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Netherlands literally means “lower countries” in reference to its low elevation and flat topography, with only about 50% of its land exceeding 1 m above sealevel. Most of the areas below sea level, known as polders. The city of Rotterdam is the busiest seaport in Europe. Amsterdam Schipol Airport is the third busiest in Europe. Netherlands are the second most densely populated in the EU it is the world’s second-largest exporter of food and agricultural products by value, owing to its intensive agriculture and inventiveness.
Being Dutch born I have been asked what the difference between Holland and the Netherlands is. To be honest I did not know. After investigating I am told the following. The Netherlands consists of twelve provinces all together they are called the Netherlands. The two provinces called Noord and Zuid Holland together are called Holland. When you think The Netherlands you think of Cheese, Tulips and Windmills and this you find all around Holland. Holland is a flat country hence perfect for cycling and walking. Once the sun comes out the Dutch love to be outside on footpath dining/drinking areas, The Dutch beautiful beaches have hundreds of beach pavilions. Hundreds of lakes, canals small rivers, creeks are full of day trippers, boats and in winter when the weather turns cold enough, ice-skating enthusiasts can register for the elfstedentocht (eleven city tour) This route on natural ice takes you to eleven Friesian cities. If there is no ice, the cities are well worth a visit even when the weather is good. With so much water the Netherlands is always at risk of flooding. Measures to stop this are the Afsluitdijk and the Delta works both very much worthwhile visiting. Like every country The Netherlands have its own specific public holidays and traditions. Kings Day is a national Holiday celebrated in the streets with many music arts and markets. Not to mention party times in the many bars. Sinterklaas also known as Saint Nicholas, He can be recognized by his eye-catching red cape and his long white beard. He arrives every year around mid-November on a steamboat full of presents together with his black helpers referred to as zwarte piet (Black Pedro) he is black is from the soot while he climbs up and down all the chimneys. Sinterklaas rides across rooftops on its white horse Americo kids place food for the horse in their shoes next to the chimney which black Pedro comes down in to pick this up and in return he places sweets for the kids. Great children’s time just a shame that the many foreigners now arriving in Holland now see this real Dutch tradition as racism? Having travelled around the world I have always respected all cultural and religious even if some where very odd for us? Why can’t those who decide to live in Holland cannot do the same? You may ask yourself the question if you do not like the culture, religion or celebrations why not move to a country where you do appreciate the religion, culture, or national celebrations.
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