Day 4

European Magic: Contiki: Oct 2nd 2006 Amsterdam then St. Goar, Germany

Before driving to the tiny town of St. Goar home of the largest freestanding Coo Coo Clock, we had a the morning free to explore Amsterdam after a boring tour of a diamond factory that felt more like a force shopping trip then an educational trip.

I wanted to do some souvenir shopping on Der Mark — a main shopping street in Amsterdam. Rene highlighted how to get there on my map and Jason and I headed off. We got as a far as Ramrant’s house before I got us lost. By lost I mean we wound up in the Red light district across the canal from the cultural experience from the night before. Looking at the map, even today, Ramrants and the districts are no where near each other and is beyond me how we wounded up there.

The district is far different in the early morning then it was the night before. We saw only one person while we tried to find our way out of the district, who told us to come back later it was to early.

We met up with several other people from our tour and lunch and a open front McDonald’s, where pigeons wonder freely in and out of the restaurant. We latter made our way to the bus for our drive through the Rhine Valley to St. Goar.

The Rhine River Valley was beautiful. Full of wine vineyards, castles, beautiful small towns. When we got to St. Goar we were told it be our quietest nights on tour. We were taken to see a beer Stein store (interesting, but still felt like a force shopping trip) and the largest free standing coo coo clock before time to relax and have dinner. The optional wine tasting was held in a cool, damp and dark cellar underneath the city. The wine was gross (I am not a wine drinker) and just kept getting worst as we went along. The shot glass made a great souvenir. The experince was still memorable.

Afterwards about 30 of us hung out in the hotel’s bar drinking Flugals. Flugals are these amazing vodka energy drinks that are about 2 inches tall. You take the lid off, lick it and stick it to your forehead, bang the bottle of the table and scream “Frost!”(German for cheers), picking it up in your mouth with out using your hands and chug it. The hotel bar had a contest where you had to try and spit the lid in the hole of a bird house. If you got it in, you won another Flugals. For the 20 of us that stayed in the bar the whole night we went through 250 of those flugals! Well that’s when we stopped counting at least…

The hotel had no elevators. My room was on the top of the 5th floor, and to get there you had to climb up 5 slights of winding stairways. Something I never want to do again after a night of drinking.

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