The End.

I am currently flying, only an hour from home. I know I need to write this now, or I’ll never actually do it and this story will be left without an ending, so here goes. Amsterdam is a cool city, and rather shockingly similar to how it is in movies and tv. Walking through the red light district, the women are actually in the windows, clad in all the various skimpy lingerie, opening their doors and open for service. It’s one of those things you hear about, but when you see it in reality it’s like “whoa serious?, this is actually how it is?” we strolled the alleyways, awkwardly peeking at the almost-nude girls, in search of the blue lights for he-she’s, and taking it all in. And soon, we were at the famous sex show, where you enter and there are actually naked people just… Doing it on stage. Hahaha. We watched a few different acts, some where they involved various chosen contiki members to help with strip teases or banana eating. It was a show of mostly just jokes and constant laughter, and definitely made for an interesting evening. After the show, we head to one of the bars/coffee shops for drinking and some of the members, other cultural delights. Also, one of the best taxi rides I’ve had while a random guy did a strip tease dance for our taxi from the side of the road, while our driver pumped tunes and told us not to pay him, cause he was a shit dancer. Hahaha Our final day, we got stuck in traffic for a while, and it rained. We did a canal bike cruise (paddle boats!), and had a few free hours. I would’ve liked to have gone into Anne Frank house, but by the time we got there the line seemed to be something that we’d spend a good hour or two in, and with only 3.5 free hours, we made the decision to see more than the line and potentially rushed through later. We wandered the main shopping streets and visited a sex museum, full of animated mannequins and photos and chastity belts and sculptures. We had lunch and explored a little before being picked up to get ready for our final evening out. We had a river cruise of the canals, and dinner at a floating sea palace Indonesian restaurant, before going on a pub crawl to celebrate both the end of tour and a birthday. Super fun night for sure, and a positive end to the party that was contiki. (Harry potter shots!) Today we said goodbye. We left a couple behind in Amsterdam, who were leaving later, and the rest were off on the transfer back to London. Goodbyes are not easy at all, especially when the vast majority of your new family lives in a different hemisphere. I was the only one being dropped at the airport, and then the bus was off to London while I awaited my flight due 6 hours later. And now I’m here, almost back on Canadian soil after the trip of a lifetime. It’s bittersweet, but I have real reasons to hurry up and make my Australian trip a reality. I’ve met amazing people and shared incredible experiences, and had the trip of a lifetime. Its taught me piles about other countries and cultures, yet showing me why I’m proud to call Canada home. However, I enjoy my honorary Aussie title as well. ;)

Switzerland, the Rhine Valley, and The Netherlands

Well, this is my last bus ride for this tour, and I know if I don’t update this now I might leave this unfinished, so here we go! Switzerland was super beautiful. The countryside was amazing, all green and mountainous. The night we got there we had a pajama party in the bomb shelter bar to party it up with our bus driver Liz for her last night of allowed drinking. The next day… Uh… Monday! We took the 100 year old cog railway up Mount Jungfrau, where many of the Australians got to experience snow for the first time. We wandered the ice palace and exhibits they had up there, and got a good while of snow fun in for everyone, all with incredible views from the roof of Europe. Even the Aussies that did have snow are like a bunch of children on the first snow fall, and I took it upon myself to spend my time wrestling the guys into the snow, give facewashes, and have a proper snowfight to make it a memorable experience. Everyone had a ton of fun, and we all fell asleep on the train down from the exhaustion of the day and the altitude. It was a really fun day, and probably one of the best snow days I’ve ever had. We went back to the hotel, had a collapsed chill in the lobby of our chalet, chilled on our balcony with the beautiful view, went for a walk through the fields, and had another group join us for quite the Red and White party that night. Tuesday we head to the Rhine Valley and the town of St. Goar, with a stop in the cute town of Hidelburg on the way. We had a beer stein crafting talk, I scored a pair of Birkenstocks for €45, and we had wine tasting, where we got to try ice wine. Today we are on the last leg of our journey, to some town called Amsterdam. Sounds like an interesting place! We rode low rider bikes in Edam, and witnessed a cheese making and clog making demonstration, and are off to a live sex show tonight! Only on Contiki!