diamond geezer

 Tuesday, April 29, 2003

Double Dutch

0.25 of the Netherlands - is land reclaimed from the sea.
0.5 of the Netherlands - is land protected from flooding by dykes and dams.
1 historic city - Amsterdam was the largest port in the world in the 17th century.
2 years in hiding - the length of time that Anne Frank spent in the secret annexe at 263 Prinsengracht, now a thought-provoking museum.
4 brands of lager - every bar in Amsterdam sells exactly one of these. There's Heineken, Oranjeboom, Amstel and, erm, the other far less memorable one.
8 seconds of fame - The world-famous Rijksmuseum houses the largest collection of art and history in the Netherlands, including paintings by Vermeer and Rembrandt. On 29 April the main building was closed until further notice as a precautionary measure because asbestos had been found in parts of the museum. We arrived at 11am that morning only to find a journalist from Dutch national television extremely eager to interview us about the closure. We were to be the official tourist reaction to the shutdown. A surprisingly large number of people then came up to us over the next 24 hours saying "Hey, we saw you on the news last night!" It's more fame than Van Gogh ever had in his lifetime.
16 million people - the population of the Netherlands, a country with one of the highest population densities in the world.
32 hectares of flowers - the area of the Keukenhof estate, now a spectacular national park full of tulips, daffodils and hyacinths, open for just two months each spring.

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