VTT Postcard - Day 4 - Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Monday, February 7, 2011
Warning: Some adult material but luckily no photos to go with. What did you expect of Amsterdam anyway?

Official Day 1 of the tour.

I woke up very, very, very early to meet the Contiki crew downstairs in the hotel lobby. Still had no word about my luggage and so I was definitely starting the tour with just me, myself….and some “I love London” shirts.

My poor excuse for a luggage was weighed in. I was well within the weight limit (surprise, surprise!). There were 3 tours leaving that day and after figuring out which group I was on, proceeded to board the bus (or coach, as they referred it).

When everyone was on, our tour manager (TM) introduced himself and commented that in all his years of Contiki, this was the first time that he’s ever had so little people in the bus. Our group should be around 51 people but at that moment in time, we did not even equate to 20. A lot of them were unable to get into London because of the weather (did I not mention that I was lucky to be in London?). They will try and join us along the way.

We travelled a bit and got to Dover around 9ish (British time). Our coach boarded the ferry and we were allowed to do some ferry shopping and dining. I walked around the shop a bit, looking for some medicine for my aching knee (something like Deep Heat rubs). And then went onto the massive dining area. Queues were long but I stayed on one and managed to get brunch (breakfast, lunch). Around 1ish (French time) we were called back to the coach as we’d arrived in Calais, France!

The rest of the trip was kinda uninteresting except for the fact that we were going through 4 countries in one day (UK, France, Belgium, The Netherlands). We were supposed to reach Amsterdam by 6pm so that we could go on the river cruise but we were heavily delayed by peak hour traffic (would you believe?). So the cruise was scrapped and we had dinner at the hotel before going out for the night.

Our hotel in Amsterdam was called the Nieuw Slotania Hotel. Again, not the very best but I suppose since we were staying only for a night, it was adequate.

The bus dropped us off in the middle of town and our TM took us to “that coffee shop which will not be named”. Coffee shops in Amsterdam mean something else, of course. They do not serve coffee. If you are looking for coffee, then you must mean caf├ęs. They are not to be confused as you will probably end up being served the wrong thing if you go into the wrong place. Personally, as it did not interest me very much, I did not even attempt to go into such places.

Next, our TM took us to the Red Light District, where sex-oriented businesses operated. No cameras allowed in this area. The walk was a real eye-opener. Of course, before arriving in Amsterdam, I already knew of its liberating culture. But seeing all of it in action was something quite different. We were treated to a “cultural” show, of which I thought was nothing more than an advanced strip show. We stayed for an hour and left.

The night ended around midnight for me as I got back to the hotel after the show.

0 caring thoughts: