it if they don’t mention it or check around online I’m sure there is mention of it.

    That evening you go for a meal and a cabaret show which is the first optional extra I think and then to a club after. You can opt to get off the bus and explore the city at night instead of going for the meal and show if you want. Meal wasn’t great, the show fun. If you don’t go to the meal and show you can meet at the club after.

    This is where you spend your most money I think is partying. If you don’t want to do that good you will save a lot of money, drinks are expensive. I partied way to much that’s why I’m not sure how much I spent. You have to pay for your own taxi home after but splitting it between people worked out not to bad.

    The next morning you pack up and back on the road again, heading for Switzerland. I think another post is needed from here for the rest of the stuff.

  • 8 Mar 2012 JP said

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    On the trip to Switzerland you have to buy your own food. Sit on the left side of the bus, heading towards the town where you camp you pass an amazing lake which is massive and crystal clear you will want photo’s of it. In Switzerland, you get there and setup camp, we upgraded to Chalet’s which was brilliant, no setting up tents.

    Then you get supper and go to The Bomb Shelter is what they call it, it is Contiki’s base in Switzerland. You pay for your own drinks once again. Or you can wonder around the town at night instead. They had like a Swiss theme party when we were there probably done every year. You have to dress up in red and white so maybe take clothes along for that if you go. It was lots of, the place was packed but not over the top.

    Next morning you can go on the optional extra which is heading up the Jangfrau mountain. It is the most expensive extra but if you have never been up a mountain that high, it is worth the trip. The views were spectacular. We bought food at the village before going up the mountain because it is expensive up there. To do any of the activities up there you have to pay, I think it was 40 Euros to do everything.

    That evening you get supper again and can do what you want, we went to the bomb shelter again and partied on. Next morning we left Switzerland and headed for The French Riviera. The coast is on the left hand side of the bus if you want to get some pics while you drive. I’m still not sure how I managed to stay awake every trip on the bus and take pics after the nights we had partying.

    You have to buy lunch for yourself at one of the stops. We arrived at the camp site and setup, we couldn’t upgrade to cabins because they were full. You get supper and then can do as you please for the evening. We all went to the beach down the road and there was an amusement park on the way if you want to do any of that it looked fun but you have to pay for it as well.

    Next morning you get taken into Nice and you get to spend the day on your own doing whatever you want. I think it was on the way to Nice we stopped and a perfume factory which was interesting finding out how they make it. You could spend a fair bit here if you want to buy yourself anything.

    When we got to Nice, we went up to the outlook/castle on the hill (no cost). Then we walked around the old town and just took in the sites and the city (no cost). We did have to buy our own lunch here I think it was around 15 Euro’s. That was about the average for a meal. Then we just spent the rest of our time on the beach people watching before we got picked up. Headed back to camp site to get supper and get ready to go to Monaco.

    That evening we went to Monte Carlo Grand Casino. We were told no camera’s were allowed in the Casino. Before you get there though you go to the Monaco Castle and get to look over the entire marina so take your camera with, you wont regret it. I didn’t take any camera because of been told they not allowed in the casino, there was no mention of going to the castle first. You can check your camera in at the counter of the casino which is safe. It costs 10 Euro’s to get into the casino but I enjoyed my time there and made a bit of money playing roulette. Then back to the camp site for the night and pack up and leave the next morning for Florence.

    More to follow on the next post. This brings back so many memories that I want to go again, damn.

  • 8 Mar 2012 JP said

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    On the way to Florence, we stopped off in Pisa and went to go see the leaning tower. Had to buy your own lunch on the trip as well. I think this was the hottest place I have ever been. Even the shade doesn’t help. It was very nice seeing the site though. I didn’t go into either of the places so I am not sure if it costs or not, we were not there for very long.

    We arrived at the camp site and setup. Then we had supper at the camp site and did a very quick walking tour of the city on our way to the Red Garter where had some drinks and then you could either stay and get a taxi home or get on the bus and head back to the camp site. Most of us stayed and got a taxi ride home, I think it game to like 5 Euro’s each for the trip back to the camp site. There were 5 of us in the taxi.

    The next day we did a guided tour of Florence which was brilliant listening to the tour guide and seeing the sites. We also did a tour of a leather store and got to see how it is all made and to tell what is genuine leather. Then for lunch we had time to ourselves to see the sites and get lunch and do as we pleased. We then met up at a square to head back to the camp site.

    From there we went for supper which was an optional extra we also stopped and did the group photo before the meal, which was nothing brilliant to be honest. Then to Space Electronic to the biggest club in the city party the night away. The place is very big inside, you get a ticket at the door and they punch the card for your drinks and then you pay when the card is full so just be cautious if you don’t plan well for that.

    We left Florence for Rome and had to get our own lunch on the road again. We arrived at the camping grounds in Rome and setup camp. We then went into Rome and did a walking tour of the sites which was amazing to see, I’m not going to talk about them because I won’t do it justice at all.

    That evening is spent at the camp site doing as you please, I guess you could probably stay in town longer but I think there is a time when the last train goes back and if you not on it you will need to get a taxi back to the camp site.

    The next morning we had breakfast and headed with the group to the Vatican City. They don’t mention it on the tour details but we asked and it is fine to tag along to see the Vatican City, we did have to pay to get in but it wasn’t much since it was a group thing. It was an amazing place to see so I can definitely recommend it.

    Then after that we had lunch, heading back to the camp site, packed up and left for the airport.

    I hope that helps a bit more on what to expect. I think 100 Euro’s per day is more than enough. If you don’t do a lot of partying and just do your meals and the odd extra site you could get away with less definitely but then you wont be going with the group to a lot of the clubs in the evenings.

    I took the cost of the tour with all optional extras and took that amount of money to spend and it worked out well for me. I had an absolutely awesome time and didn’t worry about not having enough money on my trip but then again I did have my credit cards with in case I needed extra money. I didn’t use them once though.

  • 8 Mar 2012 mel said

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    Wow…fantastic. Thank you for all this. I would really like to see the Louvre so I will try and do an online ticket, maybe. If you choose not to do optional extras are you kind of left to wander on your own? Bit worried wandering on own at night?? Well if you have time it would be wonderful to hear more of the trip. Thanx

  • 8 Mar 2012 mel said

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    Gosh I only saw all of these posts now…Thanx again I really appreciate it that you took the time to give me all this information.

  • 8 Mar 2012 JP said

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    If you chose not do the extras you can do as you please and you are left on your own. Well on my trip there was always a few people which decided not to do of the optional extras and they just did stuff together instead and clubbed in to pay for a taxi back to the camp site if they didn’t catch the bus back. On most occasions though there is a pick up point later in the evening where you can meet to catch the bus back to the camp site but if you want to stay in town later then taxi is the only option. They weren’t badly priced when split amongst 4 or 5 people though.

    At each city before you get there the tour manager will give you a map of the city highlighting the different points of interest and also explaining where the different drop of and pick up points are going to be and at what times you should be there which makes planning a bit easier.

    As far as wondering alone goes, I am not sure how safe or not safe it is. There were a few people on my tour which were travelling alone but there always seemed to be someone wanting to do the same thing which you can end up going along with at night which was awesome. I went with a friend on the trip so that was great but we still had people along with us because they wanted to do the same things anyway.

    I must say, in Florence I got lost on the way back to the Red Garter club because I had to stop and draw money and didn’t hear the direction properly so yeah that was a bit worry some. I just asked a few people as best I could and one of the people pointed me in the right direction but most of the places where you get dropped of and spend your time seems to be well travelled and safe.

  • 8 Mar 2012 JP said

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    Yeah, no problem, I’ve been sitting at work waiting for things to get done on my computer a fair bit today so I figured I would just take some time and give a bit of detailed info.

  • 8 Mar 2012 mel said

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    Well now the countdown begins….!!! thanx again

  • 5 Jul 2012 Ross said

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    Hye been reading this post! Alsome comments and help. I am going in August and wanted some questions too. Does one have to take your own eating utensils? Also do you think, for this camping trip, a backpack or normal suitcase?

    Thanks

  • 13 Jul 2012 AmyE said

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    Hi,,,no need for eating utensils…..and either backpack or suitcase. Both have pros and cons. You will have a wonderful time!

  • 17 Jul 2012 Ross said

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    cool thanks Amy. Cant WAIT!!!!!!!!!

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