Amsterdam and Kings Day madness

28/04/2018

On Thursday, I set off with a bunch of strangers on the long road trip over to Amsterdam. As suspected, my nerves were for nothing and the meeting people aspect went fine. However, basically, everything else went a little wrong, though we all still tried to make the best of it. In the end it was destined to be that we’d miss the ferry, be stuck in traffic and pretty much lose any remnants of that first day we had planned. But still, props to our trip manager and driver for trying everything they could to speed things along, despite their efforts being in vain.

After the tedious travelling, broken up a little by chatter and learning some new games from my new Australian friend, we finally made it to our hotel, and it could not have been a more exciting moment. So exciting in fact that after quickly dumping bags, freshening up and heading out into town to a private Contiki party, the first thing I did was line up the shots. It was pretty wild.

Needless to say, getting up yesterday morning was a struggle, the ride into town leaving at 9.30am. When you don’t actually get to bed until somewhere in the vicinity to 5am, it doesn’t leave you many hours to refuel – but we’re finally in Amsterdam so that’s ok (or at least that’s what I tell myself!)

We got together to come to Amsterdam for Kings Day, and honestly, it wasn’t quite what I expected. A small group of us – all equally indecisive – pretty much just walked around for hours, taking in the city and watching party boats sailing up and down carrying a sea of orange. There were food and alcohol vendors on the street, lots of smoking and drinking going on, and an array of other activities such as dancing, strength tests and even an opportunity to throw eggs at a man dressed up as Donald Trump. There was also a lot of crazy orange clothing around as swathes of people lined the streets of the city.

From my first taste of the city, Amsterdam has some really pretty areas, though many of the streets and canals look the same so navigating to particular small areas can sometimes be a little tricky. But that’s also part of the beauty of it. Yesterday, there was so much going on at the street party that there was a kind of chaotic feel to it all, so it’ll be nice to hopefully just explore more of the city for real today.

Waking up this morning has been less of a struggle. Last night I was one of the three last people standing on our trip, but it was still only around 2.30am when we got in, meaning a chance to catch up on some much-needed sleep.

I’m not sure whether to feel proud or ashamed that three Brits stayed out knocking back drinks after the rest of the world had already retired to bed, but whichever way you want to look at it, it was still a fun night regardless – a sit down meal in a nice restaurant and then a chance to sit outside a tiny club drinking vodka and jagerbombs, meeting a couple of Dutch nationals, and between brexit discussions, just having a laugh and getting to know each other a little better.

Now I just need to see what today brings, but while it’s been very much drinking or chaos so far, today should offer a nice chance to kick back and do some sightseeing around the canals. We shall see.

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