My native country for your eyes

Returning after travelling sometimes can sometimes feel like a huge missing. I often escape the native country for reasons that it is
  1. too small
  2. too flat
  3. too little nature
  4. in combination with too many people
However, meeting friends in other places sometimes helps.

After my last visit to Brazil I was bound to make pictures in order for my Brazilian friends to see one day.

The positive of this is that you can actually see your native country from tourist and wondering eyes.

Let's see a tiny bit of the eyes I want to show my friends of what Holland would be like:

Leiden: gracht
Water is all around. I think Dutch people have a plenitude of ways to let water flow in different ways and in different manners, and almost every river-like composition has a different name.

We have grachten, kanalen, rivieren, beekjes, stroompjes, watertjes, diepten, sloten, meren, zeeën, and this is just a short bit of ways how we call the different water-ways.


The Hague: public flowers on the Muzenplein

It's a bit of a cliché to connect Holand with flowers, but we do have a lot of them in different places.

I remember the time when I stepped in the wrong bus in Brazil (Pipa) and ended up in a strange village in the middle of nowhere. The bus-boys didn't look too reliable in order to ask them if they would bring be back (actually, they looked a bit threatening to me and I just did as if I really needed to be at that place and walked away as fast from them as I could).

Anyway, it was around sunset and I was in the middle of nowhere as a recognizable white woman, alone.

Happily, a couple offered me a ride and I hesitantly stepped in. Good for me they were nice and reliable, and the woman told me she planned to visit Holland especially for a flower-arrangement course!

Conclusion of this story: don't take the wrong bus in a strange country and never doze off. And people connect Holland with flowers, rightfully!


Harbourside IJmuiden

Connect the waters with the flowers, and you get export! As a country on the seaside, we export a lot and our harbours are one of the biggest in the world, exporting flowers or as the bridge between Europe (especially the Germans). Rotterdam is the biggest harbour of Holland. This is just IJmuiden, but still big enough.

Windmill outertown Leiden

Windmill central Leiden

I couldn't pass upon one of the biggest clichés: Windmills. The are not really as necessary as they used to be, but they have been the things to keep the water from the land, and they created Holland as it is today. Plus, they are quite beautiful and functional in a environmentally clever way.

Modern windmills:

Clever technology that cooperates with nature. Holland always has some wind, and we create extra energy like this.

Dutch People:

Utrecht Oudegracht

One of the biggest clichés is that Dutch people are all blondes. This picture has both a (bottle) blonde and a brunette featured. Still, a considerable part of native Dutchies have light-haired children, that gets darker when they get older, so quite some women and men like to re-create their childhood hair with the odd bleach. Personally, I have always been a brunette due to my dads almost black hair so there is not recreating childhood by bleach for me. I did inherit his piercing blue eyes.

Repetition of the previous theme: Waterway in Utrecht
Utrecht: Canals are not only in Amsterdam

 Dutch candy and delicious food, also with some French influence:

Sweetshop in Utrecht

Edible Louis Vuittons in Amsterdam sweetshop
Chocolate heels: Belgium Chocolate
Dutch cooking isn't really known for fabulous warm dinners, but we sure make some delicious varieties of sweets, cookies, cakes, especially around Autumn (due to Sinterklaas, a sort of contorted Christmas). Oh, and we like to borrow from the close neighbours, so we know a bit about Belgium chocolates and the French Macarones...

Sometimes, you find the cliché image around

I found this brilliantly costumed woman in the train. She is in traditional Dutch outfit, probably for some promotional business. I like how she is engaged with her mobile phone, so techology meets traditional costume.

The Weather:

Amsterdam Central train station

Amsterdam: bring your raincoat or umbrella

Amsterdam: children are protected against rain as well

The same woman who gave me a ride in the middle of nowhere asked me about the weather in June (or July). I basically could say: 'anything can happen between about 8 and 32 degrees celcius. And seriously, the pictures above were made in June 2011, the time she was planning to visit Holland.

One thing, prepare for rain, whether it is by raincoat, raincape, umbrella or wellies. Being soaked by rain doesn't feel pleasant when you still have a lot of sightseeing to do.

Too much Dutch candy? Hop on your bike:

Amsterdam, woman on her bike
Portable Latte Machiatto

This sight you will see a lot in Holland, people on their bikes. Everyone cycles in Holland and owns (at least) one bycycle. I believe Holland even has more bycycles than people.

Yes, even when it rains like the pictures before, we just wear more plastic around us and sit in front of the central heating to dry up all the parts that got wet....

Last, Brazil is in Holland as well:

Utrecht: flag of Brazil

You just have to look for it...And yes, there are Capoeira groups too...

And this is just a selection....

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