DAY 49! WE MADE IT! This morning we say goodbye to some of our fellow travellers before we depart Amsterdam and head towards Belgium, we then head back into France to catch the ferry back over the English Channel and end our Topdeck Mega European Tour where it all started in London.
17 June, 2012 – Amsterdam to London
The final day has arrived and we check out of our hotel in central Amsterdam so we can make our final journey back to where we started 49 days ago in London outside the Clink 78 Hostel. We all board the coach which is once again parked around the corner so we need to lug our luggage around there, my friend drops a bottle of vodka on the ground along the way, so that was quite amusing.
We are heading for yet another country, this time Belgium and we are stopping in the small city of Bruges on the way to the ferry in the French town of Calais. We arrive in Bruges in time for lunch and have our last walking tour of the city showing off what makes this small medieval town unique. We are then left on our own to explore and to find somewhere for some lunch, we all split up and go our separate ways, for us Belgium Waffles were the item of choice for lunch, not exactly what you would go for at lunch, by we are in Belgium!
I still had some Euros left over so I decided I would buy some expensive chocolate figuring I was in Belgium, this stuff had to be some of the best you could get. Later on the ferry trip back to England I discover in the fine print “Made in France”, so I was not happy. After our allocated time was up we all met at our meeting spot to make our way back to the coach.
Some more people left the tour here and it was now time to say goodbye to them. We then departed and headed back over the boarder into France for the fourth time and made it to Calais. Our ferry was delayed by a couple of hours as they just found an undetonated bomb in the harbour from World War II… You would have thought after decades of using this place as an everyday harbour that they would have had the whole finding the 60 year old bombs situation under control.
At this point we said goodbye to our driver who had had to put up with us for a good month and a half, she has to take the bus back to Amsterdam where all the coaches are based. We then board the ferry and make the journey back towards the white cliffs of Dover, board another bus which then ships us back to the Clink 78 Hostel in London. Finally… Back in a country where they drive on the correct side of the road and I don’t have to worry about getting hit by a car anymore when crossing the road.
The tour has now officially come to an end, many people left straight away so everyone said their goodbyes, while a hand full of others were staying at the Clink 78 Hostel tonight including us. Most of us were pretty exhausted so not much happened tonight after checking in. I went for a walk down to Euston Station as I wanted to check out if I could leave some stuff at the station while I continued on to Scotland.
It was pretty much off to bed for an early night, while the Topdeck tour may have come to an end now, this European adventure was far from complete with the next portion including an overnight train trip to Edinburgh with a three day Haggis Adventures tour of the Isle of Skye to come.
These past 49 days have been amazing and a journey I will never forget for as long as I live, the Topdeck crew we dealt with throughout the whole journey were above and beyond professional and I cannot praise them enough. I highly recommend this tour if you have plenty of time, for me this was my first trip outside of Australia so it was a perfect way to introduce me to the main sites of Europe, I will be back one day for sure!