I recently packed my bags and flew to Europe, more specifically Amsterdam. I have family that lives an hour south by car in the town of Naaldwijk. It is a relatively small community that consists of brick buildings, green houses, and is an agriculturally based community.
Although, I have had a lot of help from family to travel in the country, I have the impression that it is relatively easy to travel around the country. I have spent 7 days in the country, spending my time in Naaldwijk, Ommen, Zwolle, Gronengen, and will end the trip in Amsterdam. The availability of public transportation is overwhelming. There are buses and trains everywhere!
The amount of bikes is also unbelievable! I am a really big bike enthusiast and I have been really impressed with the bike friendly infrastructure. There are bike baths next to nearly every road and highway. It may be challenging to travel throughout the country on a bike but is a really convenient way to travel within towns.
Public transportation is relatively inexpensive and makes accessing different parts of the country really easy.
As I write this post, I am taking a train from Gronengen to Zwolle, in the northern part of the country. The train cost $17.50 euro and is approximately an hour ride. The train has different classes and depending on how much you pay, you can sit in certain areas. I just learned this the hard way as I have a 2nd class ticket and was sitting in a 1st class seat…. This is my 1st train ride so the experience is a little new. “What nice seats for a 2nd class ticket,” I think to myself. Reality-check… A train attendant asks for my ticket and informs me that I need to move. I apologize and have to move to a different part of the train… Well! Now I know!
The train is very smooth and fast. It features two levels and has comfortable seats. Each train compartment has two seats separated by a middle isle and then two seats. As I sit on the train, I can hear people talking to each other in Dutch and other European languages. “What are they saying?” I think to myself.
Earlier this evening I had pancakes with my cousin, Gert-Jan and his wife for dinner… Yes, you read that correctly, pancakes for dinner. Mmm… I had a crepe with pears, syrup, and eggnog sauce. It was delicious. The menu included pancakes with cheese, meat, veggies, and other toppings. I have a sweet tooth and really enjoyed my choice!
Prior to going to the restaurant, we parked in a parking garage. As we left I noticed an electric car that was plugged into a wall outlet. Whoa! I exclaimed! That is cool! It was the 1st time that I had seen something like that in a public area. The odd part was that I was not sure if they had to pay for the electricity because there was no pay option.
In summary, Netherlands Travel has been really easy and fun! After talking to my cousins and other locals, it seems that the country is making big strides to become more energy efficient and invest in renewable energy. The expensive price of gas also helps the economics of the situation, since gas is $1.67/euro per liter or 6.68 euro per gallon or $9.17/U.S. per GALLON! Whoa! A percentage of the price of fuel is tax which is used to fund different government entities and invest in renewable energy resources. mmm… What a good idea! Oh sorry, this is not a political blog.
Next up is Amsterdam!