Over the past few weeks, you could smell it on a regular basis. The lovely smell of a heavy downpour after a warm sultry day. Australian scientists once named this smell petrichor, derived from Greek, where petra stands for stone and ichor for the blood that flows through the veins of the Gods. I have come to intensely enjoy (the smell) of rain. Over time, I have noticed a change in myself. More and more I enjoy rain after sunshine, instead of the other way around.

The Netherlands, land of water

The Netherlands and water are inextricably linked. Almost a third of our country lies below sea level. The struggle against water defines our landscape and our history. Water was always plentiful. Our Dutch landscape, beautifully captured on canvas by painters, is marked by ditches, waterways, canals, ponds, lakes, and rivers. Our mills, pumping stations, fields, and dikes are world-famous. The Netherlands has also created a lot of new land over the centuries. Taken from the sea. Land reclamation already took place on a smaller scale during the Middle Ages. In 1612, a large piece of new land was reclaimed by draining a lake: the Beemster. Flevoland (1986) is perhaps the most famous reclaimed area of land. In 1999,  this reclaimed area ended up on the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites.

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