Contiki: Day 20 – Rhine Valley to Amsterdam
Off to Amsterdam this morning for the last two nights of our trip. Everyone is tired, yet excited. We had some breakfast this morning that was just okay. After breakfast we loaded the bags and headed off to our final destination: AMSTERDAM!
After a few hours on the coach and one service stop we finally arrived in Amsterdam. We had a couple hours for free time so Bruno, Juliana & I headed off on our own to check out the streets of the DAM. We passed many souvenir shops, coffee shops, cafe’s, canals and more. Everything that Amsterdam has to offer.
Before returning back to the bus we took a stroll through the Red Light District. What an experience that was. It was pretty interesting to walk down the street, and actually realize that you are there and it’s real. It’s somewhat weird because I’ve only seen things about the RLD in movies, on TV, etc. There are no real signs that let you know you have walked into the Red Light District, but I had a feeling we were approaching it once we started seeing more sex shops, live sex shows, and finally we were at the point where there were women in windows dancing, and smiling at us. It’s hard to explain in words what it was exactly like. It’s something you need to experience for yourself really. Not for the bad reasons, more for the experience and to see what really goes on here. We were told before arriving in Amsterdam to make sure you don’t take photos, or even have your camera in your hand. If you do, there are stories of the girls, and even the pimps themselves coming out and throwing you and your camera into the canals that you’re walking along next to the Red Light District. Pretty crazy! We were sure to keep our cameras in our pockets for that part of the walk. As much as I wanted to take some photos/videos for you all, it just simply wasn’t worth the trouble.
We hopped back on the coach to check into our hotel which is located about 35 mins from the city. I’m very disappointed with the hotel situation once again. We were booked in a hotel in the city originally but were told yesterday that the hotel had no idea that we were booked there for this weekend, and a bunch of other excuses. It’s not our tour managers fault, it’s Contiki’s fault. Now in turn, we’re located way outside of the city and there is only one bus that runs from Amsterdam out to Monnickendam where we’re staying. ARGHH!
Tonight we’re having dinner then heading off to do a walking tour of Amsterdam, (Red Light District included). After the walking tour, we’re going to a “Amsterdam Culture Show”, and then we will have free time for the rest of the night. A bunch of us will probably hang out in the city and take the bus back late. Should be an interesting night…
Tomorrow we’ll be riding the traditional Amsterdam “granny bikes” and exploring the countryside in the morning. Then we’ll head off to the city for some free time!