European Discovery Day 4

Day 4 (May 11): Amsterdam to the Rhine Valley

An orientation tour and a visit to a diamond cutting exhibition. Then to St. Goar on the banks of the Rhine.

I woke up at 2:30am and thought someone was stabbing me in the head, turned out to just be a hangover. I didn’t sleep much the rest of the night and finally got out of bed to take a shower. This I thought would be interesting as the shower did not have a shower curtain, but I actually didn’t flood the bathroom. After my shower I would give Nicola a report on the shower, a tradition I would continue throughout the trip. Then it was off to breakfast where I had some bread with a butter like substance and Jelly with bad tea, mmmmm.


Our first stop was demonstrations on cheese making and clog making. They were both fairly interesting and brief. At clog making we were told how men were supposed to make special clogs for the woman they wanted to marry, sorry guys but I would rather get a ring. Cheese making isn’t the best activity to do when you’re hung over, in case you were considering it. Then we headed off to Amsterdam. I went off with Roshni, Kreena, Anne, Alberto, Maya, Nicola to Anne Franks Haus and waited on line. It was a very nice and well setup. By the time we left my hunger had kicked in and I had to threaten Alberto who wanted to go to some museum, all I wanted was lunch. We ended up at Burger King, so much for “when in Rome, do as the Romans do.” We did some shopping after that, I got my red Amsterdam sweatshirt I had been eying since the night before.

At 12:30 we met the bus for the drive to St. Goar, Germany. After driving through the extremely flat country of Holland, Germany would bring us beautiful hills lined in grapes for wine production. On this drive Hans announced our Day song, Times Like These by the Foo Fighters the words go like this:

I’m a one way motorway
I’m the one that drives away then follows you back home
I am a street light shining
I’m a wild light blinding bright burning off alone

It’s times like these you learn to live again
It’s times like these you give and give again
It’s times like these you learn to love again
It’s times like these time and time again

I’m a new day rising
I’m a brand new sky to hang your stars upon tonight
I’m a little divided
do I stay or run away and leave it all behind

It’s times like these you learn to live again
It’s times like these you give and give again
It’s times like these you learn to love again
It’s times like these time and time again

I would like to thank Jen (the not always sober one) for looking up the words, THANKS! After we listened to our song we all got a chance to introduce ourselves, announce our favorite superhero and help Hans with a study he was doing on what people do more often, fold or scrunch their toilet paper. I believe the results were inconclusive.

We arrived in St. Goar at 6:00 and found the weather to be improving. St. Goar was the first warmish place we had been to, and it was 6 at night. St. Goar is a sleepy little town on the Rhine River. Not much going on here, but it was quaint. I got to check my email at the hotel, which was nice. Then I headed out for a little walk around, took some pictures and tried to call home on my Contiki E-Kit card. I ended up spending a euro or two and only checked my voicemail. Sorry Mom and Dad.

At 7:30 we had dinner at the hotel; pork, spetzel, peas, and carrots. It was ok, nothing to write home about. At 8:45 we went to wine tasting. Earlier in the day I had sworn off alcohol, but since I promised Mike, my brother in law, to get him wine from Germany, I had to go. The wines were pretty good, but the company was great. I sat with Monica, Mel, Narelle, Alberto and had frequent visits by Mike (with the camera), and Michael (from Australia). I got some wine for my Mom, Mike and me. Back at the hotel was “Family Night.” I had a nice chat with Sophie (who I renamed Pam, since Sophie and Pam both have P’s in them), and Jess. I also had a nice chat with Hansie. I headed up to bed a little before 11, I picked the right night to get to bed early as this was the best bed the whole trip!!!!

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