All along the train and bus routes were canals and drainages filled with ducks, geese and other water birds. Hundreds of greylag geese and a few Canadas were joined by herons and swans in the fields. North Holland is wet and birds love it. The farms are all well tended and occasional small villages pop up as you travel through the greenest landscape ever.
Yesterday we took another trip north to a place called Marken. It sticks out on the end of a dike, (here spelled dijk), like an island that was connected at the end of a rope. On Sunday, everyone is out walking on a two or three mile circle of connected dikes with a brick trail on top. We noted the dozens of bicycles crowding the church yard. People even exercise while going to church. They are also avoiding high petrol prices.
Conservation is assumed in this place with solar panels on many roofs and big wind generators sticking up all over the cities and countryside. My impression of this place is that people crowded into this land have organized themselves pretty well with the best transportation system I've seen anywhere, and food grown and raised within proximity to the consumer. Fish may be the exception because of travel to the North Sea.
One reason our country and Canada are so popular with folks from this region is the wide open spaces that still exist. I've run into Danes and others who rent Harleys in San Francisco and head for Death Valley just to experience freedom of the open road. Our National Parks draw the Dutch and Germans like magnets. When they are home, everything is organized. It's not bad, just different. That's why we travel. I like this place.