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European Road Trip: Amsterdam (part one)

Thursday, October 22, 2009
Gabe, Eloise, Courtney and CJ had an easy cruise across the North Sea from England and we linked up with them to see what they did in The Netherlands, sometimes erroneously called Holland. It's a very flat country with just a small area above sea-level.

While Dutch is the mother tongue of the 16 million people living there, most people speak English very well. The Netherlands is a constitutional monarchy but the real power is in the hands of a parliament chosen by the people.

Camping Vliegenbos

A fantastic location 10 minutes from the lively centre of Amsterdam, Vliegenbos is in the middle of a 25 hectare wood. It's close to the rural Waterland region, Edam and Volendam.

It has campervan sites with or without electricity, tents and trekker cabins. There's a restaurant, shop, laundry and a new shower block with plenty of hot water.

There's a bus stop close by so the centre of Amsterdam is easy to reach. There's loads to see — canals, the vibrant flower market, the Rijksmuseum and Van Gogh Museum. The Jordaan district was built in the early 17th century for working class and immigrants. Its population increased over the next centuries by refugees made up of protestant Flemish, Spanish and Portuguese Jews and French Huguenots. The famous Anne Frank House can still be seen on the edge of Jordaan.

Macbike hire

You will soon see that just about everyone cycles around Amsterdam. It's wonderfully flat and getting around on two wheels is the most popular form of transport.

MacBike Rental has three branches in the centre of Amsterdam. They have the newest bicycles, each with two sturdy locks. They offer guided tours and can recommend 11 different routes for those wanting to go it alone.

Heineken Experience

The Heineken family entered the beer business in 1864 with a brewery in the heart of Amsterdam. Three generations of the family have built and expanded the brand and it's readily available around the world.

The Heineken Experience will show you the brewing and bottling process, you will see, taste and smell the ingredients, explore past and present methods and meet the beautiful brewery horses. You will also taste a couple of the end product.

Red-light District

The Amsterdam Red Light District seems to be on most people's list of things to see. It covers a large area of the oldest part of the city. Buildings are tall, narrow and crammed together. They overlook tree-lined canals and the later it gets, the busier it gets. Red lights glow above many windows as they have since the 14th century when sailors were in need of female company. These days the district is full of sex shops, brothels, gay bars, cinemas, hotels and museums.

Many of the old gabled buildings are homes for families and professional business people, reinforcing the fact that The Netherlands is a most tolerant community where freedom is highly valued.


Getting around The Netherlands.


MacBike hire starts at around $12 a day. They are open every day between 9am and 5:45pm.

The Heineken Experience costs around $25. It takes about 90 minutes and includes 2 free drinks.

Prices correct on 22 October 2009.

For further information

Vliegenbos Camping
Meeuwenlaan 138
The Netherlands
Ph: +20 636 8855
Fax: +20 632 2723

MacBike Amsterdam
Nieuwe Ulenburgerstraat 116
1011 LX Amsterdam
The Netherlands
Ph: +20 620 0985
Fax: +20 422 2579

Heineken Experience
Stadhouderskade 78
Amsterdam 1072AE
The Netherlands
Ph: +20 523 9222

User comments
This segment is so cringeworthy it is not funny. If Europeans visited our country & behaved like these boguns, Australians would be really put off. Very poor examples of Australian youth. I have enjoyed Getaway from inception, & now the show has lost it's appeal to me due to this segment. I will be switching over.
I have been thinking of a concept for a show similar to this for years and now a top travel show has taken it on. Why and How were these 4 selected? They're cool and I'm so happy for them, but I just wanted to know how they found out about the offer. I want to see more chaos that is typical of a European backpacker trip though. It's not all smooth sailing in a nice hire van. It's usually in a beat up 4th hand car or sometimes ambulance turned Van and the journey is most certainly an adventure.
Eloise is the coolest person ever!! She would definitely be a great host for Get Away! Fabulous work.
This segment was weak to begin with. It's just not the high quality production standard that we expect from this show. It comes across as a poor effort to cash in on the recent reality TV craze. I'm stunned that Getaway would stoop that low. Is this Getaway or Big Brother? Furthermore the episode that just aired featuring Amsterdam's redlight district crossed the line for "family viewing". I'm disgusted that Getaway would endorse young people attending this type of venue to begin with let alone feature it in the show especially when at least one member wasn't comfortable with what went on. Whether or not they themselves wanted to go there does not excuse the Getaway team from not having the discretion to realise that it wasn't appropriate for the show. Next weeks doesn't look like it will be any better. I think I'll be giving Getaway the flick. I agree with "Cringe Worthy", I too hope this isn't suppose to be representative of Australia's young people.... (and yes, I am one...)
as a guy who has been to Amsterdam before, i think people should lay off with the harsh comments about cj. it is a huge culture shock over there. and as for saying these kids are a "poor representation of Australian youth" that is just stupid, it was great to see the kids looking after her when she was upset, and not one of them indicated that it "ruined their night". little cj is beautiful, and i hope when my daughter travels, she has people around her that are as caring as these guys look.
Love the segment, thought it was ruined by CJ's hissy fits. Its a Redlight district. So perhaps a little more thought into how you dress in this environment. Shame the others will have to babysit on their journey..
Pompous, stuck up and ignorant little brats - terrible segment and brings down the quality of the show. I turn over as soon as it comes on as I assume a lot of the audience does. Was this meant to be representive of young Australia? I think not... or, I hope not.
Oh my gosh Eloise is so funny! I think she needs a full time job on Getaway. It would liven up the cast a bit and attract a whole new target market of people. She is so real which is such a change and doesn't look so rehearsed. Never watched Getaway till this segment and now I'm hooked!
My husband and i are looking at doing a road trip next September. Can you please tell me the name of the company for the van used in the European story? Are they doing a round trip back to London? Thanks for your help, Kerryn
CJ seriously cant ride a bike????? this girl is gold, some might think this is stupid but i just cant wait to see what she's going to do each week. go CJ!!!

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