PA8W Amateur Radio              

The Netherlands

First, there's some explaining to do:

Netherlands, Holland, and the Dutch people.

Ok, how do I explain this chaos...

Officially, our country is called the Netherlands.
But most people call it Holland.
In fact North Holland and South Holland are two of the twelve provinces in the Netherlands.
So, like England in Great Britain, Holland is no more and no less than a part of the Netherlands.

And now the hard part, the Dutch...
Well, the people living in the Netherlands are called the Dutch.
And we speak the Dutch language = Netherlands language.

This doesn't sound logical but I'll try to explain:

A long time ago, before there were countries and borders, this area of Europe was mainly dominated by German tribes.
(you folks still call our easter neighbours the Germans...)

Later on, out of the German dialects, a common language evolved, the Diets.
The word Diets evolved to "Dutch" and "Deutsch". (Deutschland-Dietsland)
But right now, the Dutch are the Netherlands, and the Deutsch are the Germans.

Did you loose track? Me too...

Whatever, Netherlands, Holland, and the Dutch are the same 17 million people. Period.

The above photo really pictures the history, present and future of the Netherlands; always battling the waters!

Ever since the 14th century, the Dutch (=Netherlands) people tried to secure their wet lands by building dikes.
1400 years before that, a great Roman conquerer wrote home that in Terra Inferior (low-lands) he encountered a tribe of people that had to be  extremely crazy and stubborn to stay in their swampy land, in spite of the constant threat of water from the sea and two big rivers, destroying crops and taking lives.

Nowadays, the Dutch have established a worldwide reputation in water management.

In 1953, the last big disaster struck.
High winds and high tide swept up the waves to unprecedented levels, damaging and breaking numerous dikes.
Big parts of the coastline were flooded in one night and many, many lives were lost.

This disaster triggered a great initiative, the "Delta Works",
a number of impressive projects to strengthen the sea defences.

Now, expecting a rise of the sea level in the near future, the Dutch have to face a new challenge.

The determination and ingenuity of the Dutch will have to provide the answers...

Two nice examples of big projects that have to protect the Dutch coast from the dangers of the North Sea.

So please visit the Netherlands (Holland) if you can, and buy some nice wooden shoes as a trophy and take pictures of the old wind mills.

Or buy a "smoke" in Amsterdam and gaze at our tulips.

We on our turn will make sure you will keep your feet dry during your pleasant stay.

Even if you decide to land on and departure from a piece of the Netherlands that's several meters below sea level,
 (Schiphol Airport)....

Greetings from the Netherlands,

Wil, PA8W