Monday, October 19, 2009


Hostels seem to be very expensive in Paris. I have also found that many of them do not include breakfast so it is convenient that Paris offers many markets where you can buy fresh baguettes in the morning. 

Top 4 List: 

1.    Bastille Apartments (Private) (breakfast not included) (Apartment style): Close to the where the French Revolution started and is easy to travel by Metro (Subway) to all the attractions.

2.    St. Christopher’s Inns (Shared) Again close to the Metro. 

3.    Vintage hostel (Private and Shared rooms are the same rate) Located in Monmartre the arts centre of Paris.

4.   Apartments Pere Lachaise (Breakfast not included) (Apartment style) again close to the Metro, is everywhere in Paris close to the Metro!!!!

Top Six Attractions to See in PARIS:

1. Eiffel Tower: Is one attraction I am super excited to see.
Entrance fee’s:
- Elevator entrance tickets (to top floor) 13.00 euros
- Stair entrance tickets (to second floor) 4.50 euros

Eiffel tower offers many snack bars, souvenir shops, restaurants, and you can even surf the net while you are there. Click Here for more Information.

FUN FACT: Designed by the same man who created the Statue of Liberty.

2. “The Arc de Triomphe is a monument in Paris, France that stands in the centre of the Place Charles de Gaulle, also known as the "Place de l'Étoile". (Wikipedia)
Entrance fee:
- Adults: 9.00 euros
Click Here for more Information. 

3. The Louvre (museum) Home to the Mona Lisa and the start of the Da Vinci Code. 
Entrance fee: 9.00 euros 
Click Here for more Information.  

4. The Avenue des Champs-Élysées (is a prestigious avenue in Paris, France. With its cinemas, cafés, luxury specialty shops and clipped chestnut trees, the Avenue des Champs-Élysées is one of the most famous streets in the world. (Wikipedia) Not good on a budget but somewhere where you can go and buy an expensive coffee and watch the world go by. 

5. Notre Dame de Paris: ('Our Lady of Paris' in French) is a Gothic, Roman Catholic Cathedral on the eastern half of the Île de la Cité in the fourth arrondissement of Paris, France. (Wikipedia)  “The Bells, The Bells”

Click Here for more Information. 

6. Chateau de Versailles: The Palace of Versailles, or simply Versailles, is a royal château in Versailles, the Île-de-France region of France. In French, it is known as the Château de Versailles. (Wikipedia)

Click Here for more Information. 

Comment if you have visited any of these awesome attractions! 

The City of Love

A great way to travel from London to Paris is the Chunnel an undersea rail tunnel. It leaves from the White Cliffs of Dover and is a 2 hour and 15 min ride.

FUN FACT: At 37.9 km (23.5 mi), the Channel Tunnel has the longest undersea portion of any tunnel in the world although the Seikan Tunnel in Japan is both longer overall, at 53.85 km (33.46 mi) and deeper, at 240 m (790 ft). (Wikipedia)


MUST SEE and VISIT: St.Pancras Grand is one of the largest Champagne and Oyster Bars in Europe, and located along side the Eurostar platform. Click Here for more information. 

Photo Cred: (

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Transportation and Hostels:


While we are in London we will be lucky enough to stay with my family. However none of them live right in Downtown London. So I have researched different methods for transportation in and out of the city:

-       Underground (official name) / Tube (nickname) - we know it as the Subway

-       British Rail - Regular trains to and from London from all over England

-       London Transport (Double Decker red famous buses)


In case we do want to venture out and stay in Hostels in London, here is my Top 5 List:


1.     Dover Castle Hostel and Bar - This is in the south part of London. North and South London are split using the Thames River.

2.     Astor Hyde Park - This one is close to Harrods and other fine shops so maybe!!!! 

3.     Smart Hyde Park View - Also close to shopping but on the north side of Hyde Park

4.     Clink Hostel - Close to the British Museum

5.     UMI London (Private Room)


My fellow travelers have told me that whilst traveling it is great to get a Private Room after visiting two different countries, as it is nice to have to only share your space with one other person, your friend. 

London Attractions

Even though I have visited most of these fabulous attractions, I am excited to see them again.

I would love to visit some of the Museums, such as the British Museum while touring England.


1.     The London Eye: It is a huge ferries wheel that looks over many famous landmarks in London. Price: 17.50 pounds 

2.     Buckingham Palace: I have seen the outside but would love to tour the 17 state rooms within the palace.

3.     London’s Big Ben: One of London’s famous landmarks. For more information visit here 

4.     Trafalgar Square: I remember visiting Trafalgar Square when I was younger and feeding the huge amount of pidgeons.

There is many sights to see while touring London and seeing the “Shops” is definitely one of them. However visiting the huge department stores on Oxford Street will not be an option for me this trip. Instead I have visited the street markets before and that’s where I have found my great buys in London.

Photo Cred:

“Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch’s War on Journalism”

Last week in class we were shown the documentary “Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch’s War on Journalism” outlining the damaging effects of FOX news. They have called themselves “Fine, Balanced Journalism” however they have distorted the facts and have altered their news to be completely one-sided. This is shown throughout the documentary in how they have undermined the democrats and have influenced their viewers to vote for George W. Bush. Not allowing their audience to make informed decisions about the election. Instead Rupert Murdoch has ordered his employees to carry out republican right wing propaganda.


Rupert Murdoch has created an environment of fear at FOX News, not only for the reporters but for the viewers. Focusing their themes around generating and instilling fear in their audience, however this has drawn the viewers in to keep up with the alarming news. FOX News is also ONLY concerned with presenting entertainment and propaganda news. "They use cheap and easy stories that will get the viewers gut reaction" (John Nichols). David Hnatiuk (Former Fox Music Supervisor) created in 1999 the Fox News Alert “Shocking News” for stories like Columbine, however now they have been used to promote Yellow Journalism like the relationship between JLO and Ben Affleck.


I found this documentary to be eye opening as we have learned that FOX News goes against the articles written in the Canons of Journalism. First FOX has not shown responsibility (article 1) to their viewers as they have not given them the right information to allow them to make an informed decision. Another example that goes against the Canons of Journalism is Fair Play (article 6) Bill O’Reilly is shown as an arrogant reporter who does not allow his interviewers a chance to defend themselves once he starts to attack them on national television. 

All aboard to LONDON, ENGLAND

Our next destination on our trip is London, England. I have been lucky enough to visit London many times, as my father is originally from England. So at a small age I received dual citizenship. So needless to say we will be visiting my family.

My Aunt and Uncle live in Billericay a small town in Essex.

My cousin Jennifer lives in Old Harlow an even smaller town in the county of Essex.

My other cousin Helen lives in Sawbridgeworth. FUN FACT: Victoria and David Beckham have a house in the same town. Their home is referred to as "Beckingham Palace". 

My family also use to rent out a house on The White Cliffs of Dover, I loved visiting there. FUN FACT: The vintner to the royal family owned the house. (A Vintner is someone whose company supplies wine) 

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Equipment: “Backpacks”

Today I am taking a step back from planning my travels and focusing on the “Backpack” I am going to be living out of for 2 months. A girl who goes from having a huge closet MUST resort to “Backpack” so it has to be a fashionably one. I have heard that Mountain Equipment Co-op has excellent packs for travelers. After researching on their website I have learned that I am interested in Expedition Packs (75-100L) as they are “ideal for extended backcountry travel and full expeditions”. As for a Daypack I have chosen to go with the (MEC Pika Plus Daypack) costing $12.00.

FUN FACT: Backpack Fitting

Did you know the pack size depends on your back length, NOT your overall size!

Useful tips for traveling from Mountain Equipment Co-op

  1. Create two copies of everything: (ID, Credit Cards, Insurance, Travelers Checks, Plane Tickets)
  3. Buy a lock for hostel use
For the last couple months I have been working and saving my money, but what about that extra change that lies around your house or in your wallet? Well why not buy an ELECTRONIC CHANGE COUNTER that keeps count of your change. I bought mine from Home Outfitters.  


Photo Cred:
Photo Cred:

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Ireland Hostels

Hopefully while were in Ireland we might be able to stay with my roommates family and save a buck or two, but if not I have looked into some great hostels to spend our nights.

The RailEurope and Hostelworld sites offer great hostels. Some great features are:
  • You are able to select a Canadian Currency
  • Consumer Comments
  • Ratings: for the hostels. My roommate and I have chosen to pick hostels that rate higher then 80%
  • Breakfast included: IS A MUST
  • Budget: $20.00 a night 

Top 5 Hostels in Dublin:

All these Hotels that I have chosen are a short walk to the main hot spot “Temple Bar”. They either have shared or private rooms available.

  1. Barnacles Temple Bar House Hostel
  2. Avalon House
  3. Ablgails Hostel
  4. Four Court Hostel
  5. Litton Lane Hostel

If you have stayed in any hostels around Dublin, please share your feedback. 

Monday, October 5, 2009

First Stop: Ireland

Three Part Series:

My first stop on my European Adventure is Dublin, Ireland.  I am super excited to start my travels here seeing as I have researched many exciting ATTRACTIONS to visit. 

Here is my TOP 5 LIST:

1.   Guinness Storehouse:

“Home of Guinness, Dublin” The tour of the brewery has 7 unique floors to visit. Did you know it was modeled after a giant pint glass, and a cool fact for all the MIT folks is they have a floor dedicated to Guinness TV and Print Ads! For a student it only cost 11.00 euros.

2.    The Temple Bar:

The temple bar is a street comprised off PUBS, shops, galleries and restaurants; a hot spot for all young travelers.

3.   Trinity College:

Trinity College is the oldest university in Ireland and was founded by Queen Elizabeth.

4.     Dublin Castle:

Is a historical site definitely worthy of checking out. There is guided tours throughout the castle. 

5.     Christ Church Cathedral:

Another great historical site in the south of Ireland. 

To gain more information about any of these great attractions Click Here for the Ireland Tourist Board website. 

A great way to check out all these attractions is using the “Dublin City Sightseeing Tour Bus”. This Double Decker bus is a “Hop” on “Hop” off tour bus stopping at 25 different sites. For the price of $26.00. To gain more information Click Here. 


Photo Cred: