Utrecht, Utrecht, Netherlands
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I live together with my cat Chawerá in Utrecht. Too bad she never ever makes me a cup of tea... Chawerá is Hebrew for friend (female) but I call her names like DDD (Drama Diva Dragon) or little monster more often. If you sleep downstairs she will be around and as she is still young and very playfull she may want to play when you want to sleep. So you are warned! ;-)
If you are my only guest, you can sleep upstairs in a seperate room so she can't bother you if you close the door.
I'm social, nerdy, quite good at languages and with words. Besides that I am helpful and caring. I'm somewhat arrogant yet compassionate, energetic, spontaneous, competitive and I like a scientific approach.
I like lots of different things oftenly changing with the seasons and/or my moods: reading, writing, gardening, baking, cooking, dancing, swimming, aikido, carving soapstone, knitting, drawing and so on.
I have a lot of knowledge and I am good at organizing and making people laugh.
PLEASE DO NOT SEND ME RANDOM INVITATIONS IF YOU DO NOT KNOW ME NOR SEND ME FRIENDSHIPREQUESTS OUT OF THE BLUE. IF I HAVE THE POSSIBILITY TO TRAVEL I WILL FIND A PLACE TO STAY MYSELF.
Of course you are welcome to send me a couchrequest.
HOW I PARTICIPATE IN COUCHSURFING
Offering my couch, having tips for activities and places to go on my profile and contact people through couchsurfing when I am abroad.
I'm glad most of my experiences so far were good and I'm looking forward to meeting more people this way.
I like lots of different things oftenly changing with the seasons and/or my moods: reading, writing, gardening, baking, cooking, dancing, swimming, aikido, carving soapstone, knitting, drawing, shibari and so on.
Things I would like to learn, do or visit one day:
Learn to tango better
Learn to make clothes
Learn to scuba dive
Visit Paris, London and Rome
See aurora borealis and/or aurora australis
See another solar eclipse
Join Burning Man
Travel to Uruguay
Travel to New Zealand
Travel to Vietnam
The curious incident of the dog in the night-time by Mark Haddon (2003)
Life of Pi by Yann Martel (2001)
Het lelietheater by Lulu Wang (1997)
De tweeling by Tessa de Loo (1993)
De ruimte van Sokolov by Leon de Winter (1992)
My name is Asher Lev by Chaim Potok (1972)
Simon by Eddy Terstall (2004)
Gamle mænd i nye biler (Old men in new cars) by Lasse Spang Olsen (2002)
The Green Mile by Frank Darabont (1999)
Patch Adams by Tom Shadyac (1998)
Pulp Fiction by Quentin Tarantino (1994)
The Bear by Jean-Jacques Annaud (1988)
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Milos Forman (1975)
Funk, soul, old jazz, sixties, seventies and eighties music, RAP (Rythm And Poetry).
My favorite DUTCH MUSIC:
Kyteman, artist name of Colin Benders, (born 5 December 1986 in Utrecht) is a Dutch artist, trumpetist, composer, conductor and vocalist.
* Arnold Veeman
Arnold was adopted by a family in Groningen, in the north of The Netherlands and sings in gronings dialect.
* De Dijk
De Dijk (English: The Dike) is a Dutch rock band which formed in 1981. The band is named after Zeedijk, a street in their hometown Amsterdam. Their music can be described as a mixture of soul, blues and rock 'n roll, with lyrics sung only in Dutch, except for their 2010 album Hold on Tight and the song 'Enough is Enough', both of which are sung in English by Solomon Burke. They are considered as one of the most important Dutch acts of the past 25 years.
* Boudewijn de Groot (Dutch pronunciation: [?b?u?.d?.???i?n d? ??ro?t], born 20 May 1944) is a famous Dutch singer/songwriter.He is known for the songs "Welterusten Meneer de President" (1966), "Het Land van Maas en Waal (nl)" (1967), "Jimmy" (1973) and "Avond (nl)" (1996) among others. On 19 January 2007 he issued his latest album Lage Landen (nl) (Low Countries).
Two goatlambs being born.
- No porters: There are no porters at the stations nor airports. There are elevators and escalators at airports and most stations.
- Safes: If you get to to a city by train earlier than you are going to meet your host, you might want to leave your luggage in a safe at the railwaystation so you can go into town without dragging it around.
- Busses: In most busses there is a space where you can put your luggage and stand next to it (or you can sit somewhere else).
- Trains: In most trains there is space to put your luggage near or under your seat. In 'sprinters' (short distance trains) there is less space.
International trains: This is a link with information about luggage on international trains (which differ per train): https://www.nsinternational.nl/en/before-you-go/luggage
This link will help you plan your public transport http://9292.nl/en.
More about PT in general: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_transport_in_the_Netherlands
NS (Nederlandse Spoorwegen = Dutch Railways)
Journey Planner (in english) http://www.ns.nl/en/travellers/home
What is the OV-chipkaart (PT-Chipcard)?
The OV-chipkaart is a new means of payment for the public transport system. The smart card is the size of a bank card and contains an invisible chip. The OV-chipkaart can be loaded with credit in euros with which you can travel anywhere within The Netherlands, or with a travel product such as a single or season ticket.
There are personal and anonymous cards.
Download the information brochure 'Travelling with the OV-chipkaart' (pdf) http://www.ov-chipkaart.nl/afbeeldingen/5434/travellingwiththeovchipkaart
TAXI IN UTRECHT
Taxi in Utrecht and tariffs: http://www.utc.nl/ipad/english/prices.html (if the link doesn't work go to utc.nl and click on the enlish flag and after that tariffs).
A taxi would probably cost between €12,50 and may cost a maximum of €19,40 (maximum allowed tariffs). You can get a UTC Keycard for free on the website which means a ride within town if you are ready to leave on departure, costs a maximum of €12,50. You get a 10% discount.
Also if you are 65 or older you can get a 65+ UTC card for free which gives you a discount of 15%.
BICYCLING IN THE NETHERLANDS
Famous for its bicycle friendly geography and culture it should be of no surprise that the Netherlands has a huge network of well marked bicyle routes (fietspad), as well as plenty of parking. The system is very friendly towards bicycles but the rules are strict.
Bicycle theft is extremely common and if you want to keep your ride you must lock it up. The Netherlands has plenty of CouchSurfers within a very small area meaning travelers can easily travel by bicycle between hosts.
THE way to get around in Utrecht. Everyone uses bikes all the time (so be carefull for them!). Most hosts can teach you how to ride along on the back of them.
A good way to see Utrecht is to rent a bike. All the guarded bikestands around the trainstation also rent bikes for around 7 euro's a day. Outside the trainstation you can rent bikes in here and here.
Good bikeroutes through the province of Utrecht can be found in knooppuntenplanner, it is in Dutch but not hard to understand.
Don't forget to lock your bike, stealing of bikes is a big problem throughout the Netherlands.
All around the center there are guarded parking places for bikes. For some you have to pay after one day, some are totally free. See their locations and rates on this map.
Source (with much more info): http://couchwiki.org/en/Utrech
Cycling in The Netherlands on Wikipedia: http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cycling_in_the_Netherlands
All about cycle tourism in The Netherlands: http://www.nederlandfietsland.nl/en
Plan your cyclingroutes (in english): http://en.routeplanner.fietsersbond.nl/
CS: Bicycle, bikers - https://www.couchsurfing.org/group.html?gid=1675
CS, Bikers & Co: The Netherlands by bicycle - https://www.couchsurfing.org/group_read.html?gid=509&post=11662292
CS-member with a lot of bicycle-tour experience all over the world and in The Netherlands too. Maybe you can ask him for advise: https://www.couchsurfing.org/people/wim-vanderghote/
CS group search: https://www.couchsurfing.org/groups/search
use keyword 'cycling'
CS Dutch Cycling Discoveries: https://www.couchsurfing.org/group.html?gid=18534
PLACES TO GO AND STUFF TO DO IN UTRECHT AND THE REST OF HOLLAND (just some things I think are nice.):
Every Saturday there are free tours in Utrecht with a CS-guide starting at the Domplein at 12:00h. https://www.couchsurfing.org/n/events/utrecht-free-tours-utrecht--57
Rent a citybike at LaagCatharijne (about 7 euro's a day)
030 231 74 28
Grand Café Maria (Café + Tapasrestaurant + Club)
3511 LM Utrecht
(T) 030 2300055
(F) 030 2300245
Kafe België (small menu + lots of beer)
3511 NR Utrecht
O'Leary's Irish Pub & Restaurant Utrecht
3514 CA Utrecht
Cafe De Zaak
Korte Minrebroederstraat 9
3512 GG Utrecht
Hofman (restaurant and club too)
Stairway to Heaven (Restaurant + RockCafé + Concerts)
3511 LJ Utrecht
Tel: 030 2322288
Restaurant Van Buuren
3511 BJ Utrecht
ART & MUSEUMS
Central Museum, Dick Bruna House, Schröder House (* a ticket to the Rietveld-Schroderhouse will allow you to go to the Central Museum and the Dick Bruna House, unofficially called the Nijntje or Miffy museum for free on the same day. If you buy the ticket you can also borrow a bike from the Central Museum for the day.)
Dutch Waterworks Museum
BUILDINGS & GARDENS
Rietveld-Schroderhuis (*the ticket will allow you to go to the Central Museum and the Dick Bruna House, unofficially called the Nijntje or Miffy museum for free on the same day. If you buy the ticket you can also borrow a bike from the Central Museum for the day.)
Fort bij Vechten
Het Catharina Gasthuis & Nationaal Farmaceutisch Museum De Moriaan
and get stroopwafels, cheese and candles.
Tax and Customs Museum (unofficially called the Smugglersmuseum)
Museum Boijmans van Beuningen
World Museum Rotterdam
Historical Museum 'De Dubbelde Palmboom' in het Schielandhuis
If you are here in spring you should visit 'De Keukenhof' http://www.keukenhof.nl/index/en/
Open Air Museum: Zuiderzee Museum Enkhuizen
Open Air Museum
I can cook you a meal if you like, bake something and/or tell you about my country, couchsurfing, hosting and travelling experiences.
Albania, Austria, Belgium, Burundi, Canada, Denmark, Egypt, England, France, Gambia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Japan, Luxembourg, Monaco, Poland, Portugal, Scotland, Spain, Sweden, Tanzania, United Kingdom, United States
Netherlands, United States
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