Rod McLaughlin


Dutch people are incredibly nice (26 jul 18...31 jul 18)

Young people in a supermarket near Groningen were amazingly apologetic that the till couldn't accept Visa credit cards, directed me to a bank where my debit card worked, and when I got back to the campsite, a girl was apologetic about the noise she and her friends might make. I tnanked her, and said I'd have no problems sleeping, having cycled 90 Km in the hot sun.

But, though the country is more connected than Germany, you still have to jump through various hoops to get on the internet, and I'm finding it difficult to use my Visa credit card, or my Visa debit card. What's the point of the European Union if it's behind South East Asia in internet and financial connectivity?

Where I ended up on the night of July 26, Camping Wittelterbru, was a nightmare. It was incredibly expensive (6 euros for a hamburger, 2 for a small beer), the internet hardly worked, you had to pay for it, and I was the only person in the cafe. The waitress turned down the TV volume as I requested, but almost immediately, her boss came in, turned off the TV, and turned on the radio full volume. They blamed the lack of connectivity on the fact that it was the hottest day of the year. Not only that, but you had to go through a series of screens to access the internet. I used my computer in the evening, so in the morning, when I tried to use my phone to access the internet, it refused, because it only allows one device per ticket (see picture).

Camping 't Oppertje, closer to Amsterdam, is the exact opposite. It's very nice, and nearby, is Tom's Creek restaurant, which serves grilled fresh trout with salad and chips, for the same price as the horrible junk food at Camping Wittelerbru. 

And btw, the waiter at Tom's Creek told me this land where I'm camping didn't even exist sixty years ago. It didn't exist when I was born. (God made the world, except Holland, which the Dutch made themselves). But riding toward Amsterdam, I saw a castle to the north of me, nearer the sea, which was there when my grandfather was born. And 'the land that was once sea' around Camping 't Oppertje is remarkably like long-established farmland, with plenty of soil, grass, trees and animals. So I'll have to check out this claim.

Amsterdam is like the sixties - if you remember it, you weren't there. I'm sure I visited the city a long time ago - but I don't remember a thing. It's the most livable city I've ever been too. The first city with bike lanes everywhere. Masses of culture and history. 

Camping Zeeburg, in Amsterdam, is also good, at €11 per night. Just over the bridge is the other campsite, which is bigger, and has a restaurant and bar - and the internet works. 

 



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