4am is an awfully early time to wake up in the morning. But we did manage to wake up in the wee hours, eat disturbingly bad/small breakfast boxes and join our tour group (and meet the Tour Director, Philip). There were at this point 18 of us (plus the tour director and a temporary bus driver). This being a very low number we had the opportunity of having seats to ourselves on the coach (should we desire it) and in some ways the tour was a bit more casual too. In any case we rode to Dover before boarding the ferry for the continent. One of the customs officials actually remarked about my good French! 🙂
Mom got motion sick on the Ferry, while I enjoyed a breakfast (I was hungry!), and the beautiful views of the crossing. Upon our arrival in Calais, however, our bus was delayed, and one other tour group's luggage was misdirected (so our tour guide needed to get it back to that tour group). We ended up waiting about the ferry terminal for AGES before we could finally board our next bus and continue our now delayed trip to Paris.
Once we arrived, and checked in at our very modern hotel in the suburbs, we rejoined the tour with a ride around Paris, seeing some of the major sights, before a stop for supper at a cafeteria-style restaurant with really good food. I rather enjoyed my duck! 🙂
Following dinner, Mom and I wandered to the Arc de Triomphe where we looked around before hurrying off to our bus for our Seine river cruise. Unfortunately the ear pieces didn't work correctly for the commentary but someone with a mic took over and so we still found out what all the buildings and bridges that surrounded the river were. As we returned to our dock, the Eiffel Tower was all a glitter with sparkling lights, a great way to begin our wonderful illuminations tour of the city.