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YOUTH BEAT

Land a Deal at Flying Pig in Holland

February 11, 2001|LUCY IZON

From March until May, the Netherlands' countryside explodes in color as fields of tulips bloom. Those who want to explore some of the farmland outside Amsterdam can stay at a new independent youth hostel called Flying Pig, 25 miles from the city, at the beach resort of Noordwijk.

The hostel lends its guests bikes at no charge. The Noordwijk Flying Pig Beach Hostel is 50 yards from the beach and in an area that is known for its woodlands and wild dunes. It's popular for hiking and biking, and in the summer guests can borrow surfboards too. Rooms are shared by two ($20 per person) to 16 travelers ($10 per person).

Noordwijk is 12 miles north of The Hague, where you will find many embassies and the Queen's Palace, and 10 miles northwest of Leiden, the birthplace of Rembrandt and the city where the first Dutch tulips were grown. You reach the hostel by taking a train from Amsterdam or Schiphol Airport to Leiden Central Station, then take bus No. 40 or 42 to Noordwijk and get off at Vuurtorenplein. If you face south, the hostel will be 300 feet to your left. Flying Pig Noordwijk: telephone 011-31-71-362-2533.

The two original Flying Pig hostels in Amsterdam offer their guests free Internet and e-mail services, free breakfasts, free luggage storage and 24-hour security. The Pig Palace is next to Vondel Park at Vossiusstraat 46; tel. 011-31-20-400-4187, and the Downtown Hostel is less than one-third mile from Central Station at Nieuwendijk 100; tel. 011-31-20-420-6822.

Details are available on the Internet at http://www.flyingpig.nl.

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Finding reasonably priced lodgings in London can be a challenge. You don't have to be a student to take advantage of budget lodgings at some student residences, and availability is not always limited to school holidays.

The International Students House at 229 Great Portland St. offers short-stay accommodations. It has three sites with accommodations for more than 550 people in single, twin, triple, quadruple and multi-bed rooms. The nightly rate for a single room is $46, twin rooms are $33 per person, three-bed rooms are $30 per person, four-bed rooms are $26 per person, and a bed in a dormitory room costs $15.

At these rates expect the washroom to be down the hall. A single room with washbasin is $280 for seven nights; a twin room is $208 per person.

Information: Telephone 011-44-20-7631-8300, fax 011-44-20-7631-8315, http://www.ish.org.uk.

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Lucy Izon is a Toronto-based freelance writer. Internet http://www.izon.com.

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