My Holland Days

In the Land of Tulips, Cheese, and Windmills

" A little place fit for frogs’ ( ‘kelin kikkerlandje’) "

 

Land and Water

 The People

The Cities

Culture & Education

Typically Dutch

Places to Visit             

Amsterdam

Keukenholf

Bergers Zoo

Dolphinarium

Madurodam

 

 

 

 

  I am an alumni of ITC ( International Institute for Geoinformation Science and Earth Observation) The Netherlands. I was in ITC during September 2002 to March 2004. ITC is a very pleasant place to be. It is located in a small city called Enschede, about 160 km east from Capital city Amsterdam ( 2 ½ hour Train Journey) and very near to Germany border (2kms). Enschede is a tiny little city with about 150,000 population on the eastern border of the country, but very well connected with train and road transportation to all parts of Netherlands as well as few important destinations in Germany. People are very friendly and Majority of the people speak English. Dutch is the official language.     

Country and the People :

The Netherlands is a very beautiful little country in the European part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, which consists of the Netherlands, the NetherlandsAntilles, and Aruba. On a world Map, the Netherlands is very small indeed. It is a constitutional monarchy, located in northwestern Europe. To the east Netherlands borders Germany, to the south Belgium, and  bordered by the North Sea to the north and west. You can drive longest distance from north to south in mere four hours. ).  Northern city Groningen to Southern most city Maastricht, it is 240-250km and West coast (Amsterdam) to eastern border town Enschede, it is about 160km. Several features of the landscape will strike you immediately. To start with, it is extremely flat. In the southeast corner of the country there are few hills, but even those hills barely infringe on the broad, unbroken expanse of sky that is so characteristic of Dutch landscape painting.

The Netherlands is a densely populated and geographically low-lying country. Some 15.4 million people live in an area of about 40,000 square kilometers. This means an average density of 377 people per square kilometer. This is just an average if you realize that 60 per cent of the population lives on an area that covers one-sixth of the country. This is the west Holland conurbation known as the Randstad, which is defined by drawng a line connecting Amsterdam,The hague,Rotterdam, and Utrecht. The Randstad has a density of more than  1000 people per square kilometer.

The Netherlands is popularly known for its windmills,cheese, clogs (wooden shoes), delftware and gouda pottery, dikes, tulips, bicycles, and social tolerance. Also well-known are its liberal policies toward drugs, prostitution, gay rights, abortion and euthanasia. There are no obstacles to the wind, which is an almost constant feature. Water is everywhere- lakes, canals of many types ranging from the large transport arteries for barge traffic to the narrow drainage ditches that criss-cross the fields where Holland’s millions of cows graze, making fences unnecessary. T

The Netherlands has a temperate maritime climate with cool winters and mild summers. It can get pretty drizzly here, especially in autumn and spring when it can seem as though it's going to be grey forever. But because the Netherlands is so flat, changes sweep through quickly when the wind starts to blow. Precipitation (79cm a year) is spread rather evenly over the calendar, and spring is marked by short, violent showers. Winter can get bitingly cold.

Clothes

Cool weathers, Mild winters; This is typical of the marine climate you would predict for Holland after looking at a map and seeing its position at the edge of the North sea. Dutch weather can be unpredictable. A day that starts out sunny can end with rain and wind - or vice versa- so wise people learn to dress in layer which they can add or shed as the day changes.

   In the winter( December - February), there are notmany days belowfreezing, and snow very rarely accumulates. Because it is often wet and windy, you will need a warm winter coat and at least one woollen sweater. During 2003 -04 winter cold was penetrating, during my M.Sc days in ITC and there was heavy snow fall in Enschede on 2-3 occassions.  I remember the temperature was as low as -20 Deg C during a day in Dec-Jan 2004. For more than a week the temperature was in around -10 Deg C and I experienced broken nose and blood clot inside the nose due to dry and chilly wind. During winter the days are very small. Hardly you will see the sunrise. Till 10.00am in the morning you can see vehicles moving on the road with headlights on and by 3.30-4.00pm in the evening it will be very dark.

In the summer months, June to August, there will be a few fairly hot days. Temperature in and around 25-28 Deg C is considered a heat wave.Days are so long that even at 11pm in the night you can see bright light. Sunrise will be as early as 4.00am.