Beyond Amsterdam || The Netherlands Road Trip 2021

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This is a film I made during a 4-day road trip with my friends in the Netherlands.

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Our stops (and some of my thoughts on them):
UTRECHT (00:38 - 00:51) - a very cozy city full of very cute buildings. We called Utrecht the definition of the word “gezellig” - something that the Dutch mean as cozy/cool.

DE HOGE VELUWE NATIONAL PARK (00:53 - 01:12) - felt like a breath of fresh air, since it has many different landscapes unusual for the Netherlands. With the free bikes that the park provides, we were able to discover some pine forests, large dunes, a lake and even some savanna-looking nature. It was one of my favourite stops during the road trip.

GIETHOORN (1:39 - 1:55) - a town with no roads, where you commute solely by a boat. Or at least it’s meant to be like this for the tourists. Giethoorn gave me an impression of a very touristic destination, but our boat was one of the only ones roaming the waters of this town, so we had it all to ourselves.

GRONINGEN (1:55 - 2:14) - cute city full of students, but I didn’t feel its beauty to the fullest because of the rainy weather. I enjoyed the architecture including the stunning university buildings and the colorful houses at Reitdiephaven (not in the video). Will definitely come back to Groningen when it's sunny.

TEXEL (1:24 - 1:39) - wind, dunes, sea. I definitely underestimated how big Texel was after coming there in December, but driving 25km to see the lighthouse at the northernmost point of the island was totally worth it. Texel and its nature are a great getaway place in the Netherlands, so I loved being back there again. The wind was horrible though, so I guess exploring the island when the weather is calmer and warmer is more enjoyable.

HAARLEM (2:26 - 2:47) - the perfect family town. Architecture - outstanding, alleys - beautiful, neighbourhoods - quiet. Haven’t found many “hofjes” - tiny gardens that are spread out throughout the whole town, but from what I’ve heard - these are a must-see in Haarlem.

LISSE (tulip fields next to the Hotel Lowietje) (2:47 - 3:00) - a location that is cool to see for once, but honestly, I was not very impressed. Our location choice was probably not the best one, so I recommend to do your research on which fields are best to visit. I recommend to come here by car, because you'll most likely have to drive some kilometres looking for tulip fields.

LEIDEN (3:00 - 3:26) - closest competitor of Utrecht, and in my opinion, the best stop during our road trip. Leiden is in-cre-di-ble. The bits and pieces of Roman architecture make it look like the Netherlands mixed with Italy, which creates this exclusive look of Leiden as for a Dutch city.

Since all the public spaces, like museums and galleries, were closed due to the corona restrictions, our road trip focused on experiencing as much of nature and urban lifestyle of the Netherlands as possible.

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Worthy mentions:
WAGENINGEN UNIVERSITY CAMPUS (00:31) - an unusual campus with some cool geometrical buildings. Wageningen University & Research is a well-known agriculture and life sciences university, and its campus was the only attraction for us when spending the night in Wageningen (close to De Hoge Veluwe National Park).

ALKMAAR - a must-visit city in the Netherlands, well-known for its Cheese Market. Unfortunately for us, the market was closed due to the corona restrictions, and on top of that, it was raining, so we decided to skip the city this time.

AFSLUITDIJK - a massive 32-kilometer dam that closes off the Netherlands from the North Sea, creating a freshwater lake - IJsselmeer. An absolute wonder of the world totally worth seeing with your own eyes, although it looks and feels like a regular highway.

PURMEREND - the town where we stopped for our last night. It didn’t seem exciting, but the fact that it is situated in between the Purmer, Beemster and Wormer polders (land area reclaimed from water) showed us how low the Netherlands can actually lay. Sometime it felt like the fields we were passing were 3-4 meters below the highway - all because some hundred years ago they were a part of a lake.

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And that’s about it! Thanks for watching this video and reading this tiny travel blog. If you think some information that I provided is incorrect, please let me know about this - I filled it out to the best of my knowledge. If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment down below or email me at vitalik.zharinov@gmail.com :)
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