Saturday, 29 March 2014

Winter Spirit day 22-24: Amsterdam

Day 22: Berlin to Amsterdam
Another long bus day today! We got to stop at Burger King at our service stops which was a nice change, and I managed to have 3 cheeseburgers in the 2 stops we had.
When we got to Amsterdam we stopped at a farm where we had a cheese and clog making demonstration. The guy who did the clog demonstration was really crazy and it was cool to see how they were made. We got to sample their cheeses, which were really delicious and most people ended up buying some cheese from there.
When we got to the hostel we had a little time to eat some cheese and drink some schnapps before heading out on an orientation tour of the city, ending at a sex show. I won't say much about that, other than the fact watching everyone's faces was priceless. Awkward.
After the show we walked to a bar, past a fast food shop called Febo, which is my new favourite thing ever. It sells burgers and croquettes out of vending machines. And they actually tasted good. I ended up having my 4th cheeseburger for the day.
We walked to a bar where most of the group split up to do other things. After a few drinks we wanted to go dancing but it took so long to round everyone up that I was ready to head back to the hostel when everyone else went into the club. 

Day 23: Amsterdam
We had a bike tour this morning! It ended up being with Mikes Bikes, the same company I was looking at doing a countryside bike tour with before we decided to do Topdeck. We got rad cruiser bikes and split into 2 groups. We rode to the I Amsterdam sign, through a park, past the Paradiso (a small venue that a lot of big bands play at) past Anne Franks house and back to the hostel. It was really nice riding through Amsterdam, definitely the best way to see the city.

After that we walked down to the food markets for lunch, and had delicious waffles and chicken rolls. There wasn't so much food there as there were clothes stores, but we did buy some Gouda with cumin in it! We walked to the flower market next, which was mostly just bulbs as it was still winter. We walked back to Dam Square to get a few souvenirs, and I found out that there was a Body World exhibition on, an anatomy exhibition by the anatomist  Gunther Von Hagens, which would have been amazing to see, but by this time it was already 4pm. We walked back to the hostel, past some cheese shops that had free samples, and filled up on them. We had another cheese party before we met everyone to leave for dinner.

Dinner was on the biggest floating Chinese restaurant in Europe, and it was pretty good, lots and lots of food! After dinner we went on a canal cruise which had an open bar! It was a lot of fun, and our group attempted to drink the boat dry (that didn't happen) and ended up playing save the queen all night. Towards the end of the cruise the music stopped working so we entertained the group by singing a great rendition of bohemian rhapsody.
After the cruise we walked to a pub that had a live band which was fun, and then went to a nightclub and danced.

Day 24: Amsterdam to London via Brugge.
Another long bus today today, with an hour stop in Brugge. In Brugge we walked to a square with some beautiful gothic architecture and had frittes with mayonnaise. We tried to find a good place for waffles, but had to settle for somewhere that wasn't nearly as good as the waffles we had in Amsterdam the previous day!
We left a few people in Brugge before we headed to Calais to catch the ferry back to Dover. There was a bit of an emotional goodbye to our bus driver and bus, but the ferry back was a lot less rocky than the way to France. We got on another bus for the last time and headed back to London.
We had the worst goodbye ever at the hostel, most people were staying there that night, but we said goodbye to the few that weren't about 5 times before we all parted ways. We said goodbye in the foyer, then we all went for a drink in the bar, said goodbye there, then all went our front to say goodbye, then we all ended up walking to kings cross to catch the train or get some food, and said our last overly emotional goodbye there.

Topdeck was an excellent experience, and I'm glad I traveled with them rather than organising everything by myself. I got to meet some amazing people from all over the world who became great friends quickly. We also had an amazing group leader and bus driver who ended up becoming friends with everyone too. Bus days went by quickly because we slept for half the time and stopped plenty of times. We could plan our days easily as we were always given maps and tours of the cities we were visiting. The tours of the cities were always interesting and is something I would never have bothered with before now, but I will always look into tours now. Sometimes the accommodation was a bit rough, but you hardly spend enough time there to worry about it, and the breakfasts were always good.

No comments:

Post a Comment