May 21, 2014
This day kicked off with a decent breakfast at the Hotel Montage in St. Goar. More scrambled eggs, sausage, bacon and fruit. Couldn’t have asked for better!
I was almost late to the bus on this day (let’s call it tour fatigue), so I was running to catch it before we left that morning. Once on, it was one of our shorter “long coach rides” to Amsterdam.
As we approached our destination, I felt a swift kick in the gut when Jon Snow got on the mic and announced that this would be our last coach ride as a full group. We would be splitting up for different activities the next day, and on our final day, many people wouldn’t be getting back on the coach to head back to London with us. Then, he launched a series of sad, “hope you enjoyed this” songs, like “I’ve Had The Time Of My Life” and “Good Riddance.”
Our first stop was just outside Amsterdam, in Edam. Home of fantastic cheese and clog makers! We stopped on a farm to get a quick tour of their dairy/cheese-making facility, and clog making…place.
Now this is coming from a girl who really really loves shoes…these were the single most uncomfortable pair I’ve ever tried on. We saw plenty of people walking around Edam and working in these, and I can’t understand why! Awful.
After the cheese and clog place, we took a tour of Edam by bicycle. Our tour guide was a bit boring and we couldn’t understand a word he said, but the scenery was absolutely gorgeous. I’m a sucker for a nice small town, and this place was ultra charming.
After our cycling tour, we drove into Amsterdam to check into the Blue Square Hotel, our last tour hotel. This place was nice and clean, although the decor could have used some sprucing up.
Jon Snow told us the game plan for the night: We would be having an included dinner here at the hotel, and then we’d leave for the downtown area of the city. Once there, we would walk through the infamous Red Light District, and attend a sex show. Yep, you read that right…a sex show. We would be attending with another Contiki group, and then heading out to a bar with them afterwards. The included dinner was really great. The hotel featured a salad bar, and full buffet. Yum!
Next, we left for the city. Now, I’m a pretty conservative girl, so Amsterdam was definitely a bit of a shock to me. Walking through the town and seeing sex toys displayed in windows is definitely not something I’m used to! Even weirder was our walk through the Red Light District, where the girls were literally standing in doorways wearing lingerie and trying to coax over customers. The whole thing felt very seedy and comic book-like to me…like I was walking through a real life Sin City.
After our walk, we went to the theater for the sex show. This was optional and quite a few people chose not to attend, but I figured….when in Amsterdam, right? The sex show was definitely out of my comfort zone. I won’t go into detail here for some obvious reasons, but when I originally heard “sex show” I was thinking it would be like ultra-dirty stand up comedy and some funny bits with sex toys or something. Nope. It was just sex. Like live porn or something. There were a few dance numbers as well by strippers…and a few moments for audience participation (they pulled a few people from our group up on stage to show off their dance moves, etc.)
After this particularly odd experience, we headed out to explore the nightlife in Amsterdam with another Contiki group. I can’t tell you any specific stories here, because what happens in Amsterdam stays in Amsterdam, but our group had quite a bit of fun that night, and many experienced all that is “Amsterdamage.”
The next day would be a bit more tame (no sex shows!) and filled with plenty of tears as we said some of our first goodbyes.
Next up: Anne Frank, Heineken and Tears
Check out my other Contiki posts:
Introduction: An American Girl in Europe
Day 1: Oh hey, London
Day 2: Bonjour, Paris!
Day 3: Parisian Adventures
Day 4: Lookin’ Good, Switzerland
Day 5: All Things Swiss
Day 6: Switzerland, Italy, France…oh my!
Day 7: Bond. James Bond.
Day 8: Buongiorno Italia!
Day 9: When in Rome
Day 10: That’s Amore
Day 11: Vatican City to Venice
Day 12: The Last Italian Adventure
Day 13: Hop-fer-gerten
Day 14: Soaring Over Austria
Day 15: München
Day 16: Bittersweet Symphonies
Day 17: Vienna to Prague
Day 18: Ahoj, Prague!
Day 19: St. Goar, Rhine Valley
Day 20: Amsterdamage
Day 21: Even more Amsterdamage
Day 22: Back to the Start
Day 23/24: The End of a Great Adventure
Contiki in a Nutshell: Know Before You Go
Contiki: What Should I Pack?