Population: 14.4 million (2018 estimate)
Religion: Non-religious (51%), Catholic (21%)
Order of Visit: 12
First Visit: 6 May 2006
Last Visit: 10 May 2006
Duration: 5 Days
Must Do: Stunning flowers at Keukenhof, Model Town of Madurodam, Amsterdam Red Light District, Anne Frank House, Bike ride around Amsterdam, Marijuana Cafes
Cities: Amsterdam, Keukenhof, Deft, The Hague, Madurodam
Netherlands Journal Entries
The Netherlands was formed after breaking away from the Spanish and has a total land area of 41,528 km. The Netherlands is geographically very low relative to sea level and is considered a flat country, with about 26% of its area and 21% of its population located below sea level. As a result the Netherlands has had to become excellent at flood control and has constructed many dykes, dams and floodgates to protect the low laying areas but face an uncertain futures.
The Netherlands were able to remain neutral during World War I, in part because the import of goods through the Netherlands proved essential to German survival, until the blockade by the British in 1916.
However in World War II Nazi Germany invaded the Netherlands on 10 May 1940. The Rotterdam Blitz forced the main element of the Dutch army to surrender four days later. During the occupation, over 100,000 Dutch Jews were rounded up and transported to Nazi extermination camps; only a few of them survived.
I only backpacked around the Netherlands for 5 days but found it a very enjoyable experience. While I was aware of the Netherlands being famous for tulips but the colours were almost overwhelming to my sights and smell senses and I’d highly recommend visiting during the blooming season.
The legal industries that are illegal in most countries after worth visiting and experiencing (to a point) in particular the legal marijuana cookies were an extremely peaceful and floating experience. The sex industry, in particular the shows and museums exposed a side of human nature that is often hidden and seen as shameful, being in a place were this is not the case can be shocking to some or at least eye opening.
I loved the big use of bike riding as a mean of transportation and the beautiful canals with there narrowboats and Dutch barges.