Saturday, August 29, 1998
Leaving Canterbury for Dover, England
I woke up this morning after some really cool dreams. One involved me and several beautiful women; another was about how the two Japanese students won a major international award. Sometimes dreams feel so real while they are happening (which in reality might only be a few seconds). Often, I'll wake up with a quick lapse of not knowing whether or not it was reality or a dream. The night before I visited the Cliffs of Moher, I had a dream that people were jumping off them (the cliffs). I wanted to join them, but couldn't (too scared). The next day when I went, I saw people walking along the out-of-bounds area, and I overcame my fear of heights, and joined them. Coincidence? Parallels? Psychic dream?
Anyway, I was awoken around 8:30 AM to a full English breakfast cooked by (Karen?) Connolly, the B+B keeper. Sausage, egg, toast, beans, and coffee. It was great! Served in her dining room. She was really nice, and kind of motherly. It seemed like we (her travelers) were surrogate children. It was a nice experience staying there. I'm currently waiting two and a half hours for the hovercraft. I just got an awful tasting cappuccino at the terminal. I can't seem to get a connection (phone) with any of the Paris hostels, so I'll have to call in Calais, France. I'm a little worried that I'm going to have to pay a lot for a room. If that is the case, I might just spend the night at the airport.
It looks like I'll actually be on budget for the first time in two weeks. My most expensive week turned out to be the one full week in Ireland. Second most expensive was the week (and travel) in London. So I was on budget for five of the seven weeks. It also turns out that I will have two full days of travel left on my Eurorail pass. Since I bought that erasable pen, stretching it has been a lot easier. Especially in Ireland, where they don't even punch the ticket. Unfortunately, the train services are not as widespread as in the rest of Europe.
Riding back through Dover, I got a better look at the white cliffs. Perhaps if there weren't a city below, they'd be more impressive. Apparently the channel is more traveled on weekends (which makes sense). Still, I'll be waiting, just as I am now, in Paris to go home.
Returning to Paris, France
I got to Paris after a three and a half hour train ride. I reserved a bed at the Woodstock hostel. The train ride went slowly after a family of six, with four kids, entered my compartment. The kids were just a little too loud for me. It took about ten minutes to get to the hostel via metro, which will be great to use in the morning . When I got there, the Beastie Boys “Hello Nasty” was playing (and right after I had just listened to the whole thing on the train). I emptied my bowels, and washed my face. After I had seen the beer in the common room, I was anxious to drink myself to sleep. I also wanted to see how the draft tolerance I had built up in the United Kingdom would compare against eleven ounce bottled beer.
I'm drinking my first Heineken since Amsterdam (I think), and it isn't as good as I thought. Therefore, I'm changing my official beer to Kilkenny because it was such a nice surprise. It is nice to be back in a hostel filled with young people. Ireland's were nice, but they were more family oriented, with a mostly (all?) no alcohol policy. While I set up to drink myself to bed, I plan on writing in this damn journal. All my thoughts in stream of consciousness form will be put down, regarding my trip. Are you ready?
I'm too busy drinking right now to write. I can say that the 25 cl (like 8 oz.) of beer in the Carlsberg and 1664 bottles really sucks! I had plenty of Francs to spend. There is a black cat here. I petted him for a bit, but when I touched him while he was licking himself, he bit, and then hissed at me! This hostel makes me not want to leave Europe. Both this hostel and the Aloha have gas tank frames in their common room, coincidence? I'm so glad the two people working here are drinking right now!
Since I'm already buzzed, I'm likely to talk about anything (so Dave Lee, in 20 years, I hope you and your wife and maybe your eldest child are entertained by this). One of the guys working here is turning 24 on this Saturday night. This explains why his favorite band, Soul Coughing, is playing and why he is drinking (and why the same song, “The Bug” is on repeat). There is 1/2 a Volkswagen Bug on the wall, with a couple of black lights in the windows. I just found out that they serve whiskey at another hostel in town, the 3 Ducks.
Read more of my exciting adventures Backpacking in Europe, or view my photos on Flickr.
Dave is the Founder and Editor in Chief of Go Backpacking and Feastio. He's been to 66 countries and lived in Colombia and Peru. Read the full story of how he became a travel blogger.
Planning a trip? Go Backpacking recommends:
- G Adventures for small group tours.
- World Nomads for travel insurance.
- Hostelworld for booking hostels.
- Rail Europe for train passes.