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Beautiful Ameland

8/4/2009

The Netherlands are somewhat overlooked as a tourist destination, except for their magnificent flowers and, of course, Amsterdam. But if you look hard enough, you can find some real gems.

We found Ameland, one of the Frisian Islands in the North Sea. The car ferry to Nes, on Ameland, from Leuwarden takes 45 minutes. It winds along a dredged course in Waddenzee (sea of mudflats) where you can almost walk to the island at low tide.

   Ameland is the perfect place to go cycling – for those who hate hills. You can cycle round the island in a day, stopping for various pancakes, bathing on the sandy beaches to the north or having a beer or Nobeltje at the Café Nobel in Ballum – Nobeltje is a sort of arrack which is counted as the island’s speciality. The best views of Ameland and the other Frisian islands are from the top of the lighthouse in the west, 240 steps up.

   Ameland once had a whaling fleet. It gave great wealth until catastrophe struck. One winter during the 1870’s, more than 10 vessels got stuck in the early arctic winter. Most of the Amelanders succumbed to the cold and pack-ice but a group managed to reach Greenland, and their salvation. This is also a story which is told on the island.

  The Netherlands are part of the Euro area. You can buy Euros for a good rate at FOREX Bank.


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