The twelve provinces of the Netherlands provide a definite change of scenery after only a few hours of travel. Its romantic cities, like the mythical Delft, enchant the traveller with the beauty of their canals with their changing reflections. Each province has a strong identity and the diversity of the landscapes is surprising. Amsterdam, considered one of the most colourful cities in Europe, is a patchwork of colourful facades, sparkling signs and colourful markets with fragrant flowers. Along the canals of Holland, Friesland and Zeeland centuries of history still ooze from the palace stone. Another source of uprooting is the incredible ability to unite the old and the new. Thus, architectural monuments of the Golden Age are intertwined with the most innovative creations of the greatest contemporary architects. Amazing and fascinating contrasts, of which we must take the full measure, leaning for example against the counter of an ultramodern bar while tasting a glass of juniper, a national alcohol distilled according to a know-how inherited from the 17th century. And don't forget the modernity of some cities like Eindhoven and Rotterdam, which add key elements to the Dutch patchwork.
An international culture :
The culture of this country is very rich and still shines today thanks to the right balance between traditional Dutch culture and the influences of its many former colonies. The Dutch are very frequent travellers and, influenced by their travels, they are very often curious and open to the rest of the world. Even if French is less and less taught at school, they will always be happy to help you on your travels and sometimes even in the language of Molière.
© Dominique Auzias & Jean-Paul Labourdette