I suppose that Holland is the country that I’ve visited most over the years. But almost all of those visits have been to the predominantly rural province of Overijssel, to the East. Even the people of Overijssel refer to their country as “Holland”, even though, strictly-speaking, Holland is just another province of the Netherlands, the one that faces the sea. No Scot would say he was English, though.
But, Schiphol airport aside, I haven’t been to Amsterdam since I was about ten years old. I remember it from then as being very clean and very quiet, and also I recall seeing policemen with guns, which was quite scary. One of these things I remembered correctly.
But I’ve long felt a connection with Holland, partly because I tend to look at things from the perspective of a classical liberal, which is how Holland seems to work, and partly because after nearly forty years, I’m still in awe of Rinus Michels, Johan Cruyff, and their team. So it was with great anticipation that I finally visited Amsterdam again, and I wasn’t disappointed. Continue reading