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Published: September 23rd 2007
Well there are definately some perks to working in Greenland...
Apparently the only way out of Greenland in the fall/winter/spring is to fly all the way over to Denmark. As a result you end up flying halfway around the world from westcoast Canada, just to fly right back over Greenland to get home. Doesn’t make much travel sense, but when you think about it, there really isn’t a huge demand for a trip like this.
So to break the traveling up a bit, it was decided to take a few days in the low countries of northern Europe, specifically Netherlands(Holland) and Belgium. Passing through Denmark and Germany en route, we stopped briefly but did not see much more than just the pastoral farmscapes as we circled in the sky…
Myself and a buddy from work set up shop in Amsterdam for 5 days, and what a city it is. It definitely lives up to its reputation as a liberal city, with tolerance being the name of the game here. To sum it up, anything goes here and everything, legal and illegal is easily available for a price. But we found out that Amsterdam is much more than just
an outlet to indulge, as this old city is amazingly beautiful, built around canals and waterways to create serene backdrops as you step around every corner. The photos do justice in what would take many words to properly describe.
Netherlands is the most densely populated country in Europe and almost half the country is at or below sea level. It is a different way of life over there, where the bicycle is king and most young people rarely have a driver’s license before they are 30! Every city and town has well developed bike paths and bicycle parking is at a premium. In Amsterdam for example, you have to search like you’re trying to find car parking in a city just for your bike, there are that many bikes locked up to anything and everything that will accept a lock!
It was also a first time to ride the rails of Europe. Holland has only one airport, and right from below it, you can go anywhere in Holland or Europe on the rail network. It is a whole different way of life when you can go anywhere by rail, eliminating the need for a car which we rely
so heavily on in North America. But then again when you have 16 million people crammed into an area the size of Nova Scotia, you would expect an extensive and efficient transportation network. But whaa, too many people for this hombre. I enjoy my space in the Yukon with a population density of .07 people per square kilometer as opposed to Holland’s 394!!!
I also took a couple day trips, one to a town called Utrect to visit my friend Zoe I met on my travels last year. It is a beautiful, old university town that is bursting with character. We also got away to Belgium for a day and went to Brussels to sample some French, chocolates, waffles and of course beer (Stella Artois anyone?) We somehow managed to stumble right upon a beer festival in front of the European Parliament buildings at 3 in the afternoon, with everyone there well into their cups (not to mention still in their business suits). It sure didn’t take much for us to get in on it! The old buildings such as churches, parliament and palaces are mind blowing here. Seems like ‘bigger is better’ used to be the theme in
Europe until the population caught up with them. What leaves me in awe is that all these buildings are hundreds of years old and still live up to very impressive sizes even today. But when you think of how long ago they were constructed, with no cranes or machines, it really boggles the mind how much work and effort was spent just to completely exert their dominance over the countryside and the people that lived below.
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