Netherlands for flowers and cycling: travel preparation

In Holland, I wanted a long time to look at the tulips, and to ride on bikes, and see how freedoming Amsterdam, how to think. And when the spring was announced that in the Keukenhof flower park, the current 2010 is dedicated to Russia, and Lufthansa offered very pleasant prices for flights to Dusseldorf – it became clear that it’s time to act.

Transport: from Russia to Holland and within the country

The easiest way to get to Amsterdam is to use straight flights "Aeroflot" or KLM, however, ticket costs starts from 14 thousand rubles. Cheaper everything – fly to Düsseldorf and there on the train. For example, we did this: Lufthansa 6 thousand rubles per ticket back and back + train 19 euro one way.

Single: WWW Dutch Railway Site.nshispeed.NL Russian cards do not accept. Different maps of many Russian banks were tried. Thus, pleasant online tariffs to tourists from Russia are not available. In the Holland at the station that in the machine, that at the ticket office will be sold at its full cost. And the difference is approximately the following: non-return online tariff can cost 19 euros, subject to exchange online tariff – 29 euros, full rate – 60 euros.

Tickets for intercity trains from Germany and back can be bought on Bahn website.DE. He takes Russian cards. But there exists such subtlety. The cheapest ticket from Dusseldorf to Amsterdam costs 19 euros on the website www.Bahn.DE. The cheapest ticket is back – from Amsterdam to Dusseldorf – on the site of Dutch railways is sold for the same price, but not available to Russian citizens. This same ticket can be bought on www.Bahn.DE, but at a higher price – 29 euros.

Tickets for local train tickets between the cities of Holland can be bought right at the station – the price is the same as on the Internet on the website www.NS.NL. There is another subtlety. In the ticket machine, the ticket will cost a couple of euros cheaper than at the box office. But: automata only coins! Accordingly, if you are a group of four, it is very unlikely that you get so many little things to have enough. And God with them with a pair of euro – you can buy a ticket to the ticket office. Only cash regulations do not work early in the morning and late in the evening, as well as on weekends and holidays. Keep this in mind when you plan a trip. That is, or buy the desired tickets in advance, or reserve the trifle.

Bicycles

Honestly, I have not had a trip that required such a thorough study.

First, it was necessary to solve the issue with bikes on which we planned to move from the city to the city. We never managed to find the rolling network of bicycles, which would allow, for example, take bikes in the Hague and return to Amsterdam. One rental company was agreed that we leave bicycles in another city, but I wanted 200 euros for it from each bike. In the end, the route had to scam. Full bicycle transportation in the train costs 6 euros – a ticket acts during the day to any trains.

Secondly, it was necessary to come up with such a route so that the country could do, and at the same time not to go away with a kilometer for every day of the trip.

There are several sites where the cycling route can be paved and see kilometer. True, all these sites work only in Dutch and mirrors in other languages ​​do not have. In principle, everything is intuitively understandable. The main thing to choose the route is for the bike: FIETS.

As for rentals, there are a lot of them in Amsterdam. There are bikes of all colors: yellow, black, red, silver, any. Many rentals belong to various travel firms and offices. But suitable for their own bike riding we found far from first box office. Many rollers offer only one type of bicycle. Our group consisted of fragile low girls, experienced cyclists among us were not. Most of the offered bicycles were huge and heavy. When we asked something smaller – we just lowered the saddle to the maximum. Usually it was for us too high. When we asked to omit the steering wheel, it turned out that the steering wheel was impossible – and we went further.

In general, if you are well rolled and large bikes are not afraid, then you will do absolutely any rental. If you need to shook and enhance, then my advice: Rent-a-Bike Damstraat rental near the ladies. Honestly, if it were the first place, where we would go, we would most likely left from there right away. Rental this unsightly and many bikes seem killed. But there really is a huge selection of sizes and models – we understood that, looking up to this in a dozen other rolling centers. As a result, the whims of each of us were satisfied and we got the perfect bikes, which though looked harsh, but we felt comfortably all the trip and easily dragged them into the train if it was necessary. By the way, all over the city are flyers offering a 10 percent discount in this rental. But even without discount we turned 37 euros for 4 days with insurance.

Keukenhof Park and Flower Fields

Holland, though it is considered a flower country, but cultural flowers are concentrated there only in one place – in the Keukenhof Park and on the fields around him.

Keukenhof is a huge park with countless tulips. For visitors, the park is open annually from mid-March to mid-May. In addition to the most diverse tulips in it, you can also see other flowers placed in special greenhouses. We found the exhibitions of carnations, lilies and orchids. At the same time thousands of people walk in the park. If you have the opportunity, plan a park visit on a weekday.

So popular Dutch floral fields are located along the sea shore between the city of Harlem (Haarlem) in the north and the resort of the Nourwijik (Noordwijk) in the south. The eastern border of the flower kingdom form the villages of Bennebrok (Bennebroek), Hillog (Hillegom), Lisse (Lisse) and Sassenheim (Sassenheim).

Before the trip, I have tormented for a long time in the lack of an accurate picture of the flower route and worried that suddenly we would not find floral fields, or find, but little. In fact, any even approximate map of the region is suitable – so that you just understand where you are and in what direction you move. And the fields in any case will be everywhere around you. We bought a floral card in the Harlem’s tourist office for 5 euros, and his employee drew us the most successful, in her opinion, route.

In all our journey, a strategic mistake was only one. For some reason it was thought that tulips should bloom a buoy in May. The trip was scheduled for May 6-14. As a result, in Keukenhof, flowers, of course, were – this year the park worked until May 16. But the fields around, which usually cause even greater delight than the park itself, were either bevelled, or almost beat. In general, if you drive exactly the flowers, then you need to do it in the second half of April.

Peculiar manners of Dutch hotels

The fair stake of surprise caused hotels. For a seven-day trip, six hotels booked. One was paid in advance, and there are no questions with him. But the rest, although they did not mean prepayments and the reservation could be canceled per day before arrival, a week before the trip began to present surprises.

In Holland behind flowers and cycling preparation for the trip

One after another hotels began exactly a week before arrival in each of them block on the bank card the cost of the first night of living. Since we lived in hotels on one night, then suddenly somehow it happened that the money on the bill went sharply. The absurdity of the situation is that hotels are blocked, but to use them to pay your accommodation, that is, just to write off – can not. Question: Why then block? And what will happen, if the client does not pay any way for any reason? And most unpleasant that all this happens without warning. Moreover, absolutely on all armors it was stated that the map data is provided only for warranty, and not to perform operations.

In general, it turns out that the hotel blocks the amount, it can not remove it, but you can’t take advantage of it. As a result, it is assumed that you were going for a trip to spend some amount of money and put it on the card account, then all the hotels were swallowed by this money – and how would you stay without money. At least for a couple of weeks until money is unlocked.

Tip: When booking Dutch hotels, specify the data not debit, and the credit card. In this case, when you lock, you will have to reduce the amount available for spending, but the amount of debt is subject to interest, it will not grow! Verified on several maps.

Interestingly, this system with blocking, though distributed in Holland, but does not act everywhere. That is, as a result, the money was blocked in advance Hotels Heart Of Amsterdam and Vijaya in Amsterdam and Hotel De Duif in Lisse. Apartments in Nurstika and China Hotel Hotel Delft did not do blocking.

As a result, we had two unpleasant moments on the trip. Hotel Heart Of Amsterdam, trying to block money, could not do this – and canceled the reservation! Ride on the nose, but I had to urgently search for other options (we found the hotel Vijaya located in the same area). And Hotel Backstage Rivne at 14.00 decided that we changed my mind to settle, and resemble our number to other customers. When we are in 14.40 Found at the hotel, the young man at the reception did not even apologize – and simply sent us to search for any other options (we went to Heart Of Amsterdam, in which you could not move because of canceled armor, and found free spaces there).

Recreation Plan and its route

Maybe our route is not perfect, but we liked it. Maybe someone else will help to form his travel plan.

Day 1: We come to Amsterdam from Düsseldorf and overnight.
Day 2: We take bicycles in Amsterdam to rental and go on them in Lisse, where you sit down and spend the night. Road runs through floral fields. You can go directly from Amsterdam, but we have made a small hook to Kharlem.
Day 3: Walking in the Keukenhof Park and move on bikes on the sea, in the city of Nurweik, where night. The road goes first through the floral fields, and then on the dunes.
Day 4: We move through the dunes on bikes in the Hague, we walk around the city, overnight.
Day 5: We cut down the Hague, we are leaving on bikes in Delft, walk there and spend the night.
Day 6: sit down with bicycles on the train and return to Amsterdam, we rent bikes there, sit down in the hotel and spend time at your pleasure.
Day 7: Day in Amsterdam.
Day 8: Returning from Amsterdam to Dusseldorf and fly to homeland.

It remains only to add that Holland is really a bicycle country. Bicycle paths are absolutely everywhere, wherever you occur to go. If the bike path goes along the roadway, the motorists will not cut, neither dangerously overtaken, nor even aggressively bib’s back. And, perhaps, the most significant plus of Holland is the exceptional evenness of its landscape – no heavy rates and dangerous descents.

After the cycling part of our holiday ended, we were very regretted that so few kilometers drove – it was just our first experience and we were very afraid to overdo it. But now I want to travel on bikes again and again. And it is possible that in Holland we will return never two times.

And, yes – all things we drove with you in small backpacks. Their weight was about 5-6 kilograms, and the backpacks could be like tied to the trunk of the bike with special rubber bands, and drove on themselves. Plus cameras, passports and money – in a small handbag over the shoulder.

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