Friday, 2 October 2009

Flat? Where?

When foreigners are asked what they know about the Netherlands, the answers are usually something like this: windmills, tulips, clogs, bikes, drugs, red light district in Amsterdam. Oh, and flat, very very flat!

Well, yes, the country is very flat. For the most part anyway, because where I am right now is anything but flat. Last night we were staying in the smallest mountain village of the Netherlands. It is also the only one and not even that is really true. The highest point of the Netherlands is in Vaals, which is about 15 km from where I am right now. That point measures 322 meters above sea level (in comparison: I live 4,2 meters below sea level). So, technically it's not even a mountain. For some people that would be a mole's hill. But for us? It's a mountain!

Now, I didn't go there today, although I would have liked that. The group I have with me is now golfing. Farmer's Golf! Up a mountain!! I wonder who will win...

Anyway, now you know why I sometimes introduce myself as a mermaid, you know the Netherlands aren't completely flat and by the way: I don't live in a windmill, I just bought some tulips, I do own a pair of clogs which I use when working in the garden, I bike almost everywhere, the ladies of the red light district pay taxes, have a union and can retire at age 65 and I have never ever taken drugs (not counting aspirin).


  1. That's a pretty picture, it's not flat! I am not a fan of the red light district!!!

  2. Our Prairies aren't as flat as people think either.

  3. And we also have the Holterberg! And the Markelose Berg. Just to mention a couple of other 'mountains' ;-)
    I have never taken drugs either! We must be the most boring women in the Netherlands, hehe. I was born and raised in Amsterdam and when I was 15 we moved to Drenthe. My classmates there were amazed that I had never been stabbed. Because as soon as you leave the train in Amsterdam you've got a knife in your back. I kid you not! That's what they thought ;-) I can't walk on clogs.


Any weighty (and not so weighty) comments are welcome!