Saturday, January 19, 2008

What the Netherlands is Famous For

Tulips â€" this is one of the things that come into mind when we think about the Netherlands. From the end of March till the end of May the Keukenhof flower garden (located near the town of Lisse) gathers visitors for the most fantastic flower show in the world. Flower plantations stretch all over the coast. In spring the whole district is covered with a multicoloured carpet more than 17500 hectares big. Almost half of it is tulips. First tulip bulbs were brought here from Turkey and Central Asia. Netherlands, with its sandy coastal soil, proved to be ideal for tulip planting, and pretty soon these flowers got extremely popular â€" one bulb could cost as much as some mansion by the Amsterdam canal. Later the flower market fell into decay, but in the 18th century it was in bloom again. Nowadays the Netherlands is the world’s largest flower exporter. There are more than 7,5 billion tulip bulbs gathered in the country every year, and a great amount of them is sold abroad. The Netherlands is also renowned for its excellent cheese; it’s the largest cheese exporter in the world. The most famous cheese sorts are Edam and Gouda, both produced of cow s milk. One of the most famous local cheese markets is found in Alkmaar, opened every Friday morning from April till October. The market still follows the rules of 1672, and the trade is carried out according to the ancient traditions: first the customer chooses sort of the cheese he wants to buy and then the seller and the client clap each others hands (one after another) until they agree upon the price. After the bargaining is over, cheese is brought to the weighing house (Waag). Clogs. Initially clogs (wooden shoes) were traditional Dutch footwear worn by the common people. Only the richest citizens could afford more expensive and convenient shoes. Still, the Netherlands produce more than 3,7 million clogs a year. Citizens don’t wear them any more, but people working in the country sometimes do â€" they are warmer and drier than simple rubber boots. Former clogs were also a part of traditional clothes by which people could define where a person comes from. Most beautiful clogs are produced in Hindeloopen, Friesland. Windmills. During the Roman times the Dutch coast was covered with sand drifts and vast swamps. Long time has passed since this place was turned into the wonderful “water country”. For years and years people were struggling to drain the territory and much contribution was made by the windmills. Now many of them are found in Dutch villages and cities. Windmills were invented in the middle of the 16th century to help pump the water up to the higher level. This was a true break-though which helped manage with the disaster. From this point people could causeway the territory around the lake, pump water from it and start cultivating the soil. Sometimes the mills were built in a row, forming a staircase. The worse the situation with the territory was, the more windmills were built. Many of them were erected south-east of Rotterdam since the district, Albrandswaard, is edged with the Rhine inflows. When these measures were not enough, people started creating reservoirs. One of the most famous Dutch reservoirs is found in Kinderdike. The reservoir is really huge and surrounded with 19 windmills, which makes it a spectacular view. You can go to Rotterdam hotels reservation to book a room in Rotterdam hotel. - online hotel reservation.

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