Day 6 - Amsterdam

Today is the first day of the Contiki part of my trip. After waking up and a bite to eat, it was out the front of the hotel and across the road to wait for out coach to arrive. It started to rain and everything that people say about the weather in London was looking like it was true. Said hello to the other members of the group who had stayed at the Imperial as well only to discover that most of that group were also from Sydney.

After getting everyone from the Royal National onboard, out now full coach took off for the Contiki office to pick up our currency and people started getting to know one another. It was then that I discovered that one of my fellow travellers grew up in the suburb where I now live. Small world.

There was one small hitch once we got to the ferry terminal, two of our group, Debbie and Vanessa, had received the wrong advice from their travel agent and didn't have visas for France. The really stupid thing was that we were there on July 29 and the French dropped their requirement for Australians to hold visas on August 1. To make matters worse we were only travelling through France for about half an hour that day and were coming back after August 1. So they weren't allowed to travel with us on the ferry and had to return to London and fly to Amsterdam.

After that hiccup, we sat waiting for the ferry until it was time to board. It didn't take long before our coach was safely on board and eat. The ferry ride was a good time to get to know some of my fellow tourists and quickly got chatting with Alex and Martha.

Having had something to eat and drink it was time to explore the ferry. I decided to go up on deck and get some photos of the white cliffs of Dover as you can see below.

 The White Cliffs of Dover Me on the ferry from Dover to Calais Hovercraft going the other way
 The White Cliffs of DoverMe on the ferry from Dover to CalaisHovercraft going the other way

France and Belgium. Leanda went through the details of the activities of the first few days and we settled into chatting and getting to know you mode.

Once we reached Amsterdam and managed to get our bags up to our rooms in the tiny elevator - one person and many bags in the elevator, everyone else walking up - there was a short time to dump everything before getting ready for dinner and the night's entertainment. I shared a room with the Richard from Adelaide who was a pretty good bloke.

After the entertainment, went to have a beer with a couple from California, Wil and Tammy, who were really nice. It was time for the coach to return us to the hotel and not feeling like tackling taxi drivers or public transport to get back, I jumped on as did most people. The evening finished with more beers in the hotel's small bar before tiredness took hold and I called it a night. is the personal web space of Matt Jackson (mjj at