As of January 1, 2020, “Holland” — the storied land of wooden shoes, windmills, bicycles, and tulips — is no more.
Did it finally succumb to flooding, with little Dutch children no longer able to stick their fingers in the dykes to hold back the rushing waters?
No, the country isn’t disappearing, just its commonly used monniker.
It seems that the name “Holland” has fallen victim to a government rebranding effort designed to ease overtourism in Amsterdam and its nearby tourist magnets such as The Hague, Delft, and Haarlem, all part of historical Holland.
The official name of the country — the Netherlands — encompasses more than historical Holland, and the Dutch government is spending €200,000 on the rebranding so that tourists will expand their horizons and visit its… Continue reading
According to a recent survey of 40 countries around the globe conducted by motor home rental site SHAREaCAMPER, the Netherlands has the most adventurous people per capita, followed by Australia and Sweden.
The survey tabulated the number of online searches in each country for such adventurous activities as skydiving, bungee jumping, hiking, rock climbing, skiing, surfing, BMXing, and caravanning — the latter being what Australians (where SHAREaCAMPER is partially based) call traveling in RVs, campers, or motor homes.
Strictly in terms of sheer numbers of total searches, the United States placed first, but of course has a much higher population than the other countries. The U.S. finished ninth in the per capita rankings.
While the Netherlands was outdone in skiing by Norway and Australia in surfing (no surprises there), Switzerland in… Continue reading
Sixth in a Series
When it comes to cruising, you can usually divide people into two camps: those who like big ships and those who like small ships.
On our recent “Magical Lake Michigan” cruise with Blount Small Ship Adventures, I don’t know how many times I heard other passengers say they would never take a big ship cruise.
The notion of traveling on a floating city of 2,000-6,000 people just didn’t interest them.
Small Ships Vs. Large
Cruising on a small ship — usually defined as one carrying 200 or fewer passengers (though often far less) — does have plenty of advantages:
* Getting on and off the ship takes virtually no time, while on a big ship, you often have to wait in long lines to do either.
Is there a better place in the world for baby boomers to take to bicycles than The Netherlands?
The country is mostly flat. It’s also incredibly scenic. Distances are short. There are bike paths everywhere. And just about everyone else is on a bike, too.
Here are some amazing stats:
* Holland has 18 million bicycles — 1.5 million more than inhabitants. And 84 percent of the Dutch population owns at least one bike.
*Holland has some 18,000 miles (29,000 kilometers) of cycling paths and nearly 3,000 miles (4,700 kilometers) of roads have special lanes for cyclists.
* There are at least a dozen different types of bicycles in Holland, according to the Netherlands Board of Tourism. You’ve heard of mountain bikes,… Continue reading