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Touring The Netherlands In A Hire Car, More Than Just Clogs And Windmills

Feb 26, 2008
Many think of the Netherlands as a land of windmills, tulips and clogs. There is more to this flatland than meets the eye and using a car hire service is the ideal way to sample all this country has to offer.

Strictly speaking the Netherlands is a term that includes territories in the Caribbean while the term Holland purely applies to the area in the west of the country. It is strongly advisable to use a hire car to drive around this western province as this is where the major cities and tourist attractions are located.

The Hague, described as the legal capital of the world possesses a high proportion of the world's legal courts. It is the perfect place to hire a car and begin your tour of the Netherlands. For art lovers the trip is a must, some of the world's most influential artists have lived in the Netherlands and there are numerous museums dedicated to various artists throughout history.

Whilst I was in The Hague I took the drive in my hire car to the M.C. Escher museum. This seminal 20th Century artist has created some truly eye-catching pieces. The intricacies of his work entice the viewer to stare endlessly, trying to take in the details of the mind-boggling pieces. I would recommend this museum to all who are in The Hague.

As I pulled away from The Hague in the hire car my next destination would be Amsterdam, having been there in my youth I was not interested in the somewhat risque pursuits that the city had to offer; instead I wanted to sample the culture of this magnificent city.

Using a car hire service to self drive in the Netherlands opened up some superb photo opportunities. I had not expected the flatland to be striking; however the absence of contours is both noticeable and beautiful. Pulling up in the hire car and snapping fields of tulips in bloom or the linear windmill formations inspired the artist in me, maybe that is why the Netherlands has such an artistic heritage.

Amsterdam houses the Van Gogh Museum, showing the best of the post impressionist painter's work was worth a trip to the Netherlands alone. Of course his 'Starry Night,' and 'Sunflowers' were there but it is his lesser known pieces that really impress. The brushwork it something to behold whilst having the hire car meant I was not tied to a tour party and could spend an eternity staring into the troubled soul's work.

While in Amsterdam it is also advisable to visit the Anne Frank Museum. Being able to tread the same floor boards and see the cramped conditions where Anne hid from SS patrols is a real eye-opener. The visit brings history to life and creates a true understanding of this harrowing tale.

To save taking the hire car further across country, Amsterdam is also the location of the Rembrandt Museum, arguably the greatest painter the Netherlands ever saw; he was part of the 'Dutch Golden Age'. He was also one of the few painters that were successful in life as well as death. The portraits we behold with such reverence were simply a meal ticket for the young Rembrandt. This does not take away their splendour though and his skill with a paintbrush is without question.

Touring the art museums and outstanding scenery of the Netherlands is a trip I would advise to anyone with even a passing interest in fine art. The Dutch have produced some of the finest artists the world has ever known. Take advantage of the close proximity and get up close to truly understand the magnificence of their work.
About the Author
Travel expert Thomas Pretty has visited Holland many times and strongly advises the use of Budget's car hire Netherlands services. To find out more please visit http://www.budget.co.uk/car-hire/car-hire-netherlands.htm
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