I teamed up with Contiki while I was overseas and took on a 12 day European Discovery tour. To say the least, it was a blast! To say more, I'm posting photos here on my blog from each city we visited along the way. I'd never been on Contiki before and at first I was a tad wary of travelling with such a big group (almost 50 of us!) although I can now honestly say that I had the time of my life. The people I met and the places we all went together were just unbelievable. I'll just jump right in!
We set off from London in the morning and drove out to the seaside to catch a ferry across the British channel while looking out at the White Cliffs of Dover. Although it didn't go quite to plan as at the time the ferries were delayed due to a strike in France where the boats were supposed to arrive. Nevertheless we all piled on the ferry and made the most of it by getting to know each other over a few drinks. Even when on an organised tour you have to be prepared for hiccups on a trip! That's travelling for you.
After a few hours delay we arrived in France before driving through Belgium to get to the Netherlands. Once in Amsterdam it was night time and we were led through the most popular streets of the city and the red light district. Amsterdam city is small but man, it's a whole other world - like nowhere I've ever been before! We only had one night in Amsterdam but luckily I was able to revisit the city by myself for a week at the end of my travels. On the tour we were then taken to the Casa Rosso - a live theatre in Amsterdam famous for it's Sex Shows. Not something I'm going to go into in writing but I'll say that it was a surreal experience and definitely helped to break the ice on our first night as a group.
The next day, running on a couple hours of sleep, we had a free morning to explore the city. A bunch of us visited museums (Van Gogh, Rijksmuseum and Anne Frank are the most popular in the city) and chilled out in a cafe. While I was walking back to our meeting spot at central I stumbled upon the rainbow art street! It was such a nice surprise as I had seen photos of it online before. When I returned to Amsterdam almost a month later I was shocked to find that this street was partially damaged due to nearby construction work. So crazy that so much can change in a few weeks! See my comparison photo on my twitter here. Next stop: Germany!