Holland, officially known as The Netherlands or as the French say at the Eurovision Song Festival: Pays Bas (usually "nil points"). It is indeed the "low lands" with most of the western side of the country, the provinces Zeeland, Zuid Holland and Noord Holland, having been reclaimed from the sea.
It's an amazing country quite apart from the ingenuity of the reclaimed land. To maintain its prolonged existence below the level of the ever-present North Sea, the "lower" country is surrounded by dykes, some of which were constructed after the major floods of 1953, but most of them have been around for centuries, initially using the windmills to keep the water at bay, but these days replaced by electric pumping stations. There is a lot of history attached to this tiny country and in almost all villages, towns and cities there are magnificently restored buildings form the 16th and 17th Century.
Getting here is easy, as there is a huge airport, Schiphol, with flights from every destination you can think of plus an excellent train network for overland connections to all parts of Europe and also several daily ferry services from Scandinavia and England.
This diary gives just a small taste of all that can be enjoyed in the country as a whole and of course specifically in Amsterdam, famous for more than just the majestic old canal serviced buildings.
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