Contiki Day 2 - Brussels to Amsterdam

Amsterdam Travel Blog

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We were up fairly early this morning as we were driving to Amsterdam. The drive was quite short, only a few hours.  We arrived in Amsterdam around 11am and the sun was shining.  The first thing Bree and I wanted to do was go to an internet cafe and write home. We spent about half an hour in there and then headed out to do some exploring.  As we walked to the ATM in began spitting rain. When we were finished there and began walking back down the main street, it started absolutely teaming down with rain and there was a massive thunder storm. Bree and I didnt have umbrellas, wet weather jackets or warm clothes, so we took refuge in a MacDonalds and thought we may as well have lunch while we were there.

the canal cruise boat

We bought umbrellas and began the walk to a first destination: Anne Frank's house. We got a bit lost amongst all the canals, but we finally spotted a huge waiting line and realised that must have been it. The rain eased while we were waiting in line which was good, and although the line was right around the corner and quite long, it actually only took us about half an hour to get inside.

The house was amazing. I had learnt about it in high school and Bree hadn't, but it was definitely very moving for both of us and we are very glad we did not miss this one.  I know many of out our mates decided to skip it because of the huge line up, but it definitely worth the wait.  The most impressive part for me was Anne Frank's bedroom as there are still posters on the wall of her favourite movie stars and things like that.

One of the many canals in Amsterdam
  It made you realise that she was just trying to live a normal life in a difficult situation.

We spent a fair amount of time at the Anne Frank House, so we decided to slowly head back towards the main street where we were to be picked up.  On the way, we spotted three of our tour mates at a "coffee shop" smoking some joints (it is legal in Amsterdam). We both wanted to visit a place like this but were too scared to try it on our own so we went over and sat in the bulldog cafe with Ryan, Liz and Julia. We had a look at the menu and decided on a "two of a kind".  This is definitely something you have to try when in Amsterdam.  Even if you are not interested in that sort of thing, it is part of the culture and has to be done at least once.

dinner
Bree and I had barely tried a cigarette before, but we thought what the hell!  It was different, and the photos are quite funny.  I guess I will leave it at that.

The walk back to the pick up point was quite funny.  I felt like I had sea legs and every step was like walking on a cloud, haha, quite funny.  And Liz had to go the ATM and felt like it was moving toward her when she was standing still...She never ended up getting the money out. We didnt know it at the time, but today was the first of many days that we would hang around with Liz and Julia.

We hopped on the bus in the afternoon and Magoo drove us to our hotel, the Blue Hotel.  This hotel was even nicer than the one in Brussels, I started wondering what the hell JB had been talking about earlier.

bikes, bikes and more bikes!
  We had to rush and get ready and then hop back on the bus to go to our optional dinner. Note: On contiki you have some optional excursions that are an additional cost. These include dinners, tours, wine tasting, etc, and alot of people on the tour go on these.  It is a great way to socialise with other tour mates.  Bree and I decided to do all of the optional excursions and you pay for them at the beginning of the tour.

Dinner was in a little sea side town just outside of Amsterdam, and it was quite good. Probably about half of the tour did this optional.  We then met up with the rest of the tour to go on our optional canal cruise.  This included a cruise through the canals in the city, as well as nibblies and all you can drink alcohol!! This was great fun and I highly recommend it if you go on it if you decide to do a european contiki tour, because in the crammed space of a boat, you REALLY get to know your tour mates a whole lot better!! Plus they have music playing and you can make it into your only little nightclub on water!!

The cruise went for about an hour, and then JB took us on our next optional excursion titled a "culture show".  This is pretty much a nice way of saying a sex show! So we went to the famous red light district, walked past all the women in the windows and straight to the sex theatre.  While waiting for the show we also got two complimentary drinks, and then the show began. And it is absolutely hilarious and definitely not something to be taken seriously! I wont give you exact details, but it consisted of a rotatingn bed, a woman that did a trick with a banana, and someone dressed in a gorilla suit!!! I will leave it to your imagination.

After the show we were free to do whatever we wanted.  Most of the tour headed to the famous Grasshopper coffee shop, we music was played and more joints smoked. Bree, Liz, Julia and myslef decided to stick together and caught a cab back to the hotel around 1am when the grasshopper closed. It was a very interesting and fun night to say the least, and the only downfall was the taste of smoke I still had in my mouth and on my lips, other than that, definitely a great experience!

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the canal cruise boat
the canal cruise boat
One of the many canals in Amsterdam
One of the many canals in Amsterdam
dinner
dinner
bikes, bikes and more bikes!
bikes, bikes and more bikes!
Amsterdam
photo by: pearcetoyou