In preparation for moving to Holland (in the next few weeks!!), I have surrounded myself with information in the hopes that the transition be as smooth as it could be. Now, I've visited many times and am starting to really get to know the area I'll be making home, but whilst in England I have found that a little studying goes a long way! And to kick off this new style of post I have compiled some interesting facts about the Flatlands!
// image: see-creative //
* The Netherlands often gets call 'the flatlands' as the landscape is super flat (this sounds obvious, but you really won't get HOW flat until you see if with your own eyes, miles of stretched out horizontal horizon and not so much as a hill in sight). Also more than a quarter of the Netherlands lies below sea level leaving the fantastically metropolitan airport Schipol 4.5m under the sea level!
* The people of Holland are said to be the tallest in the world. The average height for a long legged man is 184cm (about 6ft) and for the svelte ladies 170cm (about 5ft 6). Rich is easily 6ft 3, which out right dwarfs my 5ft 1ish…
* One of the most beloved national dishes is raw herring. That's right. Raw. Herring. This dish is eaten by so many people and most enjoyed with chopped onions, smoked herring is also incredibly sought after. One for the lesser strong of stomach; you will find fries in every city and most towns, but remember to request NO mayo, if you aren't a fan. Over in the Netherlands this pairing goes hand in hand unless stated! (And yes, I found this out the hard way, but have since converted!)
* FIETSPADEN! Bicycle paths! Making the most of the structural lay of the land, across the whole of the country you will find a vast network of bicycle paths, making getting around so convenient and ridiculously fun (oh yes, the novelty is very much still there). The Dutch love their bikes and pretty much everybody owns one, from the old to the very young, most kids cycle to school every day- even in the wind and rain. The paths are often painted red but are always sign posted. The paths cover cities and towns and across rural areas and of course national parks. They even provide 'car parks' for your wheels in the cities, holding thousands of bikes. Despite it being the handiest way to get around, there isn't actually a helmet law in Holland (saving awkward hat hair moments?).
* Orange is the new black. Originally due to the House of Oranje leading the Dutch revolt against Spain around the 16th century, and later becoming the Dutch royal family, orange is THE colour of the Netherlands. The official flag is of course, red white and blue (do not mistake this for the French flag…), but for national holidays and sporting events the orange is whipped out and displayed for all to see. The hardcore folks swarm the streets and town centres during these events wearing their finest orange garb, orange face paints, orange flags and lets not forget the orange wigs…
// image: sportiek via pinterest //
I have really enjoyed sharing these few facts with you and would really like to make this a regular feature on my wee blog here. If you have any brilliant facts or info then join the fun and let us know!