A Look at the Portuguese World

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The country of the endless plains

Written by  yvette vieira fts nazaré freitas

 

A small tour thru the center of the Netherlands.

The "cons" of let's just say to live on an island with a steep topography, with deep valleys and high altitude mountains is that the notion of infinity disappears, we always have our field of view very busy with a rugged and dense landscape of great scenic beauty and although there is the ocean where you can lose your regard, when we returned to the mainland, we noticed, well at least in my case, as we miss a landscape that extends out of sight, is the prospect of a trip without limits, the walk straight ahead without obstacles, without any twists and turns. It is a feeling of infinite freedom that I find particularly when I visit what is perhaps the country most plan in Europe, the Netherlands. I have spoken here of this country European, but recently visited an area still unknown, Utrecht and its neighboring cities and I must say it was a real adventure and rediscovering some idiosyncrasis of the Dutch. One of the features that stands out most in this town is its need for symmetry, it is true must come from the fact that they literally built a country from scratch, by winning land from the sea, is something stronger than they are, the Dutch are obsessed with fit, order and suit the nature according to their spatial needs.

 

When visiting the city of Zeist, an area where the Dutch royal family has a habit to spend their summer vacation, what stands out most in this landscape are the palaces and large luxury villas and here the harmony of the landscape is essential, the grounds are properly bordered by trees same number and the same species, there are plants that are "encouraged" by pruning and wires from their more juvenile stage, that the branches grow sideways so not to occupy much space in gardens instead of too leafy branches and not to mention the botanical manipulations that give fame to this lover of flowers people. I even be in Lage Vuurscher where is located one of the royal palace that is used frequently by the royal family for their summer vacation. We can not visit the actual property, but you can stroll through the many trails around them, the extensive ground is surrounded by an electrified network and has security cameras in every corner that make facial recognition of hikers or cyclists and not think it's spy movie conspiracy, a fugitive criminal decided to wander the hereabouts convinced that was safe and would not be recognize, as well, was quickly arrested thanks to the images captured by the cameras. So, if you are a thug, an advice, do not risk it!
This town is also famous for another reason, by their giant pancakes with all kinds of fillings either sweet or savory, is a must not to be missed. Door to Door is a pancake house just come in, do not need to choose a lot, the menu is identical in all, as well as the taste and quality. In fact, this culinary specialty is another national obsession and proof of this is that all commercial establishments present in only small main street of this town were full. I unfortunately did not get to delight me to the end, it was too much food, the equivalent of a well-filled meal and only to give you a hint the national record belongs to a man who could eat four of these pancakes.
Another place to visit and one of the "higher" points of Utrecht in the Dutch village of Woudenberg is the only pyramid in Europe. It is a lot of land with 36 meters which was built in 1804 in just 27 days, by the soldiers of the Marmont general as a tribute to Napoleon Bonaparte and to occupy the time of the bored soldiers, inspired by the Giza pyramids that the military had visited during the Napoleonic campaigns in Egypt.
The French general baptize them as "Mont Marmont", but in 1806, despite his protests, Louis Napoleon, the new king of the Netherlands, renamed it to Pyramid of Austerlitz, in the memory of the battle with the same name in which French decisively defeated the Russians and Austrians. Only in the twentieth century this building was restored, because it was abandonm for many years, becoming a tourist attraction right away. A person can climb to the top, where is located the obelisk and we come across a 360-degree landscape that is simply superb, you see everything with stunning clarity and it was a balm for anxious eyes for forest areas without obstacles and again here we are faced with the need for order in the Dutch landscape, all properly set, clean and organized, basically the only thing that left me puzzled was why to keep a kind of monument erected by an attacker people and then I reflected that although it is something erected by foreigners, it is geometric, unique and has altitude something that is scarce in the country of endless plains.

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