European Inspiration (Winter) » Review by Explorer1258611
We departed Dover on Wed 28th Dec 2011 and never looked back. The ferry over to Calais, France was rough but we were buzzing with the excitement of what lay ahead, and too busy getting to know our Contiki family for the next 19 days.
We hit Amersterdam running with our first stop the elusive Red Light District. What a way to get up close and personal with your tour buddies than to watch a dazzling and entertainig live 'show', of which included a gorilla and lots of laughs ;)
From there the tour was non-stop, and full of excitement. Not even the zero degree tempertaures (it was the middle of winter) were going to stop us. We explored the canals of Amsterdam with an intriguing tour of Anne Franks Haus.
Next stop Berlin for the most amazing New Years spectacle ever. The streets were jam packed with locals and tourists wielding fireworks and celebrating in 2012 with many a German Ale. New Years day and we explored the dark history of Berlin, including visiting the Wall and Checkpoint Charlie, to name a few stops.
Prague brought many a surprise, including amazing gothic architecture, an interesting lunchtime canal ride and a crazy 5 story nightclub.
One highlight of the tour, among the very many, was our time in Munich and our lively dinner at the famous Hofbräuhaus Beer Hall. This was followed by an informative walking tour of Munich, with a focus on Hitlers time there.
With a quick stop in Austria to visit the Swarovski Crystal store, we wound our way through the Alps, in the snow whilst singing to the Sound of Music (hehe) and arrived in beautiful Italy. Six days were spent exploring the magistic canals and alleyways of Venice, the strength and history of Rome and beauty of Florence and Tuscany.
Nearing the end of our trip, we arrived in Lucerne, Switzerland and journeyed thousands of metres up to the most amazing view of Mt Pilatus. Something we will never forget. Not to mention being pelted in the head with a snowball by our cheeky tour guide Garai, it was a once in a lifetime view of the clear, snowtopped mountains.
It was finally time for our last stop, but perhaps one of the best - Paris! The ultimate highlight was skipping the line and being taken to the very top of the Eiffle Tower at night to view the cityscape of Paris. Finally to top off such a mindblowing trip, was our final night at The Moulin Rouge. A must see for anyone visiting Paris (The trip back to London the next day was not so much fun with the headaches we all had).
To cap it all off, this tour can be described in one word as - spectacular! The instant life-long friends we made on day one made it even more incredible. Our tour guide Garai and bus driver were hilarious and made sure we had the time of our lives. The bus was our home away from home for the 19 days and super comfortable and modern. All the accomodation was comfortable and accessible.
I highly recommend anyone wanting to visit Europe, but a bit unsure about where to go, to give this tour a go. My hubby and I loved it as a couple, but there were also just friends and singles with us.
Thanks Contiki for helping us live our European dream xx
Review written Jul 2013event 0.3