Amsterdam is the capital city of the country of The Netherlands, as well as it’s largest city. It’s name is derived from “Amstiredamme”, meaning a dam built in the river Arristel. The entire city is below sea level, and sits atop wooden stakes. There are more than 150 canals and 1,200 bridges, and it’s sometimes known as the “Venice of the North”.

It was amazing to see all the water and dykes. It’s hard to see how they survive being below sea level but they seem to have that all under control.

The total kingdom of The Netherlands is about 14,413 square miles. The entire country is roughly the size of Massachusetts and Connecticut combined.

Some people call the country The Netherlands, others call it the Kingdom Of The Netherlands and others simply Holland. It’s quite a charming little country. There are thousands of bikes as most people travel by bike. There is very little parking to parking cars is quite expensive. Bikes have the right away over cars and walkers. When you hear the little bell it’s time to get out of the way.

The government is a constitutional monarchy. The monarchy is head of state, but the Prime Minister is the head of the government. The population is about 16.6 million, consisting of Dutch, Indonesian, Surinamese, Turkish and Moroccan.

The countries religion is primarily Roman Catholic, Protestant or Muslim.

The education is free, and compulsory for ages 4 – 16. After 16 a student must attend some form of education for at least 2 days a week. Colleges are also free. We in the USA need to ask how they can educate people for free when Our college students graduate with hundreds of thousands of dollars in dept.

Everyone we met in the Netherlands spoke English. We were amazed to see most people in the Europe do speak English.

If you’ve never been there it’s a very interesting country to visit.


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