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CS newsletter for the Netherlands

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Old newsletters:

CS Newsletter for the Netherlands 2010.1

CS Newsletter for the Netherlands 2010.2

Draft 3nd newsletter

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CouchSurfers meeting up

Grote zomermeetings in Europa

More and more CouchSurfing communities are organising couchsurfing events this summer. Wherever you go, you can meetup with local couchsurfers.

Below is a selection of interesting events:

July 16th - July 18th: Oostende, Belgium: CS Beach Weekend

July 16th - July 18th: Champ-du-Boult, France: Normandy Summer camp

July 16th - July 21th: Brussels, Belgium: Brussels CS summer event

July 23th - July 25th: Dundee, Scotland: Dundee Calling

July 23th - July 26th: Paris, France: Paris Rendez Vous

July 28th - August 1st: Pescosolido, Italy: Italy summer camp

July 30th - August 2nd: Aberdeen, Scotland: a summer camp on the stunning balmedie beach

August 2nd - August 8th: Tokaj, Hungaria: Canoe tour

August 6th - August 8th: Spychowo, Poland: II CS International Family Weekend (IFW)

August 1st: Barcelona, Spain: Pre Gathering for the 3rd European Hitchhiking Gathering

August 6th: Sines, Portugal: 3rd European Hitchhiking Gathering

August 27th - August 29th: Karisilla, Estonia: Summer camp in Setumaa

September 2nd - September 5th: Milano, Italy: This is FO(u)R MI!

September 3rd - September 5th: Lille, France: The Braderie de Lille

September 10th - September 12th: Prague, Czech Republic: Cz3echsurfing

overzicht van regular meetings

In more and more Dutch cities CouchSurf-meetings are being held on a regular basis. If you want to know when to go where, you can check this list.

Castlefest - Festival of Light

6, 7, 8, August, Lisse, The Netherlands

People from all over the world come to visit this, I would call it... Medieval, hippy, folk, family, fantasy festival.

International world, pagan, celtic & folk music, encampment of medieval Re-enactors, a medieval & fantasy market. Art, theatre, visitors dressed up in most beautiful clothing. All sort of things to do: Balfolk, Sword fighting, painting, poi. Food is all Biological!!

It's a festival of enjoyment, relax & amazement. And I love it...would be awesome to have a CouchSurf meeting here!

Place to be: Every year there is a Wickerman burning on Saturday. A hugh wooden construction, filled with the wishes, dreams and gifts from all visitors. You can put your own dreams as an offer inside. The perfect spot to meet!

I’m working as a volunteer (coordinator backstage) on this festival ever since the beginning and I love to show you people around. The most fun part is to explore the festival your self, so I suggest we meet Friday, Saturday and Sunday 14:00 hours for a drink in front of the Wickerbeast, and share our adventures of couchsurfing! After a drink, I can take the people who are interested for a short backstage tour.

Relax & hope to see you there! Chantel

More info: http://www.castlefest.com

!!!voor Floris: ik heb op 1 juli je een paar foto's gestuurd voor bij dit bericht!!!

The best way to spend a Kruidvat train ticket: 18 hours of train travelling in NL

“Would it be possible?” “Hmm. If we start early and do some smart planning, yes, why not?” “Let’s do this!” I imagine the initiators of the idea came to the idea like this. The idea of the 24-hour train race project. The ambitious idea to visit all 12 provincial capitals of The Netherlands in just one day. Probably one of the few countries where such a thing is possible. Many CS members, armed with a special Kruidvat train ticket to be able to travel for the whole day, would accomplish this mission on the 22nd of May. First train: 6:10am from Amsterdam, on to Haarlem and The Hague. The fun started right from the beginning: the Dutch Railways (NS) decided that not our train, but the one 150 meters down the platform, would be the train that leaves. And that’s how you create a delay: we started the journey with already 10 minutes off-schedule. “Off to a good start”! Fortunately we caught up pretty quick, and, frankly, practically didn’t experience any delays for the rest of the day! Thank you, NS! There, I said it, something positive about the NS. They deserved it for once. People were encouraged to join us during the journey whenever they wanted. And boy they did! “Are you guys from the 24-hour train race?” et voila: we had once again a bigger group of train travellers on a mission. A few hardcore people made it all the way to the last stop: Lelystad. 0:18am the train arrived at the station! To make the last miles less painful we sang songs and people were already dreaming about their bed out loud... The other passengers thought we were gone nuts, I’m sure. Once on the platform, we started praising the station signs and kissed the ground in true Pope style. Relieved, proud and tired as hell, we could finally say we visited all 12 provincial capitals. Not only that, but we did it in one day!

Fotolinks:

http://images.couchsurfing.us.s3.amazonaws.com/1X9GA8A/7869872_l_d4aa32afa3c87006c610c513658f1e5f.jpg

http://images.couchsurfing.us.s3.amazonaws.com/1X9GA8A/7770295_l_671ade1bfeaaa2ea00c51695fefbaf1b.jpg

http://images.couchsurfing.us.s3.amazonaws.com/1X9GA8A/7770316_l_22883d7bfb73dd66771e51bf5046575e.jpg

http://images.couchsurfing.us.s3.amazonaws.com/1X9GA8A/7770213_l_8603c1f3667916c4116bd86b6bf63f50.jpg

The Netherlands today, Europe tomorrow!

For me personally, the 24-hour train race was a learning experience as well, because I’m involved in a project that is a bit bigger than just The Netherlands. The project is called The Unity Express, and is about a journey across as many as 24 European countries in a single, privately chartered train, with stops in major cities along the way, for a period of four weeks in the summer of 2011. The train has room for more than 400 people on board simultaneously. When traveling, people literally live in the train: eating, sleeping, partying, laughing, learning, discussing... It all happens there. The main goal of this project is to create unity among as much European citizens as possible. By bringing all those people together, on the train and in cities we attend, we create a better understanding for each other, so we can live more peacefully with each other. This project will launch in mid July on CouchSurfing and with its own website. Want to help? This project cannot exist without your help! We need every profession you can think of: paramedics, chefs, security, writers, programmers, entertainers, DJ’s, organizers, thinkers, planners and many more! Go to the website or do a quick search on CouchSurfing to find the working group where you can get involved! Want more information about the project before the launch? Send an E-mail to coen@unityexpress.eu with your questions and I’ll be happy to answer them!

Cheers, Coen

News from CS Netherlands

New Ambassador program

Maybe you already saw profiles of CouchSurfers that have a strange yellow flag on their profile, those people appear to be ambassadors. All CouchSurfers are equal, so ambassadors are certainly no more important than any other CouchSurfer. Ambassadors are only more visible. Quite often they are the people involved in the internal organisation of CouchSurfing, welcoming new members, organising events or just answering questions about CouchSurfing. Find all about what it means to be an ambassador on the CouchSurfing website.

The last few months the CouchSurfing headquarter in San Francisco has been busy on improving the ambassador program. This ment there have been no new ambassadors added for over half a year. We cannot give any details yet, but soon it will be possible again for people to apply for the new ambassador system. The Dutch CouchSurfing organisation is looking forward to welcome new people, so if you like CouchSurfing and want to do more with it don't hesitate! You don't need any superpowers to become an ambassador.

Are you interested? Contact Jasper for more info!

Nomadic adventures

Do you have a nice travelstory? Tell us!

Dodging bullets in Syria

Somewhere on the edge of Europe lies an invisible line. Many people on the European side are afraid to go across this line. But those adventurers who do dare to risk their lives by passing this invisible line will be rewarded with their own weight in gold. Beyond this line, most media based presumptions which try to tie you up in your own state, turn out to be foolish. One of the random people I told about my upcoming visit to Syria and Jordan answered with a serious tone, that he preferred to visit places where less bullets were flying around. That was before I told him I would go there hitch-hiking.

Xenophobia; I stumble upon it a lot, during my travels as well as at home. Mostly the xenophobia is directed at the neighboring country. Sometimes even on fellow inhabitants of ones' own country. In Turkey, on my way from the Netherlands to Syria, I was soaked with warnings about how often I would get killed once I would reach Eastern Turkey. They almost scared me, but assuming it would still be human beings living there, I went nonetheless. Now, two months later, I can tell you that the Eastern-Turkish people are just as hospitable as the people who warn you for them. I've got too many examples to offer, like this man who spontaneously took me home in the middle of the night, sparing me a long night in my tent at the outskirts of Antakya. Next day, wandering through the dark streets of an unknown village in Northern Syria, the first man I say 'good evening' to, interrupts his walk to the mosque and let's his son take care of me. The whole evening they've been treating me with tea, food, stories and Internet, inviting me the next day to come back any time I like. I didn't even get a chance to return to them the next evening; on my way to their village a man on a motorcycle persuades me to stay at his place instead.

Syrians compete for their guests, doing everything to prevent you from visiting someone else. That's what I call hospitality. They're just amazing. Though even they, who should be aware of the Middle Eastern generosity, will warn you for their neighbors. Obviously they aren't afraid for their visitors; no xenophobia in that sense, yet they are for the strangers just over the horizon. I believe that CouchSurfing, or simply traveling, is the way to decrease this. Say 'no' to xenophobia!

Chiel (read more about Chiel's travels on his blog)

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Exotic couches

Do you have a nice hosting story? Tell us!

Interview with Urbian Fritz-James

1 How did you find out about CouchSurfing?

In 2005 I went to Krakow. I wanted to meet local people in Krakow so i start to google "meet local people". First I ran into to the site virtual tourist and than this guy said to me to go to couchsurfing.com and contact this lady in Krakow. So i decided to contact her. ( I really dont know her name and she is not on cs anymore) Well I contacted her but finally we didnt meet because she was busy. But I liked the idea of hosting people, so when I came back to Holland i immediately started hosting people and now I have been a member since 2005.

2 What makes your couch special?

Well lets start with me and my girlfriend. People make the difference and being our guest, we really want to make people feel like they are at home. You can drink and eat whatever we have in our home (except for the champagne). Further we have a separate bedroom with AAA quality mattresses, so a goodnight rest is guaranteed. And on top of everything we have a jacuzzi on our rooftop. Furthermore we live on a island just in the middle of Rotterdam which make it just perfect for your stay in Rotterdam.


We don't accept everyone. We have a preference for ladies and couples. I also have assignments written down in my profile so I know for sure that people have written my profile carefully instead of hitting the ctrl+c and ctrl+v button.

3 Tell about a special person you hosted?

Well we hosted a lot of special persons since 2005. But Leila Messaoudi was one of the most special persons we hosted. The first time she came to my place she planned to stay for 3 days but it ended up for 2 weeks. Spending christmas together. We also went to a cs meeting in Paris were we had a lovely time. Leila became my little sister and i adopted her. She visited our place again for 4 times.

4 What place near your couch would you recommend everybody to visit?

Go to Kinderdijk (windmills) to get some of that nostalgic feeling of Holland

5 What do you like to see in a good CouchSurf request?

I would like to see some humor in it and please amaze me with something original and wicked. And when you write me a request you should at least have the words "qwerty", "smoke" and "jacuzzi" in your request. That is because of the assignments I have in my profile.

6 Which sort of guests do you prefer?

We prefer couples and ladies. For the rest you will have to be able to speak english and dont be shy.

7 Which host should we interview in the next newsletter?

Pieter Ter berg

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traveltip