August 31, 2014

#DutchLove 2014

#DutchLove at its finest in Haarlem.
I obviously love it. I've come back every year I've lived in Europe.

This time in Holland, I was finally ready to take some new risks.

Like I rode the bike out of town for the first time...and then I did it a second time. I took some new buses and trains. I walked around without a real map. I asked for food on Dutch menus, not having any idea what I'd ordered.

Some of you are going to find those things extremely lame, and some of you are going to think they are extremely brave. Either way, great; keep reading.

If you know you are going to be taking buses and trains often, get yourself an OV Chipcard right away. You pay 7.50€, then load as much money as you want onto the card. Every time you take a bus or train, you scan the card to check-in, then scan it again when you get off the bus or train to check-out. This registers how many kilometers you've traveled, giving you a discounted price for your journey, and you don't have to buy a new ticket each time you want to go somewhere new. It's kind of like a pay-as-you-go Eurail pass for the Netherlands. The best part? You can get all of the money you don't spend back at the end!