I actually had two people get REALLY close to guessing this, and one reader did guess it, so I’m handing out the imaginary internet points like crazy!
The answer to my quiz was Leiden, in the Netherlands (colloquially Holland). This was my first trip to the Netherlands, and it totally blew my mind. I’ve been a cyclist my whole life (I used to joke that I could ride a bike before I could walk, which is not factual but feels factual), but I have never been to a place where cyclists were *in charge* like in the Netherlands. Bikes are the primary mode of transportation there, which was hard for me to comprehend. This had the side effect of making Leiden one of the quietest densely populated cities I’ve ever been to.
Sinking boats in the canals
Apparently, approximately half of the Netherlands is already technically under water, but it is managed well with pumps and levees. Although the first thought that occurred to me was that the Netherlands is in danger of sea levels rising, a friend there told me that in a lot of ways they are better prepared than other countries because they already have systems in place for managing water levels.
Some pretty big ships
I love something about this photo but can’t figure out why it’s so appealing to me
Glass like canal
Some other interesting things about my short trip there. I was told that no credit cards are accepted, and even debit cards are not accepted if they are visa debit cards (because visa is a credit card company).
Also interesting is that I was told that there are no longer post offices. Apparently, some grocery stores send letters and others do not (I never figured this out).
All these windmills are somehow historically related to managing water levels. Leiden has nine windmills, of which I saw four. This is de put.
And this is de Heesterboom.
Never seen a three person tandem!
Don’t know why I took this picture but something about this little concrete park seemed so depressing to me.
Flying out of Amsterdam