We Are Party People
I used to live 25km away from the city of Maastricht, so it was difficult for me to count the number of times I visited the Netherlands. I had numerous interesting encounters from my earliest memories of customs controls when I was still a kid to my weekly cycling trips.
In my opinion, it is a crime to miss the carnival season in the country – especially the one that takes place in Maastricht in February. It is one of the largest Dutch festivals, and the party is the largest when it starts on Sunday, and goes on for three days until Mardi Gras. Costumed parades, outdoor concerts and dances... Maastricht celebrates until Ash Wednesday! My father always used to say that the Dutch know how to enjoy themselves.
It was difficult to sum Amsterdam up in one trip. I had the opportunity to visit the city over 3 times for its architecture, history and its unique atmosphere.
The festivities in Amsterdam are themed according to the season – art in the spring, music in the summer and a parade, parties and the Grachtenfestival (festival channels) in the fall. Not to mention the football matches of the national team in the country.
So many times...
Did you know...
- Holland and the Netherlands are not synonymous. Holland is only a small part of the Netherlands (two provinces out of 12), although the most densely populated.
- The Dutch are the tallest people in the world, with an average height of 184 cm for men and 170 cm for women.
- The Dutch national anthem, Wilhelmus, is the oldest in the world. It was written and used from 1568.
- The national flag of the Netherlands dates back to 1572 and is the oldest tricolor in the world.
- The gin was invented in the Netherlands under the name jenever. Basically, the drink was sold as a medicine in the late sixteenth century.
- The Dutch were the first Europeans to discover Australia and New Zealand in the seventeenth century. Australia was then called "New Holland". New Zealand was named after the province of Zealand. Tasmania was named after the Dutch explorer Abel Tasman (1603-1659).
- The Netherlands has two capitals: Amsterdam (the official capital of the constitution since the nineteenth century) and The Hague (seat of government and the first capital since 1584).
- The Dutch company "Philips" invented the audio cassette (1967), video tape (1972), the compact disc (in 1982) and CD-ROM (1985).
- Tulips were originally imported from the Ottoman Empire and became very popular in Holland in the early seventeenth century.
- KLM (Royal Dutch Airlines) is the airline that flies the longest in the world. It was founded in 1919.