God created the sea, and the Dutch – the shore
Kingdom of the Netherlands (as officially called the country that we are accustomed to calling Holland) consists of three parts: the Netherlands, located in the north of Europe, the Antilles and Aruba Islands in the Caribbean Sea. Kingdom Square – about 42 thousand km2. The capital of the kingdom is considered the city of Amsterdam, but the parliament and the residence of the government are in the Hague.
Netherlands – Constitutional Monarchy. Since the beginning of the XIX century, the Orange-Nassau dynasty rules. Now on the throne – Beatrix, and the heir to the throne is her eldest son – Prince Villem-Alexander.
The population of the country is 15.6 million people. At the same time, the Netherlands are one of the most densely populated countries in the world. Just imagine: one square kilometer accounts for 459 people!
Netherlands mean "Low land". Indeed, the fourth part of the country’s lands is located below sea level. The constant struggle with the sea tempered the character of the Dutch. They love to say that God created the sea, and the Dutch – the shore. And it is almost no exaggeration: so much lands were walked by the sea. You thought that the Dutch of harshs and sullen? Nothing like this! Dutch always do not mind having fun, and especially April 30, on the Queen Day.
Orange sky, orange sea.
Actually, Queen Beatrix was not born at all in April, but in January. But this day is celebrated still not mistaken. April 30 – her mother’s birthday, Ex-Queen Juliana. The fact is that it was on his birthday that she renounced the throne in favor of her daughter. And there was 30 April Coronation Beatrix took place. So truly you can’t say truly – this spring day is a real queen day.
Royal family in the Netherlands Love and revered as anywhere in the world. Each resident considers her duty to have in the wardrobe any orange-colored clothes – the colors of the Royal House Orange Nassau. So on the last day of April, the country turns into an orange sea: everywhere you can see orange garlands of balls, orange ribbons, orange flags and orange clothes. Even people are painted in this bright and joyful color.
The busiest and joyful place – the ladies area before the royal palace. There, the whole day is singing and dance – and youth in breathtaking outfits, and old people in traditional clothes. All those who wish for free are treating national delicacy – herring.
Police is forbidden to interfere in what is happening. And the people are laughing in all grave. Drink and walk until the legs hold and somehow thinks head. In the evening, the groups of people begged, and even trams can not drive through the crowd. "Overflowed" Beer lovers of this drink ranks along the channels. and make it easy. Only barges remain from the means of movement, and they are clogged under the eye. In a word, lit up. Round down the full program, without borders and rules. Ripped as quintessence of local morals, even more – as one of the main wealth of a nation, which is not sin even to broadcast on a huge video screen for those who accidentally pass by.
In Amsterdam, tulips bloom, and the question of the best time for the trip is solved by itself. Spring. Spring! Spring. It was then that the most tender and fragile flowers in the world rise over the greenery of the puddles as wax, as if not susceptible to aging and fading. Velvety, with terry edges, elongated like narrow wine glasses under champagne or, on the contrary, huge and burst, like poppies, they remain in memory forever.
In the Netherlands adore flowers. They are grown in tiny pots, and in huge fields. However, in this matter, the Giantism is rather characteristic of the Dutch. Flowers (and dairy products) make up the basis of Dutch exports. Just imagine: the Netherlands, which account for 0.008% of the surface of the globe, occupy the third place in the world in the export of agricultural products! At the same time, only 5% of the country’s population is working in agriculture.
But the flowers go not only abroad. For a whole year, the Dutch grows flowers for giant floral figures that participate in a flower parade. With a huge inspiration, the participants of the parade are preparing costumes, pick up music. Everything should be ready by the end of April. The road from the city of Alsmeer, where the parade begins, to Amsterdam is quenched by the people. All in the hands of bouquets, wreaths, garlands and even pots with flowers.
The first April parade took place 53 years ago. Cases congratulated Queen Julian on the Day of Coronation. Since then, 10 thousand people and 100 million colors participate in the preparation of the holiday, which has become annual!
Cabin B "three stars"
In Amsterdam whose name means "Dam on Amstel River", Tourists arrive most often through the airport Schiphol, located at the bottom of the former Lake Haralemermermer. So after landing the aircraft turns out to be 4.5 meters lower than ships in the sea! From the airport to the Dutch capital hand. To save time and money, I advise rolling on the train. She is in the blink of an eye to the Central Station. You can wait for wonders. The fact is that the Central Station serves as a kind of barrier between Amsterdam and the Old Harbor Hey. Therefore, on the one hand, he has land, actually a city, and on the other – water without end and edge.
If you are going to come to Amsterdam, it is better to take care of the place where you have to stop. After all, demand for inexpensive accommodation is very large. You can, for example, rent a private apartment with kitchen. Or reserve a quiet cabin on a moored ship: three-star "Amstel Botel" It has 352 rooms (prices are available and insanely romantic). You can also settle in a small guest house on Damraka – the most important street of the city, which connects the Central Station and the Square of Ladies, the heart of Amsterdam.
Thieves skill as artists
Lifestyle in Amsterdam – Noise and Gam. Passersby on the streets entertain around the clock. Circuschi and musicians, fireworks and juggles, gymnasts and flores – who just do not meet in the local places. But only in the crowd of zooak it is better not to smack your mouth and not lose vigilance. Pockets in Amsterdam are as skillful as stray artists. They are just waiting for a convenient case to put into the course of their uncommon talents. But this should be feared in any major city, so Amsterdam is not an exception here.
Local attraction – Amsterdammerier – these are countless columns on the roadway, painted in bright colors and with a mandatory three crosses of St. Andreas (from the coat of arms of the city). These signs prohibiting the parking lot – the eternal memory of the struggle of the ministers of order with motorists. I must say that the struggle is very successful: Currently, old Amsterdam is the territory of pedestrians and cyclists.
People in the Netherlands are extremely polite and contact. In general, the crowd looks pretty Pestro: many Indonesians, black. It seems that more than half of the population are visiting. Therefore, it is also hears English, German, French speech. In this multilingualism, the Flemish language is lost, which in sound reminds English, and in grammar – German.
Amsterdam is perhaps the only city in Europe, where you can freely walk in any clothes and even without it. In the pants you or in the trick – no one will not even pay attention. During walks on the last streets, the hand is so stretching towards the camera. Such colorful specimens, like here, you will not meet anywhere else, excluding only Reker discos Ibiza. And it is not by chance. Amsterdam attracts informals of all kinds. A couple of years ago it was possible to even ask for political asylum in the country, referring to the violation of non-traditional sexual rights.
And life beats the key
Naturally, such an energy charged city, like Amsterdam, never ceases to live at night. In Amsterdam at any time of the day life beats the key. This liveliness (or vitality) is a distinctive feature of the local existence. For what came here "yesterday" and "tomorrow", there is only "today", Drinking truth moments, life woven from a variety "now", Each of which flashes and goes out, like a light on the tip of Bikfordov Cord.
Night in Amsterdam – not at all for rest and sleep. It is with the onset of twilight comes time for the most crazy walk – on entertainment institutions. Someone pulls into the zucchini, someone on the fashionable disco, and someone and the quarter of the red lights.
True, this quarter has long turned from the port "Sustaine", where is the full coil "broken out" Sailors, in quite a respectable attraction for bored tourists. Perhaps this is a kind of local "Disneyland", Where, instead of Mickey Maus, Guests meet a Barbie doll (this is exactly what the overwhelming majority of the world’s most ancient profession looks like). This is based on official excursions. Usually, they begin in small drinking establishments with free glasses and end in the nest of debauchery – narrow (maximum one and a half meter wide!) Lots. In the windows with pink illumination and strict inscriptions "Do not take pictures!" Girls stand. It is hardly taken here to be almost stricter than the beauty contest (sizes 90-60-90 are obligatory), contracts are concluded, give a license for commercial activities and accrue pension. Everything is legally and worthy.
Skinny Bridges and Lord Channels
The most pleasant excursion in Amsterdam is a romantic walk "Grachtam" – water canals that "sparkish" The city is at the islands associated with each other numerous bridges and bridges. In the total combination of channels here, there are about 600, the length of more than a hundred kilometers, the bridges – 1200. The most famous bridge is a white bruges mahore ("Skinny Most"), named so in honor of the sisters Maher, the owner of the land plot on one of the parties of the river.
Channels Singing City Like Threads. In the very center – Channel Single. Next (he was built by merchants in his honor) – Heerendgraht ("Lord Channel"), then – Kaisersgraht ("Channel emperor"), proof in honor of the emperor Maximilian I, and the latest – Princenght ("Channel Princes") in honor of Prince Willem Orange.
Oh, and the hugs of the Netherlands to pancakes!
The main advantage of Dutch "catering" – Not so much taste, as its special chamber and at the same time, the company’s atmosphere, which is described by one difficult to translate the Dutch GEZELLIG speech ("Hisellah").
Circle full-possible tiny cafes, small restaurants, noisy beer. Installations with the inscription "NEERLANDS DIS" Offer a huge selection of Dutch corporate dishes. Be sure to try the herring of fresh ambulance, beans with crispy cracker "Canties" And, of course, cheese. In addition, the truly Dutch is counted (hold on!) pea soup and pancakes. And from drinks can be recommended easy beer Grolsch or the original jenever drink, resembling simultaneously and the Schnaps, and the liquor. Although on the Queen’s Day beverages of the day, no doubt become Heineken beer and Orange Bitter Licker. They are consumed in fantastic quantities, because of which the city turns into a giant trash bunch. There is no corner, wherever crumpled plastic cups and iron beer cans.
Mal pebbles, but like roads
After breakfast or dinner, it’s time to do shopping. Amsterdam offers a choice of numerous eminent department stores and very extravagant tiny shops.
It can be easily seen through a windshield showcase, as the hostess personally produces soap. Or find a bench specializing in toothbrushes, a bench, haired above the roof of the air snakes, a shop selling exclusively cookbooks. In the quarter mirrors you expect cozy antique shops. On the lady, guests receive the oldest store Amsterdam "De Bijenkorf". Next to the Munteren on the single there is a flower bazaar, on WaterlooPlein – flea market.
Traditional places for shopping are Kalverstraat (shoe shops, boutiques, perfumery and cosmetics shops, VROOM department store are located & Dreesmann) and Nieu-Wendijk (he became famous for the Hema department store having a large selection of cheap goods). It is worth keeping in mind that usually shops are open from 9.00 to 18.00, except Sunday. Special work schedule on Thursdays (up to 21.00) and on Saturdays (up to 17.00). On Mondays in the morning of the day off. Trade, as a rule, start only with.
For collectors, you can advise the white-blue china manufactory of de Porceleyne Fles. It is produced in the world’s famous Little town Delft, located near the Hague. And tourists with sufficient above average, definitely, should be asked to diamonds.
Amsterdam Oncewood was considered the capital of diamond fishery. For the first time, workshops appeared here in the XVI century. Now in Amsterdam there are five largest diamond factories: Amsterdam Diamond Center, Coster Diamonds, Gassan Diamonds, Holshuijsen-Stoeltie and Van Moppes Diamonds. Every day they invite tourists for free excursions, during which the guides show in detail and talk about all stages of transformation of a nondescript natural diamond into a shining diamond.
In the small Netherlands, so many interesting things are concentrated that in one trip simply impossible to inspect all the sights. So leave the next time and the famous color park Kkenhof, and the town of Liliputa Mudodam, and a wonderful amusement park Efenceng. Country courageous and very fun residents, wise and good Queen Beatrix – We will definitely come to you again!