Today was another early start. We needed to be packed and on the bus for a 7:30am departure from the hotel. This was also going to be our longest bus day of the entire tour. Not the longest commute between destinations that was Greece but was the longest distance travelled on the bus in a day. Rhian and I were one of the last to get onto the bus. We got stuck with two seats up the back behind the Brazilian girls. They left the seats reclined all day so neither Rhian or I had any leg room. Was worse than sitting on a plane. At least I had the isle.
Not much to tell about the bus ride. Some pretty scenery but that is about all. One item that was different was that each service stop on this day we needed to pay to use the toilets. This became annoying because even at the lunch stop if you went when you arrived you still had to pay again if you wanted to go again. Ticket was pointless unless you bought something from the shop to get back your $0.50 cents. Either way you just kept paying.
When we arrived in Amsterdam, before checking into our hotel we stopped at a family run Clogs and Cheese farm. We were given a short demonstration on how they make their cheese. Following we were lead into the next room with the owner who makes the clogs. Each clog only takes about three minutes to make because he just used a copy machine. The guy was very funny and had a real liking to the girls in the group. Rhian was nicknamed “The Happy Girl” Kim was nicknamed “The Little Tiger”. I think he had a name for all the girls. Pete was called the “Naughty Boy”. Some reference to the sex show we were going to later.
After the clogs demostration we were feed a slice of cheese as we went into the shop. The shop was full of tourist stuff. Not stuff they had made. I was also a little bit unsure about the clogs. Nothing in the store had the name of the place we were at. Not even the clogs. We didn’t end up buying anything at the store and got back on the bus for the hotel.
We eventually arrived at the hotel after six o’clock. Our hotel was actually a boat that was converted into a hotel. I was expecting the next two nights to be a dump but it was not really all that bad. Right outside our window was a submarine. Looked like it had been sitting there for a while. we had not more than twenty minutes to get ready to go into town for dinner and the sex show.
We caught a free ferry from next to the hotel into the city central station. The journey was only about ten minutes. Following our tour leader she lead us through the streets of Amsterdam to where we would be going to watch the sex show. We had around an hour to go find dinner and meet back on the bridge. Rhian and I had dinner across the road at an Itilian styled restraunt. We both had Pasta.
After dinner we went to the sex show. No you could not use phones cameras or any form of recording equipment. The first act was a pregnant looking woman that danced around undressed. Slapped a few guys and girls with her big boobs and also sprayed the audience with her breast milk. (She wasn’t pregnant, she had squirt bottle. Next 2 acts was a pole dancer. Then it was the main feature. Two people having sex. The guy was only a kid in his mid twenties maybe. The woman was an old fat lady. If it was porn on the hotel tv you would change the channel. Was more entertaining watching the reaction on the rest of the tour groups peoples faces.
The last act was another woman who pulled five guys from the two Top Deck tour groups onto stage. She made them eat a bananna out of her ******. Except for Eric who was meant to take it of her boobs but she kept teasing him and he got none.
After the sex show finished our tour guide walked us around the red light district. None of the women in the windows were all that great. Apparently on the weekends they are better. Or if the king is in town. Then you get the best of the best. After the walk around the red light district Rhian and I went back to the Botel while some others stayed out to experience Amsterdam.
Today we set the alarm for 7:15am. We had to get organised and be organised and downstairs to get the bus to the walking tour which started at 9am outside the parliment house building.
The walking tour took us to some of the historic sites of Berlin. Some of these included Checkpoint Charlie, Topographie des Terrors, Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, Brandenburger Tor and Reichstag. Seeing the Berlin wall was not as impressive as I thought it would be. I expected this massive wall that you could not pass. However what remains is just a few sheets of 3.1 meter concrete. What you can see today that it was actually two walls with a coridor in the middle. This was no mans land. This involved trip wires, barbed wire and mines. If you got in here you either triggered a deadly explosion or shot by one of the 300 guard towers staffed with snipers pertrolling the no mans land. Over 100 people were killed on the Berlin wall before it was pulled down in 1989.
After the tour finished and a toilet stop at macas a group of us went back to the Topographie of Terror. This is were a section of the wall remains along with the footings of the buildings that once stood in its place. It is now an free outdoor museum detailing a range of topics about the Nazi rule over Germany and the role Berlin played.
After getting what we wanted out of this site Rhian I and Amy broke away and walked from the site to the TV Tower in the heart of the city. This was a fair walk but allowed us to explore the city some more. We reached the TV tower and could not buy tickets eletronicly. However we were still able to buy cheaper tickets by lining up. The only problem was we needed to wait a couple of hours to get up the tower. This worked out fine for us as we could buy the tickets then go looking for the I Love Berlin T-shirts we needed and get some lunch. We bought the tickets shortly after 1pm and were told to come back around 3:15pm. This is what we did.
We found a store that had the T shirts we were looking for and they were only $10 euros. We walked around a little more and ended up going to the toilets at a fancy hotel that had a huge massive elevated fish tank in the middle of it. After this we sat at a restraunt and had lunch. By this time it was pretty much time to go back to the TV Tower for our viewing.
We headed back to the tower only to find we needed to wait an extra twenty or so minutes to go up and admire the view. After some more time killing we were allowed through security and go up the tower in the elevator. We took a stack of photos up the tower which are mostly on the camera. I think a couple are attached below from the phones. After coming down the elevator again we made our way to the train station to catch the train back to our hotel. Tickets cost us $2.60 euro. This seemed expensive compared to what we have paid other countries. However this was the price.
Once back at the hotel Rhian went to sleep and I caught up on writing these blogs. Seven pm quickly came around and it was time to get ready for the pub crawl. Because of my blog writing and waking Rhian up we didn’t have time for dinner before the pub crawl. Our tour bus dropped us into the city for the start of the pub crawl where we were given a free beer upon arrival in the street. Drinking in the streets of Berlin is legal. Apparently.
We visited three pubs in total which I only had one beer at each. I didn’t like the beers they had on offer. Not compared to the one at the beer hall the night before. After the three pubs we caught the train back to the hotel area where we went to one club nearby the hotel. Rhian and I only stayed for one drink as we had had enough and were due to have an early start the next day on the bus.
Today was yet another travel day. We were up early to have breakfast and be on the bus for an 8am departure. On the bus we watched the movie Inglorious Bastards which is a movie Quentin Tarantino made while on drugs. If only the second world war went down the way he depicted it. Was good entertainment to fill the bus ride. Our lunch stop was in Dresden. After getting off the bus our tour leader gave us a short walking tour then we had around an hour and a half free time. This was also our lunch stop so that is what we all went looking for, food.
Krizite told us about a curry place that has really hot curry. We did find the place that she was talking about but it was not a curry as I had expected it to be. It was a saussage with a curry sauce. This is not really what I felt like so a small group of us went to a grill house just across the road. Rhian and I both had enchiladas and I had my first beer in Germany.
After lunch there was only enough to time to walk back to the bus. We reached the bus with only a couple of minutes to spare. We were then back on the road to Berlin. We stopped for a short service stop just before we reached Berlin. The bus had to wait an extra five minutes to leave because Rhian had not returned from the toilets but the Brazlian girls were just behind her so they got the watch for being late.
When we reached Berlin we went straight into the bus tour. We stopped at Treptower Park which is a memorial to the soviet soldiers killed in the war or conflict. Did not grasp the full explination. After getting on the bus we drove around and saw most of the sights that we would see in more detail on the walking tour tomorrow. We saw what remains of some of the Berlin Wall. I was surprised at how small it was. But you have to remember it was actually two walls and a no mans land in the middle. If you found yourself in the middle you would have been seen by a guard and shot dead.
After the bus tour we arrived at the hotel and checked inn. We have another four star hotel so it is quite nice and the WiFi works well in the room this time. We meet for dinner just before 8pm and the bus took us into town to a german beer hall for dinner. The beer hall was called Hofbräuhaus Berlin and they had the true HB beer. I do not know what the full name is or if HB is the name. Almost everyone in the group had a 1L stein of beer and many photos were taken.
I even bought a propper 1L stein glass to bring home. The entree was some form of vegetable soup and the main course pork knuckle. The meat again was some of the best food we have had on the tour. Loved it. In the little over an hour we were there I had 2L of the awesome golden beer. The bus brought us back to the hotel then we all went out to one of the local bars.
We found ourselfs at one just around the corner from the hotel. It was empty before we got there and so only had one girl behind the bar. We pretty much took over the place. Rhian and I only stayed for one drink because I want to save myself for the pub crawl tomorrow night. I am sure the next blog will be interesting and probably a long one.