It’s pretty cool that in a matter of 4 days, I can add 3 more countries to my ‘been to’ list. This past Easter weekend in Amsterdam was epic. I went with Contiki and it was amazing – not only did I make new friends but I didn’t have to go alone and I saw a lot of things I might not have seen/done otherwise.
Friday morning was an early start as I was up at 4:30am, on the bus to Russell Square at 5am, and we checked in and prepared to leave from 6am until we finally hit the road around 7am. We started to get to know each other on the bus and our tour manager Chris introduced himself and our driver, Emma. Both of them were amazing the whole trip – they set the bar rather high for any other Contiki tours I do in the future, that’s for sure! Chris had lots of funny jokes and quirks for the trip, but I think the best was when he was explaining things about the bus to us, and when talking about the area at the front says,
“and this part of the bus is what we call the cockpit, which is funny, because Emma doesn’t have a cock.”
Friday ended with a canal cruise and a follow up of good times at a couple of Amsterdam clubs.
Saturday was a trip to Keukenhof and the Tulip festival. There were lots of flowers and I’m pretty sure I took a shitload more pictures than I actually needed. Thank god for digital. Apart from tulips, there was also a cool maze, a windmill, and amazing fresh Stroopwafels.
In case you don’t know, a stroopwafel is two realllly thin waffels with caramel in the middle. Yeah, pretty awesome. Our afternoon of free time led us through some Amsterdam streets where we saw a public pillow fight, the red light district during the day, and maybe a quick stop at a coffee shop.
On Easter Sunday we went to a lovely peaceful place called Edam. There we had a fun (and way too short) bike ride through the quiet streets.
I could see myself living there one day as an old lady, riding my bike to go get some cheese… okay maybe not, but it’s definitely a very nice place! After that we went to see how cheese and clogs are made. Pretty cool to watch clogs being made, I would have bought a pair but my budget was screaming bloody murder at me. So I bought cheese instead (and maybe a package of stroopwafels)!
Sunday afternoon led a few of us to the Heineken Experience and the ‘I AMsterdam’ sign, which I had fun trying to climb a letter without killing myself.
After an afternoon of exploring, Chris took us on a walking tour of the Red Light District and informed us that the ladies in the windows actually work in a legal profession – they pay their taxes and send their kids to an elementary school in the area. Our stroll ended at a live sex show – I wasn’t quite sure what I was expecting but for some reason it wasn’t what we got! It was pure uncensored live porn on stage – but they did do a couple of fun acts with dancers just for our group where a few people were ‘volunteers’. Nothing too crazy, but hilarious and embarrassing at the same time!
Following the sex show we went to another bar where we got €1 shots until midnight, which may have turned a little crazy. And it turned out one of the bartenders is from Chilliwack! What are the chances?! That was pretty cool, so I got a picture with him.
Monday morning was just another long bus journey back to London in which we all had to say goodbye (for now) to our new friends. The trip was more than worth the money I spent and I can’t wait to go on another Contiki tour, hopefully for much longer than 4 days!