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The Dutch are good at many thingsmaking cheese and growing tulips would be traditional examples, but a much more modern one is their ability to provide a good lay.
Wait a second. We’re not talking about Amsterdam’s infamous red light district; shift focus across the city to Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport and the KLM aircraft buzzing around it, where passengers are now enjoying a good lay…all the way back in lie-flat seats. It’s here you’ll find the current palette for Dutch talent, in the features and service of KLM’s brand new World Business Class.
Where once buying a Business Class ticket on KLM meant reclining just enough for a comfortable nap, it’s now all about the lie-flat bed and a proper snooze. In fact, some 70% of business class used to be awake for the full, hot breakfast before arrival; the new seats mean more sleeping in, however, and the uptake on breakfast is down to 20%. We’re living proof of this; we drooled in deep sleep and awoke to the farmland of Holland, with only enough time before landing to scarf down a cinnamon roll.
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In the midst of the bustle of travel, it's all too easy to overlook the details. We're talking about special touches others have stressed over just so you can enjoy a unique experience, whether you know it or not. Every so often we'll highlight The Little Things like this, so now you will know.
The Little Thing: Business Class passengers on KLM are given collectible miniature Delft blue houses.
It used to be that taking an international flight meant receiving gifts of complimentary playing cards, stationery (for composing all those mid-flight telegrams), and other niceties to pass the time. These days, even passengers paying top dollar to fly in First Class are lucky to enjoy a minimal amenity kit and an extra flute of champagne. One exception is KLM, who continue a 60+ year tradition of handing out special ceramic mini Delft houses to their Business Class passengers.
Those looking to take an international journey through the Channel Tunnel will soon get a new option, as connections between the United Kingdom and the European mainland expand.
It looks like train officials at the Eurostar Group have made friends with those over at Dutch Railways, and the plan is to connect London with Amsterdam beginning in 2016. That’s quite a bit of time to wait, but worth it if we don't have to wake up, gather up our stuff, and switch trains in Belgium or France to reach the Dutch capital.
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We’re here to remind you that just because the weather is starting to get a little cooler, it doesn’t at all mean that fun trips to Europe have to wait. That’s especially the case for Amsterdam, as a new tourism video has us yearning for a visit in any season.
Their latest ad lets travelers know that everything hip is from Holland, and it looks like the whole thing was shot with liberal application of instagram filters. From bicycles and townhouses to "quirky hipster stuff"—their words not ours—the city has it all.
Late September through November is a lovely time to form any excuse to hop over for a long weekend over in Europe. Perhaps this is that excuse.
[Photo / Video: visitholland]
[Photo / Video: visitholland]
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The tourism board responsible for getting you to spend your money on Holland travel undoubtedly has a lot of options. There's food, and shopping, and music, and fashion, and culture, and sex, and drugs, and sex, and sex. In an era where all targeting is micro-targeting, how's anyone responsible for travel advertising supposed to drill down into just one topic?
The answer is you don't. As New York's Mustache Agency realized - while working with a host of Dutch institutions familiar to Jaunted readers, including KLM and the Amsterdam Airport - is that you take a bunch of them and wrap them up into one complete package. Thus did the agency arrive at one of the most basic but effective messages in the history of advertising: Holland is cool, and if you go to Holland, you'll be cool too.
Take a break from checking out the tulips if you’re heading to Amsterdam this month, as it’s finally time for one of the city’s most famous museums to reopen to both travelers and locals. It’s been under the knife for around ten years—at a cost of nearly $500 million–so we’ll assume all the upgrades and updates are totally worth it. That being said, if the Rijksmuseum wasn’t on your Netherlands itinerary before, it certainly should be now.
Not surprisingly the museum is home to all kinds of Dutch masterpieces, and they now all look better than ever in their recently refreshed home. Rembrandt van Rijn's The Night Watch is probably one of the museum’s most famous pieces, and it’s one of few paintings to hold onto its original spot in the museum. Sounds like a lot of the other paintings and pieces have been shuffled around to new spots during the Rijksmuseum renovation, as they have been displayed alongside related items—like furniture and ceramics as well.
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When we travel, one of our favorite things to do is to pop into a local grocery store and check out the food products and candies we'd never find anywhere else. So we're trying out this new feature, Foreign Grocery Friday, where each week we'll feature some of our (and your) favorite overseas treats. Got a recommendation? Let us know!
Hundreds and thousands. Nonpareils. Jimmies. Sprinkles.
Whatever you call them at home, these little, decorative bits of colored sugar go under the name of Hagelslag in the Netherlands. It's not a pretty word, but surprisingly Hagelslag makes for a delicious breakfast sprinkled over buttered toast. For the full how-to on this, check out our earlier explanation of the dish. For now, let's just focus on the sprinkles themselves and the fact that they are an awesome souvenir of a visit to Amsterdam.
Who knew that Amsterdam had such a sleek first-class lounge at its Centraal rail station? If you’re carrying an international first-class ticket on the NS Hispeed, Thalys, ICE International, Eurostar or TGV trains, you’re granted access into this little hotbed of red to while away the time before you board.
The lounge has some amusements including international papers and magazine, TV screens tuned to the news, and sockets to plug in your laptop, along with free WiFi. You can also rent a meeting room if need be.
The décor is predominantly Holland flag-red (yes, we did make that up but that really is the color) with some dark wood and grey thrown in as well. There's a variety of seating options for plopping yourself down, too: sofas, tables and chairs, or a bar area.
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"It really isn't smelly!"
That's the assertion given by KLM to press and passengers on Friday, as the first-ever series of biofuel-powered intercontinental flights was inaugurated.
All is normal inside the aircraft, and indeed passengers may have no idea they are flying on a history-making jet, unless they see the proud "we fly on biofuels" statement painted on the side. Outside, two fueling trucks pump the plane's tanks full of a mix of regular kerosene and biofuel manufactured from used cooking oil. According to the AP, the process to make this magic fuel goes a little something like this: "the waste oil from frying up crawfish, cracklins and other Cajun specialties is refined at a Louisiana plant, then trucked to JFK." Sounds simple, huh?
Can a museum take on the mammoth task of finding a city’s genetic code? Well, the Amsterdam Museum has done just that by launching its Amsterdam DNA permanent installation in 2012. It’s an interesting exhibit, yes, but on top of that, it’s really kind of cool.
The Museum has traced the city’s history over the past 1,000 years and figured out what has made the city tick over all that time of development – the good, the bad, and the ugly. What they’ve come up with is this: the city has four genetic markers that gauge its progression through time. The first is its indomitable spirit of enterprise, secondly tolerance and freedom of thought, then civic virtue, and, finally, creativity.
When you first head up to the ticket counter, you are given your own personal DNA code (which looks like a QR code). With it, you scan your code to start films in your own language, activate your personal DNA analysis, and make and view online after the fact your civic-guard photo.
When Jaunted's newbie traveler visited Amsterdam's infamous red-light district one of the first things he noticed is that the women were "really young and actually beautiful." Other Jaunted staff members have noted that the prostitutes behind the glass are really young and terminally bored. Either way, the "really young" part is something most people quickly notice, and stems from the fact that the legal age to become a prostitute in Amsterdam is 18.
Was 18. The legal age has now been raised to 21, according to an announcement made in the Dutch capital city. The announcement went on to explain that this was being done to "strengthen prostitutes' position," which seems straightforward enough. It's also pretty close to a "that's what she said" joke, although it's not quite there (which actually is a "that's what she said" joke).
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If you want to get away for a bit from the hordes of cyclists in the main tourist areas of Amsterdam, a ferry ride across the river IJ can do just that. The city’s Noord (North) neighborhood is the oldest and largest in Amsterdam, yet you don’t hear much about it. We think that’s going to change.
Formerly a shipping and industrial area, it’s becoming the cultural and creative center of Amsterdam with its mix of canal cottage villages, parks, architectural mix and the recently-opened EYE Film Institute. New condos are starting to appear on the waterfront and yet, if you’re looking for some early work of Rem Koolhaus, that’s here too.