As you cruise through Amsterdam’s canals, you’ll also learn about the city’s unique relationship with water. Amsterdam is a city that has been shaped by its waterways, and its inhabitants have learned to live with the constant threat of flooding.
“One of the ways they’ve done this is by building their homes on stilts. You’ll see these intriguing homes as you sail, along with the ingenious system of sluices and dams that the city uses to control the water,” Gary explains.
The Dutch relationship with water is famously one of balance, of life and death. They’ve had to fight water for almost every bit of land they now inhabit. “Nearly a third of the country lies below sea level, and without it landscape of ditches, canals, lakes, rivers and windmills, half would be flooded,” Gary says.
However, the water has shaped the city as we know it today and meant that the Dutch created the world’s earliest public transport network, using passenger boats to travel over the otherwise impassable landscape, back in the 17th century.