25 June 2008

The Path To The Polders

Riding bikes around here is the best thing going. We haven't been in an automobile once in 2 months. So...now the adventures are getting a little bigger.

First, Addison is riding most everyday. He still has his training wheels, but he's getting it.

Second, we've starting riding out of the city. North from Amsterdam is an amazing day get away to the polders.

The free ferry leaves the docks behind Amsterdam Central and drops you on the north side of the HET IJ . From here you basically go recht for 10 kms, heading east and north. Now, the polders...this is cool.

A polder is a low-lying tract of land enclosed by embankments known as dikes. There are three types of polders:

* Land reclaimed from a body of water, such as a lake or the sea bed;
* Flood plains separated from the sea or river by a dike;
* Marshes separated from the surrounding water by a dike and consequently drained.

Much of Holland Nord is a polder. Moreover, these polders are very old, some dating back to the 11th century. There is a saying here, "God created the world, but the Dutch created Holland".

The history of polders in the Netherlands gets high marks for cooperation and engineering. Apart from Protestant Calvinism, building polders might be the most significant contributor to the Dutch socio-economic model.

The Polder Model is the Dutch version of consensus policy in economics. The term is also used to describe similar cases of consensus decision-making. Consensus policy requires tons of negotiating and compromise which are typical ingredients in their culture.

About the amazing scenery...The Ransdorp tower was the furthest point of travel on this recent outing. The tower is 32 meters high, which makes it by far the tallest thing for 5 kms in any direction. The view is amazing as is the tower.

Malia and I saw a place to have a dinner date in a town called Durgerdam, Cafe De Oude Taveerne.

The little towns are so picturesque it doesn't even seem real. The sail boats, the sheep, the canals, the churches. It really is amazing.

I've also included some FAILE pieces, and an Invader piece from secret locations in Amsterdam . Lastly an effort from the 60's girl group, Jeannie and the Big Guys


flowerlkd said...

i wish i could ride everywhere on a bike....especially with gas prices rising here.....but i can't drive anyways so... : )

tightpants said...

wow, vermeer wasn't making it up as he went huh? those skies are amazing!

stephanie said...

still love the blog... in the first picture of addison he looks just like his aunt kt.... hope she gets to visit soon. i am trying to convince malachite that the joys of a bike is in the power of the wheel... FREEDOM your first flight from the nest. he resisitst most anything i think is a good idea. the kid is hilarious! hoping by summers end we too will be taking longer adventures on our bikes. of course, that is between the driving to and fro. bravo to you guys for you continued explorations. love you guys!
steph and malachite