Published: January 5th 2010December 23rd 2009
Day 27: Wednesday, December 23rd, 2009
St. Goar, Germany to Amsterdam, Netherlands.
The next morning, I head back to my frozen room (Natasha toughed out the night there), pack, and head downstairs to watch everyone eat breakfast. I find Dave and tell him about our fun and to inform him that he sleeps like the dead. It ends up he wasn't in that room, they switched his room but didn't update the sheet. So, we were either pounding on a door for an empty room or scaring the crap out of some poor tourists who weren't with the group. He says to leave the mattress in Luna and Mana's room and he'd inform the hotel about what happened.
I take a few snapshots of the river at very early sunset and then get on the coach and we head towards Amsterdam. Along the way we hand out our gifts to our Secret Santa recipients. I hand over my present to Ash, and after seeing his insanity at being coatless in Prague, I should have bought him a coat. Instead, I bought him a variety of Schnapp's, hopefully that'll keep him warm. My Secret Santa ends up being Kara but
first she hands me a gift from Deanna. When we got up and spoke in front of everyone on Day 1 I said that what I wanted for Christmas was anything that was light. So, Deanna, being a fellow smart ass, pried a brick out of one of the walking paths in Prague and wrapped it for me. Kara also put a lot of thought into my gift, and got me a gorgeous business card holder (since I've been handing out my card to everyone so they could join this blog site), a cute compact mirror and some Mozart Balls
(chocolate). Love all my gifts- thanks ladies!!
We stop at a shop to see how clogs are made as well as the miracle of cheese. From there, the bus heads off to Amsterdam, but myself, Luna and four others (Mandy, Finn, Candy, Tim- yes, it rhymes) hop on a local bus to get to the Anne Frank House
. Luna and the other four are all leaving the group early tomorrow morning so they aren't going to have the day to explore Amsterdam and wanted to see the house before they left.
We wave at the Contiki bus as
it goes by us at the bus stop (I'm later informed Dave proclaimed, "They are the weakest link, goodbye!") and we master public transportation once again and make it into Amsterdam without any excitement. We have about a 10 minute walk to Anne Frank's house and we head on in. It's set up quite well, they have taken the building next door and made it into an informative museum. So you walk thru various modern rooms, see mementos of the life of the Frank family and watch video of neighbor's or friends of the family or historical footage. Then, we walk to the next room and find ourselves in the actual house. Once again, I'm having a hard time explaining the feeling that is there. The best way to sum it up (to me at least) is that everyone was VERY quiet, it felt like we were trying not to let our presence be known, as if we were in hiding. It was an odd feeling, and quite sad to see the room where Anne and her sister slept. They had left the walls as is so there were pictures that they had taped up to try to make the
room feel more like home. A very typical young woman's room- the walls showed who she liked and what her dreams were. Another wall had markings on it that showed how tall the children were getting while living there. If you go to Amsterdam, I highly suggest you go to this house.
We split up from the other four and wander around Amsterdam. We stop at a fancy schmancy mall and grab dinner and then we meet up with the tour group for that night's secret excursion. This is an excursion they don't put on paper, they just verbally tell you about when you get to Amsterdam. So, we meet up with the others and head over to the Red Light district to watch a sex show
. I shake my head even as I type that.
So, the red light district seems to be exactly as they portrayed in the movies (sorry folks, no pictures are allowed in this section of town, so Google it for some images). There are girls in their underwear posing in storefront windows with red lights. If the curtains are closed and the red light is off, then all of their operators are busy and someone will be with you shortly, thanks for your patience, your call will be answered in the order it was received. I felt very uncomfortable even looking at these gals. I do feel that it's better for prostitution to be legalized so that everyone can get medical care and prevent diseases and abuse, but it's still very awkward to see a woman offering it up behind a pane of glass. So, I basically turn prude and stare straight ahead as we walk to the "theater".
I don't even remember the name for the theater, we get there and are ushered in and it feels like a school trip as a group of us youngin's (I'm guessing there were around 25 of us) are ushered down the aisle and told to sit down in the first three rows. We are then told by one of the usher's, "Listen up Contiki! Two drinks are included with your ticket. Tell us your order now and we will then bring you the 2nd drink in about 15 minutes. What do you want to drink?" It was odd to be yelled at in a military voice as a naked woman dances on stage. We all quickly give our orders and look up at the stage, wondering what we're about to see.
The lady finishes dancing and the curtains close and shortly thereafter they open back up and we see a man and a woman on a round bed. Now, when I heard we were going to a sex show, I assumed it would be like "Zumanity" in Vegas which is a Cirque du Soleil show with a sexual edge to it. Yeah, no, these people were flat out having sex on the stage. Well, "flat out" isn't the right term, because they were in some very interesting positions and you couldn't help but go "wow" a couple of times- it was quite acrobatic. That performance ends and the naked dancing lady comes out and asks for some volunteers from the crowd. She chooses 3 Contiki folks and 1 random person from the crowd. She then dances provictivly with each one (men and women) and then they all must take a bite from a banana. That's as far as I'm going with the description, except to say the banana wasn't in her hand.
So, after that, there are a few other "duet performances" and then a voice comes over the loud speaker saying this one is for the ladies and volunteers will be needed. Aw crap. I'm sitting on the aisle of the third row and I am all ready to fight against ANYONE trying to get me up on that stage. Luckily, this guy finds two other Contiki victims and has them help him strip on stage and lather him in oil. The girls were very good sports about it, I would have died a thousand deaths. That performance ends and the solo dancing lady comes back on stage and we are informed that our part of the show is over and we should leave. We all very quickly gather up our coats and run from the theater.
After that, we're free to roam Amsterdam on our own (which a good many do) or head back to the hotel (Hotel Ibis Schiphol
). The gang I hang with is shocked (or at least I am) enough and we head back to the hotel for the night. A big kuddos to Kent, Ashton, Natasha & Mana for lugging Luna's and my luggage into the hotel for us!
NOTE: I can't find most of my pictures for this day- oops.