Placeholder Image

字幕表 動画を再生する

  • Hi, I'm Rick Steves,

  • back with more of the best of Europe.

  • The people here claim

  • if you stand on a chair

  • you can see all across their country.

  • This is the Best of the Netherlands.

  • Thanks for joining us.

  • Traveling here, it's easy to see

  • how the Netherlands is a lot like its people --

  • efficient, a good balance of old and new,

  • hard work and fun, innovation and tradition.

  • Even with a dense population

  • and an ongoing battle with the sea,

  • the Dutch are warm and even-keeled.

  • We'll cruise through a mighty port,

  • go for an old-fashioned sail,

  • and visit the ultimate flower market.

  • We'll marvel at Dutch masters,

  • smoke some eels,

  • pull out all the stops on an unforgettable organ,

  • and start up a classic windmill.

  • In the west of Europe is the Netherlands,

  • with 12 provinces including North and South Holland.

  • Everything we'll see is within an hour of Amsterdam.

  • We'll sail what was the Zuiderzee,

  • blocked off by long dams,

  • explore characteristic towns from Delft to Rotterdam

  • and Haarlem to Marken, with lots in between.

  • Most Dutch travel dreams are set in the area called Holland,

  • and that's where we'll be spending most of our time.

  • Like many fortified old cities,

  • Delft, welcomes you with the twin towers of its city gate,

  • graced by an old drawbridge and a canal moat.

  • It's delightful architecture recalls the Golden Age --

  • the 17th century pinnacle of Dutch trade and sea power.

  • Quaint scenes line intimate canals.

  • It's Thursday, and that means market day in Delft.

  • In towns all over the Netherlands,

  • main squares become thriving markets one day a week.

  • It's late June,

  • and the Herring are in season.

  • And every market comes with a cheesemonger,

  • almost evangelical about the tastiness of Dutch cheese.

  • Ask a question and you're in for an education

  • complete with samples.

  • This is young -- how young is this?

  • Um, about four to six weeks.

  • So, tell me about this one.

  • Four and a half years old, hand-made and quite strong.

  • We have -- sometimes is, we have them even older.

  • I like that -- give me a glass of port and this is my dessert.

  • Towering over the square is the church,

  • with its brick steeple rocketing skyward.

  • And facing that, overseeing the town's commerce

  • as it has for nearly a thousand years,

  • is the City Hall.

  • Much of the Netherlands is built on soggy land.

  • The City Hall, with its heavy stone jail,

  • was built on the most solid land in town.

  • The leaning church, just down the canal,

  • not so much.

  • The town's historic canals both drained the land

  • and provided a transportation network for barges.

  • Today, the old barges are retired --

  • many are permanently moored

  • in front of cafes and restaurants

  • for outdoor dining.

  • Over the centuries, these little canals

  • shipped out countless barge loads

  • of the town's famed earthenware.

  • Delftware is famous all around the world.

  • Royal Delft, the oldest surviving workshop,

  • established back in the 1600s,

  • welcomes visitors to drop in and see how it's made.

  • Visitors to the factory follow the process.

  • First, the liquid clay is poured into plaster molds.

  • When dry, it's removed

  • and the seams are smoothed off.

  • Then it's baked.

  • And then, lovingly painted by hand.

  • A mesmerizing scene unchanged for centuries.

  • After being glazed to fix the paint,

  • it's baked a second time

  • during which the paint turns blue.

  • That's the secret of Royal Delft Blue since 1653.

  • The finished product -- this highly valued earthenware.

  • Rooms of historic Delftware show off this art.

  • This table setting is laid out

  • as if it was the home of a wealthy person here in Delft.

  • The Netherlands is small -- smaller than West Virginia --

  • and the most densely populated country in Europe.

  • Most of the country is below sea level,

  • reclaimed with great effort over many generations from the sea.

  • That's why they like to say,

  • "God made the world, but the Dutch, we made Holland."

  • This is polder land.

  • Much of it once covered by the sea,

  • it was encircled by dikes and dams and then drained.

  • To pump out all that water,

  • the Dutch used one of their leading natural resources --

  • the wind.

  • For centuries, the Dutch built windmills.

  • Over a thousand survive, and many still work.

  • Some welcome visitors interested in a peek at

  • the clever engine

  • that powered the creation of this land.

  • I'm standing on reclaimed land, 12 feet below sea level.

  • The challenge for the Dutch --

  • to keep this land dry by pumping water uphill.

  • Many windmills used their wind power

  • to turn an Archimedes' screw, like this,

  • which, by rotating in a tube,

  • lifted water up and over the dike.

  • To catch the desired amount of wind,

  • millers, like expert sailors,

  • know just how much to unfurl the sails --

  • or furl them back, as necessary.

  • Mills are built with sturdy oak timber frames

  • to withstand the constant tension.

  • These timbers have stood strong since the 1600s.

  • When the direction of the wind shifts,

  • the miller turns the cap of the building --

  • which weighs many tons -- to face the breeze.

  • As he spins the winch,

  • it all slides on these wooden roller bearings.

  • Then, with a hefty chain,

  • he anchors it in the correct spot.

  • As the wooden cogs connect,

  • wind becomes clean power,

  • Archimedes' screw rotates, and the water spirals up.

  • The Dutch had long eyed what was the vast inland Zuiderzee

  • as a source of new land.

  • This 18-mile-long dam was built as one of many steps

  • in turning that sea into farmland.

  • The master plan --

  • cordon off sections of the shallow sea

  • with hundreds of miles of dams and dikes like this.

  • Then, by draining each section dry,

  • piece by piece, build a bigger country.

  • These fields were once

  • the bottom of that wide-open sea.

  • Gradually, land was reclaimed,

  • and today the Netherlands is

  • twice the size it was 400 years ago.

  • Because of this reclamation,

  • what had been fishing villages on little islands --

  • like Schokland -- are now high and dry mounds

  • rising above fertile farmland.

  • Behind this sturdy stone-and-wood seawall,

  • this tiny community once harvested the sea.

  • In its day, this cannon warned visitors of a high tide.

  • I'm standing below sea level.

  • I know that because I picked up a handful of dirt

  • and it came with some shells --

  • and this marks sea level

  • according to the official Amsterdam measure, zero.

  • Imagine, a couple generations ago,

  • this buoy bobbed in the harbor.

  • What was the bottom of the sea is now productive farmland.

  • The salty seabed soil,

  • with a mix of rain, sunshine, and clever crop rotation,

  • eventually becomes extremely fertile.

  • One thing the polder soil grows particularly well

  • is flowers.

  • And here at the Aalsmeer flower auction, it's clear --

  • flowers are big business in Holland.

  • Visitors are welcome in this,

  • one of the world's largest commercial buildings.

  • They witness millions of dollars in the trafficking of flowers.

  • In its auction halls,

  • hundreds of wholesalers bid on trainloads of flowers

  • as they roll by.

  • To get the flowers out as fresh as possible,

  • everything happens fast,

  • including the bidding.

  • A "Dutch auction" is speedy

  • because the prices go from high to low.

  • Batches of flowers are sold to the first buyer

  • to press the button.

  • Buyers must be lightning-quick --

  • it's the only way to sell so many flowers in one morning.

  • Strolling the fragrant catwalk,

  • it's fun to peer down on the action.

  • They boast that fresh flowers go from cutting in the fields

  • to flower shops anywhere in Europe within 24 hours.

  • Workers scramble to get each buyer's purchase assembled

  • on a train and shipped out.

  • The Dutch are the world's leading flower exporters --

  • 80% of these flowers are going abroad.

  • Every day from this building, 20 million flowers are shipped,

  • destined to make someone's day.

  • The industrious heritage of the Dutch people

  • is evident in its many historic cities.

  • Haarlem is a "Dutch masters" kind of town

  • with plenty of 17th-century architecture.

  • The town gate,

  • no longer needed as part of its fortification,

  • welcomes all into a delightful Old Town.

  • Haarlem's market square -- traffic-free since the 1960s --

  • has been the town's focal point for centuries.

  • The herring stand is a standard feature

  • of small town squares throughout Holland.

  • Hello, is it herring time now? Are these fresh?

  • That's fresh, it's now herring season.

  • -RICK: In the summertime? -Yeah, summertime.

  • RICK: So, what are my options?

  • The options -- outside of Amsterdam,

  • they grab it from the tail

  • and just slide it inside and they bite it.

  • -And in Amsterdam? -In Amsterdam we cut it in pieces.

  • Let's have it Amsterdam style.

  • Yeah.

  • Do you want onions and pickles with it?

  • -RICK: What is the normal way? -With everything.

  • -I'll have everything. -The whole package?

  • RICK: The whole package. Beautiful.

  • And this is actually raw?

  • This is raw, it's marinated with salt.

  • And then we eat it with the Dutch flag.

  • RICK: So, this is a patriotic duty in the Netherlands.

  • Is this -- people say this is a healthy thing to eat.

  • It is.

  • RICK: So, how do you say "delicious and healthy"?

  • -Lekker en gezond. -Lekker en gezond.

  • Yeah.

  • -Raw fish. -Raw fish.

  • Mmm, why not?

  • This will make me a good man?

  • You already are,

  • but now you're better.

  • [Laughs] Mmm!

  • Lekker en gezond!

  • To uncover some of Haarlem's sites,

  • dodge bikes down narrow, characteristic lanes.

  • Just down the street,

  • Haarlem's top museum features the work of its most famous son,

  • the great portrait artist Frans Hals.

  • Here, in a room full of his masterpieces,

  • we get a good taste of Protestant Dutch art.

  • When the Dutch broke away from

  • Spain and the Catholic Church in the 1600s,

  • they established an independent Protestant republic.

  • While this was great for freedom,

  • it was a crisis for painters --

  • no more wealthy bishops and art-loving kings

  • to commission grand works of art.

  • Dutch society was a merchant society,

  • and now artists worked for a new kind of customer --

  • Merchants.

  • These are ego-boosting portraits of city big shots.

  • They epitomize the independent and upwardly mobile Dutch

  • of the 17th century --

  • the men who made the Golden Age golden.

  • These Dutchmen worked hard and were proud of it.

  • Here, some business leaders close a deal.

  • They enjoyed displaying the fruits of their labor,

  • like this -- an exquisitely detailed

  • still life of good food.

  • No preachy Madonnas or saints,