As I close in on 100 countries visited in a lifetime of roaming and working abroad, I’m retracing my route towards that “100 Club” and sharing impressions collected along the way.
A naturally flat and featureless landscape need not mean boring. Not when human ingenuity has garnished it with tulips and windmills, creating a living masterpiece as vibrant and quaint as any work by Van Gogh. Neither originated in the Netherlands, but both were drivers of its economy for centuries and have become national symbols that attract countless tourists along with the clog- and cheese-making traditions. During my first visit, as part of a caravanning tour of Europe with my father, I duly sampled said symbols with eyes, mouth and feet! I also recall Amsterdam’s quaint canals, a never-ending boat trip through Europe’s largest port and bicycles everywhere long before the cycling boom back home. I guess it all left an impression as I would return several times later in life.
Photo credit: Nick N A on Shutterstock