CtheCity is an amazing experience where you have the opportunity to “see” Amsterdam through the eyes of someone who is blind. Did you ever wonder what it would be like to walk around the city with one of those white canes? It’s a lot less scary than you would think.
Upon entering CtheCity your are introduced to your blind tour guide that will lead you through a mock Amsterdam (the whole tour is indoors). The journey will take you about 1 hour and everything will be in total darkness. Get ready to use your ears, hands, nose and white cane to help guide you along. Don’t be scared, your guide and small group will be with you at all times. You’re all there to help each other out.
The tour starts in a small debriefing room that is not totally dark. You will get some instruction about what the next room has in store and then you will walk into complete and total darkness. What’s the first thing you notice? Traffic and lots of it. The task, find the cross walk button and cross the road. Don’t worry, there are not real cars.
Throughout the course of the tour, you will have to find your way through a maze of bikes, cross a bridge, order drinks and cheers your group in a café, find a bench and sit down at Vondelpark and finally have an infrared picture of your group taken in the dark! You will notice that things start to get a bit easier as you go along as you learn how to rely on your other senses and each other. Also during the tour you will have a chance to have a frank conversation with your guide about every day challenges that they face, but you will also begin to realize that being blind is not the end of the world. There is so much that can be done without help and it’s quite interesting to hear about it.
One of the greatest things about CtheCity are the people there. The whole idea behind this concept is to give people that are blind a chance to work and also act as a hub to educate people as well as a sort of job placement service for those who need it. There are a lot of talented people out there who should not have to be jobless just because they are blind. CtheCity aims to train 144 people per year and place them in commercial jobs, making not only a commercial success but a social one as well.
CtheCity just opened its doors this year after seven years of success at their sister restaurant ctaste which is located right next door.
Tickets can be bought for €18 (or €15 if reserved via email). There are discounts available for groups as small as 4 adults and for families as well. Want to try both places, no problem, they also have combination packages on their website.
This was a really unique and inspiring experience for me. I would recommend this to anyone that wants to try something new and wants to help others who are in need by supporting a local business like this one.