This ski season marks the end of an era: Tyrol Air Ambulance, a major flight ambulance airline in Europe, is canning its special flights for Dutch holidaymakers who break a body part during their ski vacation. For the Dutch, the route took them from Tyrol, Austria to Rotterdam-The Hague Airport, aka ‘the plaster flight’ (in Dutch, ‘gipsvlucht’).
As of this season, when a Dutch resident breaks something, they’ll have to fly on a regular flight or take another mode of transport back home. It’s no longer profitable for Tyrol Air to operate these flights, as they had to leave with all the patients at the same time who weren’t all skiing in the same place. As well, once the patients arrived in the Netherlands, they had to be transported throughout the country, as they all don’t live in Rotterdam.
This special service has been around since the 1980s and has been less and less profitable over the past couple of years. Flights to France from Tyrol stopped a few ago, and according to the source of this article, it’s gone unnoticed.
For anyone who doesn’t understand that skiing is a sport and requires some physicality to do properly, do yourselves a big favour and learn to ski in one of the many indoor ski places in the Netherlands before going to some of the biggest mountains in the world. Do yourselves another big favour and don’t mix drinking and skiing – wait until you’re done for the day.
Tags: Austria, holiday, skiing, Tyrol
Apparently, the popular city of Hersonissos on the Greek island of Crete is a popular piss-up destination of Dutch youth. And they get really blasted, and the numbers are scary, and thousands of young people end up in the hospital. Oh, and the boys drink 3-4 times as much as the girls if they go on holiday alone. This is as alarming as it is unflattering. You could easily compare it to the Americans going to some Caribbean island to drink without their parents around, Canadians doing spring break in Florida (guilty, I have it on tape to prove it, and I was of US drinking age), or the British going to Ibiza, Spain and coming home with sexually transmitted diseases and unwanted pregnancies.
When I booked my very first vacation to Crete (where these pics come from) back in 2006, these Dutch cafés were mostly in or around Hersonissos, the city everyone told me to avoid. I stayed east of Hersonissos, walked along the coast to it, and kept going to Heraklion, the capital of Crete were the Cretians and normal tourists congregate.
You can’t miss the Dutch enclaves of orange, Dutch beer and Dutch junk food if you’re in Hersonissos, ‘littering’ the view of the old town. I can only imagine what that is like at night. I sipped Metaxa quietly at my hotel with the owner at night, a born and bred Cretian man who told great stories.
An elderly man at a bar on a terrace in Montréal one summer once said to me there were two distinct ways of drinking: alpha and omega, the A and Z of the Greek alphabet. Alpha was drinking too quickly (now referred to as ‘binge drinking’ ) and according to his gross generalisation, the way most of the Anglo-Saxon-oriented world seems to drink: cheap, shots, happy hour specials and quick, and all about quantity, not quality. Omega was the opposite, it was sipping good wine slowly the entire day in the sun on a terrace and getting wasted every so slowly like he was doing.
Even though it is – and I repeat – a gross generalisation, it has stuck with me all these years.
Tags: Crete, Greece, holiday
Since many families will be going away for two weeks (!) in May as school is out, some towns will not have enough volunteers to help out with all those Queen’s Day activities. Queen’s Day falls on Thursday, 30 April and many people will take Friday, 1 May off, which is not a holiday (Labour Day) in the Netherlands. Then they’re off to foreign countries with their caravans for two blissful weeks. Two weeks!
Although more people will stay home because of the recession, newspaper AD says many towns like Aerdenhout and Haarlem cancelled some Queen’s Day activities and sports events because they can’t find enough volunteers. Boo hoo hoo: two predominantly white, rich cities can’t find volunteers because the really rich folks will be gone. I will be working very hard both days, find out more here under ‘Upcoming’). Co-blogger Branko will be selling stuff on the country-wide flea market instead of buying this year and I promised to keep the coffee coming before working until 5 am the same evening.
The Royal Dutch Automobile Association (ANWB) estimated that about 450,000 people will be taking off. Do they all come from upscale Aerdenhout and Haarlem, and Rheden near Arhem, which I am assuming is white and loaded as well?
For those who don’t know: Good Friday (10 April) and Easter Monday (13 April) are days off, then comes Ascension (Thursday, 21 april – people often take Friday off too), and if that wasn’t enough for you, there’s Whit Monday (1 June).
And next year, Liberation Day (5 May) will also be a day off.
Boo hoo hoo.
(Link: ad.nl, Photo: Amsterdam Queen’s Day 1996)
Tags: holiday, Queen's Day, vacation