I will be travelling to Amsterdam for business next month. Was
interested in hobby shops, clubs, etc I might get time to visit.
I know, don't say it. Travelling to Amsterdam and checking out R/C means
I'm a pretty dull person.
Dan in Florida
I hope you get a good reply from one of the Dutch flyers.
I have gone to a couple of the shops in Amsterdam, but some of the best
shops are in the smaller towns. If you look in the "Yellow Pages" watch for
the work "Modelbouw." Most of my guest flying was done in the N.E. corner
of the Netherlands.
You could try: "J&J Modelbouw" at Bolsoel 32a, or the general hobby shop
"Luchtvaart" at Aalsmeerderbrug (near the Schipol airport)
There are a number of clubs in the S.W. of the Netherlands. I dug around in
my address book and came up with an email address for a chap that might be
able to give you better information: Mr. Wim Brizee firstname.lastname@example.org
I don't know if this is your first trip to the Netherlands --so--
Please be aware that you are traveling to the Netherlands during the "summer
holiday" season and many people take the entire 30 day period off. Dutch
law says that companies must give employees at least two >consecutive< weeks
of vacation. Some small businesses just close for the holiday.
There are a bunch of neat muesums and collections housed in Amsterdam. They
have everything from the VanGogh Museum and the Maritime Museum to the "Hash
Marijuana Hemp" museum (actually quite informative).
A general note: Taxis are NOT inexpensive in the Netherlands. Depending
upon the location of your hotel, expect to pay around $40.00 EU. If you are
not going to rent a car, check to see if your hotel has a shuttle.
If you are alone or traveling with non-Dutch associates, DO NOT "tour" the
red-light district after dark. It is fun just to see the area during the
day, but it is not the safest place after dark. The area around the main
train station can also be a little "dicey" after dark.
The National Aviation Museum (Aviodrome) is located near the Schipol
airport. You can catch a taxi, but it is close enough that you can hike
there from the airport arrivals level if the recent construction has not
screwed up the route. Exit the arrivals deck and turn left and walk along
the main street. Walk past the Hilton and Sheraton hotels. You will pass a
small KLM building. You will come to an intersection with a Fiat Gas
station on your right across from a LARGE KLM cargo building. Turn right at
this intersection and you will soon see some of the displays. They are
constructing an aviation amusement park that is due to open in late fall.
Check with the tourist information desk at the airport.
If you are going to rent a car you can also get to the Military Museum
(Militaire Luchivaart) at Soesterberg. This was the site of a Dutch
Airforce Base and was once home to U.S. forces at "Camp New Amsterdam". It
is fairly easy to get to the museum by car. Depending upon your start point
in Amsterdam, it is between a 40 and 60 minute drive.
There is one main exit from the Schipol airport terminal lobby. When you
stand in the center of the main lobby and look towards the exit, the car
rental desks are on the right side of the doors. Most of the rental car
parking is across the street in a multi-level garage. The following
directions will give you a reference from where the airport road from the
terminal connects with route A4. Once you have your car, follow the signs
out to route "A4". You will turn right ("North") on route A4 to connect
with route A1 in the West direction toward Diemen/Almere/Amersfoort. Follow
A1 to route A28 and take A28 toward Utrecht. Take the Exit #4 off of A28.
The airfield is to the South-East of A28
You can get to this route from your hotel with only a few directions form
the Concierge. The big loop (A10) around the main city connects with the
major routes leaving Amsterdam. If you are not going to rent a car, you can
get to Amersfoort by train and then take the bus to Soesterberg and then a
taxi to the museum. This museum is open 10am - 4:30pm Tuesday - Friday and
again on Sunday from 12:00 to 4:30pm.
Driving in the Netherlands is not too bad and better than in many U.S.
Cities. The Dutch have a reasonably ordered society and most folks tend to
"follow the rules". If you rent a car, you will find that you will need to
call your hotel before you leave to make sure there is adequate guest
parking. Parking spaces are at a premium in Amsterdam and smart tourists
save their rental cars for trips outside of the city proper. Some hotels
have arrangements with pivate and municipal parking facilities that reduce
the cost. If you have a camera, take pictures of the rental car before you
accept it. Be sure you photograph any existing damage or "parking lot
rash." Two-wheel vehicles (lots and lots of bicycles) have the right-of-way
when they are in their lanes - be careful. There are quite a few
"round-a-bouts" off of the main routes and you need to keep your eyes pealed
for right-of-way signs as you circle toward your exit.
If you have the opportunity - and you like cheese - stop at one of the big
cheese shops. Try the aged Gouda or Edam. It is dryer and firmer than what
you find here. Also, try some of the chocolate sprinkles on your buttered
morning toast. Yeah - chocolate for breakfast - The bakery products and the
dairy / cheese / sliced meat buffets at the hotel "Continental Breakfast"
will make you wonder how we put up with the crap sold here in the U.S. If
you see "Mustard Soup" on the dinner menu - try it.