“What is the reason for your visit?” the gentleman asked as he perused our passports.
“We’ve come to see the tulips,” I replied with candor.
What the hell was the name of the country synonymous with tulips and windmills? The obvious suddenly didn't seem quite right for some reason.
My husband doesn’t do inane. He does details: hotels, rental cars, plane tickets, boarding passes, travel itineraries; and all the yard work. He’s a keeper, both home and abroad.
But . . .
Yes, we were seeing Holland and Belgium, at least according to our Vantage River cruise itinerary entitled, Waterways of Holland and Belgium: Tulips, Windmills and Canals. Here's a map of the area courtesy of this link (apparently the bandwidth on the ship's internet service doesn't support uploading jpeg's).
Now, can you tell me what European country we were preparing to enter?
I'll give you a few more hints.
The country's national football song is entitled, "Hup, Holland, Hup."
The official website for the country’s tourism is www.holland.com.
Until the French Revolution, Belgium was part of this country.
Colloquially, the name of this country literally means Low Countries and still typically includes the country now called Belgium.
Are you completely confused?
Good. Misery loves company.
Jimmy and I entered the Kingdom of the Netherlands two days ago via the city of Amsterdam, which happens to be part of the province of North Holland, one of twelve provinces in the Netherlands. When we return home, we’ll re-enter the United States of America via the city of Chicago, which happens to be part of Illinois, one of fifty such states in the United States of America.
Netherlanders can get away with capitalizing on the popularity of their two most populated provinces, North Holland and South Holland, collectively called Holland, but the differentiation is a source of irritation for most of the Dutch living in the other ten provinces, especially when encountering geographically challenged tourists hoping to tiptoe through the tulips.
If the bandwidth issue continues to be a problem, Fun Friday Fotos will be out of the question. Posting will be sporadic for the next week as we pack in as much of Belgium and the Netherlands as possible.