In December of 2008, I quit my job at Healthy Food Guide magazine and set off to complete one of my lifelong dreams: travelling around Europe! After spending time in London, I completed a two week Contiki European Discovery tour, before visiting London again, stopping over in Hong Kong, and returning home to Sydney, Australia.
Here is part one of a photographic summary of two of the most amazing weeks of my life!
There are not enough words in this WORLD to describe how much of a fantastic time I had in Amsterdam: honestly, it was superb! On the very first day of our tour we travelled on a coach (and a ferry, and then on a coach again!) from London to Amsterdam, before arriving in the early evening and completing our very first activity: a cruise around the city’s canals, with all you can drink beer and wine! (Yes, really!) We then proceeded to attend a live sex show (yes, still really – apparently this is a Contiki tradition, but something they leave off the itinerary in case your say, grandmother, books the trip for you!), and party until the very wee hours of the morning. It was the the PERFECT way to start the tour!
x Day Two – The Rhine Valley, Germany
Hello, SEQUINS! After spying this little number on Ebay months ago, it made its debut on New Year’s Eve in The Rhine Valley, Germany. I am slapping myself silly for not getting a full-length picture of it, but then again, it was insanely short! I spent at least an hour prior to arriving at our event jumping around in my hotel room, freaking out to my roommate (the lovely Roberta, pictured above!), saying “are you sure that it’s not too short? Positive? Because if I get arrested for indecent exposure, I am totally going to blame you!” Roberta: “No, no! It IS short, but it’s not TOO short – and besides, it’s GORGEOUS!” After I heard this another 3,4576 times, I finally reasoned that hey, if you can’t wear a criminally short, over-the-top, head-to-toe sequinned extravaganza on New Year’s Eve, when can you?! At midnight, we stepped out onto the ice-laden, cobbled streets, and the sky was lit with fireworks. A-m-a-z-i-n-g.
The quality of the above photo is, in a word, APPALLING (and in two, EXTREMELY appalling!), but oh my goodness, can you believe that that’s an actual building?! It was one of the most haunting, phenomenally breath-taking, beautiful buildings that I’ve ever seen! Actually, I would say this about most of Germany’s architecture. It really is incredible, and something that you have to see to believe!
When in Germany, visit a beer hall! And then when it closes, and you decide that you haven’t partied hard enough. visit The Hard Rock Cafe`, and stay there until 3AM!
We spent a night in Innsbruck, Austria, and it definitely wasn’t enough! We shopped, shivered, ate dinner at our lovely hotel and then decided whether or not to venture back into the town in search of an open nightclub. Me, useless in the face of a decision, decided to flip a coin to determine whether the hotel bar would be my home for the night, or if I should embrace the cold and venture out. The coin decided that I would be staying put for the evening and I am so thankful for that, because about six other people didn’t go either and I ended up meeting and hanging out with them instead! One girl + one Australian guy + five South African guys sounds like a bonafide recipe for craziness, and believe me, it was, but it was ALSO a recipe for excellence, as those guys ended up becoming my best friends on the tour! (And that night alone was one of my favourite nights!)
Part two of my Contiki European Discovery Tour experience is coming soon!
Have you ever travelled with Contiki before? What’s been your most memorable, enjoyable holiday?