07.05.2014 - 07.05.2014
The concept of travelling via ground transportation to multiple countries in one day is something quite foreign to most North Americans. Take yesterday for example. In less than 12 hours we had been in Great Britain, Belgium and the Netherlands. This does require some serious time on the coach. Thankfully we have an excellent system with a diverse selection of tunes. Bec, our tour manager also has lots if fun activities and games in which to hep pass the time. And if all else fails,everyone can catch up on some sleep.
So last night was a pretty late night for most everyone out enjoying all Amsterdam had to offer. No trip to Amsterdam would be complete without the obligatory visit to the Red Light District. It is evident that, on that short tour of the area, Amsterdam is one of the mot liberal countries in the world. For some first time visitors to Europe I am sure it was an eye-opening city to visit. We have coined a phrase that pretty much explains a lot of things, including life in Amsterdam. It goes like this, "it's not wrong, just different".
No trip to the Netherlands would be complete without a stop at a cheese and clog making factory. The group saw the process for making and preserving cheese, complete with samples. Then we saw how quickly the shoemaker can carve out a wooden clog. It was amazing to see how wet the wood was while he was carving.
It was on to Amsterdam for the morning. Several of the students visited The Anne Frank House and were deeply moved by what they saw. Others did a bit of souvenir shoppingor had their picture taken at the iconic "I AMsterdam" sign.
A few lucky people ventured to the Vincent Van Gogh Museum. Others choose the culinary stops for pommes frites and pannenkooken (Dutch pancakes).
Our weather had been outstanding however on the trip south to Germany we hit torrential downpours. Our driver, Mickey negotiated the wet roads with ease. However, there was a massive accident between where we were and where we needed to be so we are in for a further delay because of the traffic. Oh well, we will just relax and let Miki work his magic.
We are now in the quaint town of St. Goar in the beautiful Rhine Valley.
We are staying at a lovely little family run hotel who also happens to own the local winery. After dinner most of the group headed to a wine tasting in the town cellar. Our Wine and Spirits would likely be more eloquent in speaking of the nuances of what we enjoyed. It was a very authentic experience, although we may have to do some further research.
As you can imagine there is now a gathering in the hotel bar. Not to drink and socialize but to use the Wifi. Go figure! Now to post the blog and turn my computer off. Nite, nite!