Adventure-A-Day April – Excerpt Twenty Nine

*The Adventure Continues*

JUly 6th 2012
DAY TWENTY NINE!!

I woke and it was our last day of tour.  We didn’t have anything planned except for a long ride back to London, where there was dinner planned for any keen participants at The London Pub. We said good bye to those staying on in Amsterdam and those who were dropped off at the airport.  I was sad but excited about starting my own adventure.

It was a typical travel day with glorious landscapes and Arnie playing every time we needed to stop.

We arrived in London late in the afternoon (possibly even early evening!) and we played our tour song ‘So Good’  by B.O.B one more time.  I shed a tear because even though I hadn’t got on with a few of the group, I had spent the last 30 days with them and some of them had become quite good friends of mine.

It was at this point, Cindy (our TM) made the annoucement that we were her first ever tour and that we would always hold a special place in her heart.  That made  me smile and shed a few more tears but happy ones.

After dropping off my luggage at my hotel, I made my way back to The London Pub and had a few quite froffies to finish off a chapter in my 8 week adventure.

I was sad it had finished but glad because I knew what was happening next and it was going to be a blinder.

The adventure never really ends,
C. x

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Adventure-A-Day April – Excerpt Twenty Eight

*The Adventure Continues*

July 5th 2012
DAY TWENTY EIGHT!!

Wow, did I feel like crap.  Crap is a complete an understatement.  The words to describe how I really left cannot be aired on this blog.

Not only did I get no sleep, I spent nearly all the hours away from the bar that night, in my room, throwing up.  I was seriously regretting drowning my sorrows.  I tried to make it down for breakfast but the smell of food made my stomach even more queezy.  I had trouble standing, sitting and even laying down.  Everything made me feel like I was going to be sick, even though I had nothing left in my stomach to throw up.

The entire first part of the day was spent with my walking around aimlessly, trying to find somewhere to try and feel better.  I ended up sitting on our balcony walkway, knees bought up to my chest and head resting on my knees, in the cold.  At least I was thinking about being cold, rather than thinking about feeling sick.

I stayed there for a while; people passed me on the walkway and I either ignored them or grunted.  I did not care on little bit.

Just after midday, I was able to shuffle around a little bit and muster up the courage to walk to the post office.  I needed to send things home as I still had 3 weeks worth of travelling and having excess luggage of 10kg+ was definitely going to be an issue.  I managed to cut down my suitcase by approx half, which gave me the max limit for my Haggis Tour, 15kg.  Off to the post office I walked and hoped these boxes got home safe.  They carried all my heels I’d bought so far (3 pairs) and a whole heap of other souvenirs.  After working out my own luggage and helping others with theirs, it was time for our afternoon canal cruise and dinner.

I hadn’t eaten all day which probably wasn’t a bad thing as I was still feeling pretty average.  The canal cruise was interesting and there some interesting stories on how houses were built leaning forward so you could winch furniture upstairs from the outside for 2 reasons. 1; the staircases were too skinny to fit the likes of a bed or couch and 2; The furniture didn’t smash into the house on its way up.  We also learnt that people used to pay tax on how many windows they had on their street front and that one person built his house one window wide so he didn’t have to pay excess tax.

Dinner was at an Asian Restaurant and I was still reluctant to eat something.  However, when they starting bringing out the food, my stomach quickly realized I was starving.  After about 5 courses, it was time to head out on the town for the last night of our tour.  I had no interest in drinking and neither did a few of the other girls from the night before, so we all decided to head into the Red Light District to get Lauren a tattoo on her foot.

The tattoo parlour was super cool and super clean.  I didn’t feel nervous for Lauren.  In fact, I think if I had been there 10 minutes longer than we were, I may have just come home with a tattoo too.  However that did not happen.  She got “There’s no place like home” on the top of her foot.  It did look pretty sweet.

After that, we cabbed it back to the hotel and went straight to bed.  No drinking and no partying.  I didn’t need a hangover on the last day of travel.

Last day tomorrow.  Stay tuned.
C. x

*To Be Continued*

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Adventure-A-Day April – Excerpt Twenty Seven

*The Adventure Continues*

July 4th 2012
DAY TWENTY SEVEN!!

Only two more sleeps to go and that will be the end. NOOO!! 😦 Today was our last proper travel day and what was waiting for us at the end was going to be epic.  We had two stops before we made it into Amsterdamage Amsterdam.

Our first stop was small cheese/clog farm called Irene Hoeve.  I found it a little strange that they made cheese and clogs in the same building but hey, this was Holland and they can do what they please.  I am not a fan of cheese unless its on pasta or pizza so I didn’t take a huge interest.  The clog demonstration however, was a little more interesting.  The demonstration was pretty cool and the bloke actually made a clog while we watched. After the demonstration, we could take a little while in the gift shop, buying clogs if we wanted to.  I didn’t  buy a wearable pair but bought a small pink souvinor pair that I could look at to remember my time at the farm.  I also  bought my mum a desk clog which had pens in it, so she coould take it to work.  Also in the gift shop were “un-cheese/clog-like” items like beanies with ginormous pom poms and plaits.  I totally bought 2; both read Amsterdam on the side, but one in pink and one in blue, aka; one is mine and one is for my brother.  That was the end of our cheese/clog adventure and we were about to take on some bicycles before heading in Amsterdam itself.

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Moving on and into the small town of Edam, and we were on a mission to find bicycles and windmills.  We walked from the bus and searched through the small town (wasn’t that difficult) to find the Bike-A-Dijk Shed.  Riding another ‘cruiser’ style bike,  I wasn’t the greatest but I definitely wasn’t the worst.  We road around the town until we came to a big windmill in a paddock and we parked out bikes on the side of the road, and all stood in front to get this most awesome photo!! That’s all we did in Edam. It was a shame we didn’t get more time but we had a schedule and it must be obeyed.  There were much more ahh.. interesting things to see later on in the day.

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WARNING: I am talking about Amsterdam here people.  Everyone knows (or should know) it’s legal here to buy women in windows and smoke/consume substances that are actually banned and illegal here in Australia and most other places in the world.  If you are likely to get offended by politically incorrect information, I suggest you carry on with whatever you were doing before you came across this blog, because the rest of this entry is not so proper.  I’d like you to come back and visit tomorrow though, because there will be a friendlier entry.  You have been warned.

We arrived in Amsterdam in the afternoon and had time to settle our bags into our rooms.  The room I was in had to be one of the smallest in the hotel.  It was TINY with 2 sets of bunks and you definitely could not swing a cat in there.  On the way into Amsterdam, we all got told about shows that play in Amsterdam every night that is not included on the option extras.  It was put to the crew and it was a unanimous vote was cast and everyone was going.   We had dinner then got back on the coach and set off for our surprise show.

No cameras and no phones were allowed and on entry you were given two free drink cards.  Sipping on a strong vodka, I kind of had an idea what to expect but I don’t actually think anything could have prepared anyone for what was in front of us. There were 3 “acts” and in between each act was an entertainment piece. All “acts” and intervals went for approx. 15-20 minutes, After the first act, the first entertainment piece was a lovely dance piece by a classy women….

HOLD UP… REWIND… This doesn’t sound nearly as awkward as it was… This is what really happened.

We were given 2 free drink cards to try and lighten the mood and awkwardness of a sex show. Yep, people on stage, completely naked, doing the naughty thaanngg in front of about 100 people. There were 3 couples to come and entertain us then 3 stripper acts (1 between each couple). These couples were apparently auditioned and were professionals in this line of work. 2 vodkas down and I wasn’t feel any less awkward about this ‘situation’ but I was grateful I wasn’t picked to go up on stage.

Coming out of the show, people were deciding on where to go and what “Activities” they wanted to par take in. I, along with half a dozen other girls decided to have a quiet night at the hotel bar and party hard the next night, as it was our last night of tour. Creating the best party bus atmosphere on the way home, we danced in the isles and over the seats until it was time to disembark to the bar. I didn’t plan on staying long as I had already had a somewhat “interesting” night so I took down 20 euros and thought, that should last long enough.

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I couldn’t have been more off my mark this night, if I tried. There is a saying that “the best nights are unplanned” and this was certainly heading that way. Endless free shots, cheap vodkas and dancing up a storm was only the beginning of the night. I remember the boys returning home after being lost in the red light district for 3 hours, their brains, ah, not functioning well from some bad mushrooms they ate. I remember having a massive d&m with Jess and Matt but don’t quite remember what it was about. It was at this point, I ordered another drink from the bar and the bus driver from the other group we were staying with, came up and started chatting. I told him I wasn’t interested. He stormed out, angry I’d rejected him and I thought it was probably a good time to call it a night. I started to make my way up to my room until I though “$%”£ it”, I’m having a great night, I don’t need some fool ruining it for me. I marched myself back into the bar and sank a shot.

That’s about all I remember. I don’t have any idea on how I got to my room, let alone on the top bunk. If I had known what I was going to feel like in a few hours, I would have just gone to bed, like I’d planned.

Tomorrow is our last day and it wasn’t going to be pretty.

Until then,
C. X

*To Be Continued*

Adventure-A-Day April – Excerpt Twenty Six

*The Adventure Continues*

July 3rd 2012
DAY TWENTY SIX!!

At this point in time we were on our last legs for the tour having only 3 more days to go. 😦 Today we would leave the spooky, eerie Swiss Alps for the Rhine Valley in Germany.  We were to have a few stops along the way to break up the journey.

Travel days were more becoming about sleep rather than watching the wilderness pass us by through the bus window.  It was a quiet day, having had the party in the Bomb Shelter last night and a few sorer heads than the night before.

Our first stop was just over the border of Germany, and into the smallish town of Heidelberg.   Some say this was the birth place of gummy bears (and even if they weren’t correct on the town, they were definitely correct on the country) so naturally everyone wanted to sort out the best bears they could find.  I cannot stand gummy bears.  Maybe its because they are so chewy and I’m just lazy but really, I just don’t like the  rubbery texture.  I chose to use the hour or so exploring and taking photos.  I may have also looked in a few shoe shops but was unlucky in purchasing anything.  They have an old castle which I am sure  you can explore and I would have loved to but as I said, with only an hour to explore, there definitely wasn’t enough time.  I tried to get some photos but due to the lack in time and so many tall buildings in between the castle and myself, it was difficult.

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We then weaved our way through the valleys, following the Rhine River and passing many vineyards and castles along the way.  We took in the site of  Lorelei Rock and was told of it’s history and folklore as we continued our way through the Rhine Valley. We stopped in the small town of St. Goar to learn how they create porcelain beer steins.  To me and some of my fellow contikians, it was more of a sales pitch rather than an explanation on how they were made.  I had make a promise to myself to buy my dad a stein for his birthday, regardless of the cost.  They literally had thousands. I was browsing through them when I spotted some Harley Davidson LIMITED Edition ones.  My dad owns a Harley and definitely looks like a scary bikie to most people.  It was THE perfect present.  I got them to send it home for me as I didn’t want it broken in my suitcase.  It cost me a pretty penny but it was the only present I had got for my dad and he was definitely worth all the money I paid.  (I didn’t eat for a week though)  Across the road, was a store that made real cuckoo clocks and hold the Guiness Book of Records Record for the World’s largest free standing (but actually hanging) cuckoo clock.  I didn’t find it viable  to buy one of  those as well, so I just stuck with the beer stein.

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Shuttling back aboard the coach, we made our way through St Goar and up the Rhine Valley to a small and very old town.  It had a pub in which all our rooms were owned  by and crowded around the tables and stairs outside to enjoy a few beers and dinner.  It was a pretty quiet night for the crew but the next two days were to be pretty crazy… AMSTERDAM!

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C. x

*To Be Continued*