On a beautiful oceanfront 30 minutes from Amsterdam in the beach resort of Zandvoort, 30,000 people gather most summer Sundays to celebrate music and entheogens. The weather is perfect – in the 80’s – and the crowd is topless, smoking herb, eating shrooms, and dancing deliriously.
“Beach Bop’s” multi-ethnic, multi-lingual crowd is full of sophisticated and good-looking young Europeans; most of the few North Americans in the crowd can be identified by “open mouth syndrome.” They just stand around amazed, and slightly bewildered, by the non-stop fun and the lack of police.
A short bike ride from the beach, thousands of tourists are discovering the town of Haarlem, otherwise called Hemp City, which is located close to Amsterdam. Some of the visitors are cannatourists who’ve traveled to Haarlem to meet coffee shop guru Nol Van Schaik after reading about him in Cannabis Culture.
The pilgrims gather in Van Schaik’s Dutch Joint coffee shop, taking hits off the shop’s superbly-engineered Vapomed Volcano vaporizer. Then they walk across the street to go swimming in the Spaarne River, under the watchful gaze of an authentic windmill.
In August, 40,000 visitors from across the world will party outdoors near Haarlem at the famous Dance Valley rave (www.dancevalley.nl). They can ride bikes to the site, past scenery that looks like a 16th century painting.
It’s summertime, and there’s more to do in Holland than sit around smoking the best bud and hash. Using Haarlem or Amsterdam as a base, you can bicycle for miles along scenic rural trails, visit museums, get an all-over tan, cruise canals, smoke pot in parks, and dance the night away at Europe’s biggest parties.
Getting high is important, of course. If you want reliably superb hash and pot, visit Van Schaik’s three shops in Haarlem. Ask for the Santa Maria bud, or the Dutch Unique hash dripping with cannabis oil and resination.
In Amsterdam, coffee shops like the Bluebird and the Dampkring offer comprehensive menues of stunning weed and hash that will flex your neuroreceptors. Try some of the Moonshine bubble hash, and enjoy the bubbles that will blow up in your brain.
After you drink some fresh-squeezed fruit juices at the Dampkring, go visit the Vondelpark, one of the stoniest and greenest parks in the world. On the beach in Zandvoort, stop by coffee shop Yanks, order fine cannabinoids, admire the shop’s Indian-theme artwork, and sit on the terrace to smoke bud openly in the sun.
Everybody wants to be high in Holland right now, so booking flights is tough, but it’s worth it. Too many people only visit Holland during November’s Cannabis Cup week, which is a dreary, dark, rainy weather disaster that forces you indoors. During July and August, you can count on long days, smiling sun, and lots of parties.
Cannabis Culture will be giving you a more comprehensive guide to Dutch cannabis tourism in an upcoming issue. We’ll walk you through the procedures necessary to get the most value for your money and avoid the rip-offs and other hassles that can diminish your visit. The basic idea to remember is that Holland is hot in the summer. Get yourself to the Netherlands before the rains come, and have a happy Holland holiday.
For information on coffee shops in haarlem, and for links to dutch cannabis tourism information, visit website www.williewortel.org