Tomorrow morning I am leaving for The Next Web Conference, which will take place in Amsterdam, Netherlands. I spent a few minutes in Wikipedia, reading about both Amsterdam and Netherlands. Here are some interesting highlights (direct quotes from Wikipedia):
- The Netherlands is often called Holland. This is formally incorrect as North and South Holland in the western Netherlands are only two of the country’s twelve provinces. As a matter of fact, many Dutch people colloquially use Holland as a synecdoche, being well aware of the widespread use of this name.
- The Netherlands is also one of the most densely cabled countries in the world; its internet connection rate is 87.8%, the 2nd highest in the world.
- A remarkable aspect of the Netherlands is its flatness.
- The people of the Netherlands are amongst the tallest in the world, with an average height of about 1.85 m (6 ft 0.8 in) for adult males and 1.68 m (5 ft 6 in) for adult females.
- There is a tradition of learning foreign languages in the Netherlands: about 70% of the total population have good knowledge of English, 55– 59% of German and 19% of French.
- Amsterdam is the 5th busiest tourist destination in Europe with more than 4.2 million international visitors. The room occupation rate is the 2nd highest in Europe in 2007. Tourists can choose from 350 Hotels, 17 of which are fivestar hotels. 18,000 rooms and almost 45,000 beds are provided.
- Amsterdam’s largest religious group are the Calvinists followed by Islam, mainly Sunni Islam.
- Amsterdam is one of the most bicycle-friendly cities in the world and is a centre of bicycle culture with good provision for cyclists such as bike paths and bike racks, which are ubiquitous throughout the city. There are an estimated one million bicycles in the city (total population is 742,884 people, as per January 1st, 2006). However, bike theft is common, so cyclists use large secure locks.