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European Road Trip: Amsterdam (part two)

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

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