Do Paris & Amsterdam FBF Style (Part 1)

 

 

Okay People some cool shit has happened.

The FBF Staff (me) got flown over to Holland for some technical work training.

Wow!  I feel important.  (I’m not).

So what do you do when your Company picks up the tab on a flight to Europe?

Obvious answer…you tack vacation time on the back end and go somewhere new.

In my case:

 

PARIS!

 

Holy Cool Beans!

Here’s a confession though.  I almost bailed because difficult logistics were involved.

Do you know what that statement means “difficult logistics were involved”?

It directly translates to this:

I’m getting a little older (47) and don’t feel like dealing.

That lame thinking lasted a day.  Then my adventurous, FBF self kicked in and said:

“GO…..Just GO”

Plus, NOT Going would completely fail You Readers and move counter to the themes and messages that ripple through this Blog.

Fuck, it’s even in the Tag Line …Adventure Hard

GO Idiot!  Follow your own advice.

See – this stupid thing motivates me too and it’s my Blog.

Is it possible to have hidden agendas with yourself?

And so I went.

You know what was personally awesome and relevant to us FBF adventurers?   I didn’t do a hotel or hostel – I camped!

WHAAAAAAT!

You camped in Paris!!??

Damn right I did. And in Amsterdam as well.

DOUBLE WHAAAAAAT!

Listen up.  When I’m on my own – When it’s just me – I loathe staying in hotels.  I could really give a shit about it.  I know for some to stay in a quality hotel is part of the vacation pampering.

Not with this guy.

I want to save on accommodations and use that money for the sights, good food, and quality beers.

 

 

 

 

The above Beer and Omelette served to yours truly at:
The Breakfast Club – Wibautstraat 56, Amsterdam Oost

Click HERE for the website

 

This is part side effect from the Cross Country bike ride (where I tented 95% of the time) and part frugality.

$150 to $250 a night to hotel in World Class Cities is a NO GO with my budget.

NO Fucking GO!

I tented for a week in Holland and Paris for the paltry sum of………… $120 total.

Compare that to the potential of $1,000 or more at a hotel.

Ahhhh, Yeah that’s a deal – if you can deal.

The math works out to 6 nights total in two of Europe’s most touristy and beautiful cities for $20 Bucks a night.

The hostel thing is always there too if you want to split the difference between the extremes of camping and a quality hotel.  I’ve done them before and they’re a good deal as well.

But, meh – I like being in my tent more than a large room filled with bunk beds.

I know you’re not convinced yet.

Seriously?  Camping & tenting sounds –

Silly / Stupid / Dangerous / Difficult / Foolish  / Dirty – in a City…right?

It’s not.

Check it out.

 

That’s me in the white and yellow.

 

Click HERE for camping in Amsterdam

You sleep in your tent and the rest of the campground is…Well…Kinda…low end…resort-ish.

 

Water views included at no extra charge.

 

 

The campgrounds in both cities are more RV park than tent site.  Each had clean bathrooms, showers, bar/restaurant, grocery store, recreation stuff to rent, plenty of picnic tables, etc.

 

 

Click HERE for camping in Paris

 

The place in Amsterdam even had a function room.  I took it upon myself to crash the 30th wedding anniversary party happening on my first night there:

 

I couldn’t resist this 17 piece band.
Put on some pants and blended right in 🙂

 

C’mon! $120 Bucks for a week’s accommodation in Europe!

Another plus with tenting is that campgrounds are super chill and people are less guarded and more approachable…

 

Like this kind fella and his American Bulldog from Finland…We chatted about dogs, travel, and travelling with dogs.

 

Do fret, just do!

 

 

Okay, the lodging is out of the way.

Easy – Right?

No Steve….I’m shaking my head NO.

How do I lug my camping gear around?

People, it looks like this:

 

Walking from the camp in Amsterdam to the catch the train to Paris.

 

You’re gonna need a large and quality backpack.

The one I have is the EMS (Eastern Mountain Sports) House Pack.  It works very well and converts to a regular piece of luggage for easy check bag status at the airport

All my clothes for the week are in there too.

Bring more blended material shirts and less cotton and you’ll get through the week and not funk out with odor.

Onward with the other helpful stuff.

With the accommodations sorted, you now need to get around. This is an easy one and I’m going to yell it.

 

RENT A BIKE!!!

 

This is a no brainer and I do it wherever I stay – camping or not.

It just makes life soooo much easier.

This also fits in with vacation frugality.  I don’t want to spend heaps of money on Taxis & Ubers.

No way I’m renting a car. Trying to park in Paris – Please.

The bus / subway system didn’t reach the campground enough to my liking.

$75 Euros total for the 4 days I was in Paris. I rode the bike everywhere and most certainly got my money’s worth.

 

I was able to integrate my backpack seamlessly to the bags that came with the bike rental. The clips on both fit each other and I cinched it all down with a bungee I brought with me.

 

17 minutes on the bike from the RV park / campground and look where I am. Totally Awesome!!!!

 

Paris is a decent city to bike in.  It doesn’t set the standard that Holland / Amsterdam does, but drivers are aware, patient, and accommodating.

 

The riverfront bike paths are a great resource to get to the to most of the good stuff in the city.

 

The shop I rented the bike from – Allovelo.
Walking distance from the the train station.

Click HERE for bike rental in Paris

 

Okay, so you know where to stay and how to get around.  Now it’s time to fill up the days….Stay tuned for Part 2!

 

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