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Amsterdamse Bos Park

Posted: Saturday, August 04, 2012
Amsterdamse Bos Park
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Although many people visit Amsterdam to enjoy a relaxing experience with the Dutch government's liberal marijuana laws, the city also houses some delightful infrastructure, entertainment, and tourist attractions. The Amsterdamse Bos, for example provides a lovely and expansive setting for strolling, camping, canoeing, skiing, and simply taking in some Holland air. It is also, however, a stunningly scenic place to get high.

A 1.25 x 3.1 mile city-owned park, the Amsterdamse Bos unfurls before its visitors a panoply of sweeping forests and wooded areas, 85 miles of walking paths, 32 miles of bike trails, 50 bridges, and one manmade mountain, called De Heuvel, for winter snow fun. It reigns as Europe's largest city park, welcoming over 7 million outdoor and space cake enthusiasts annually.

The Amsterdamse Bos also welcomes naked people. Within the park, a secluded 12-acre plat called Zonneweide opens to grassy knolls and shaded nooks happy to receive sun-soakers in their birthday suits. While there are no lakes or pools for quick dousings--or public restrooms for quick bladder-relievings--anyone in need of a shot of Vitamin D should be pleased with the Zonneweide spread.

The "woodsing" of the Amsterdamse Bos was a calculated undertaking originally spearheaded in the 1920s. Architects of the park's Boschplan envisioned thousands of trees covering its grounds, enhancing the beauty of surrounding Amsterdam, Amstelveen, and Aalsmeer, and allowing citizens a nearby escape from daily urban life. In 1934, tree planting proposals both moved from paper to soil, and gave 20,000 unemployed Dutch work during a period of economic crisis for the country. The project spanned 23 years, with the last tree taking root in 1967. Today, 150 indigenous species of trees, and over 200 species of birds call the Amsterdamse Bos thuis.

Park admission is free. Daily visitors' center hours run from 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., with Monday closures.

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