Thursday, November 29, 2012

Five images of what you'll find in the Netherlands

Having lived in the Netherlands for the last 6 years we've managed to see quite a lot of what the country has to offer. It's know for being flat and that is true, but escape from the motorways and you'll see that there is a lot to do and see, so much more than just Amsterdam.

Referred to as the Garden of Europe, Keukenhof is situated near Lisse and is the world's largest flower garden. According to the official websire for the Keukenhof Park, approximately 7,000,000 (seven million) flower bulbs are planted annually in the park, which covers an area of 32 hectares. The blend of colours is amazing, a real treat for flower lovers, photographers and tourists from all round the globe.

Ask many people what they think of when asked about the Netherlands and more often than not, you'll hear the word windmills. If this is what you want to see, then you need to head for Zaanse Schans, which is the heart of the Zaan region. This area has typical Zaan houses, buildings and of course windmills. On a windy day, you'll be able to see the windmills working.

Zaanse Schans

So whats next after bulbs & windmills? Its gotta be cheese and in particular Edam cheese. If you visit Zaanse Schans, you'll find that you are only a stones throw away from the home of the famous Edam Cheese. During the months of July & August you can visit the cheesemarket and see how they are sold. Edam is a really pretty town, very relaxed, where you can visit the Edams Museum and enjoy the many historical buildings in the town.

downtown Edam
So, we've covered bulbs, windmills, cheese...what now? Perhaps one of the most famous exports and equally famous Dutch brands is of course Heineken, especially now that James Bond has added it to his list if favoured beverages. You'll find the Heineken Experience in Amsterdam. Why "experience" and not museum? Easy answer, because four levels of interactive expereiences in this former brewery will plunge you into the world of Heineken. See it, hear it, smell it and finally taste it.

Heineken Experience, Amsterdam
Finally, we come to canals & bicycles, the connection between the two? Well, this is a bit weak but when cleaning the canals, one of the most found items in the canals are bikes. Bikes in the Netherlands are a form of transport as the country is covered with bike lanes which reduce the hazards faced by cyclists in most countries. A word of warning, when you visit the Netherlands, watch out for cyclists, especially in Amsterdam as they won't stop if you step out in front of them.

beautiful Delft
To read some more about the cities or places in this post, simply click on the following links; KeukenhofZaanse SchansEdamAmsterdam and Delft