excerpt____________The ubiquitous bicycle adds a sense of light-minded frivolity to the Dutch streetscape. So many spinning wheels like carnival wheels spinning by: A man in a three-piece suit; a miniskirted woman in heels; a cellist shouldering his instrument; packs of kids peddling to school; mothers with children front and back; an elderly man peddling apace who has no need for his cane now. Even Her Majesty the Queen rides a bike in Holland. It is a low green country with a tall blue sky, dissected by four great rivers: the Rhine, the Lek, the Waal, and the Maas. A land where light is as elemental as water and nearly as tangible. A place of irresistible contrasts; of pragmatists and poets, philosophers and politicians; a charmed and resourceful nation of industrious dreamers and worldly provincials, whose most biting critic is likely to be one of its most beloved comedians.
Meghan Ferrill