June 15 Den Haag~ From the air, the Dutch countryside stretches long and low, the land verdant when it emerges from the water. Indeed the Netherlands, the world’s flattest country, can claim 269 waterways and 3732 kms navigable by boat, bateau, peniche or small yacht. The country is surrounded by dykes, canals and tidal barriers that protect reclaimed land from mother sea.
The Conference is in Den Haag (the Hague), the seat of Parliament and the Royal Court, a 25 minute taxi ride and 120€ from Schipol airport. Within 10 minutes of leaving the airport, I had seen my vision of Holland in both old paintings and new photos – a new high tech windmill, a Vermeer windmill, bicycle riders in high heals and suits, couples cycling together of every age, horseback riders on well groomed mounts enjoying a sedate stroll, a small barge navigating the canal, and crayon colored fields of tulips.
Central Stage for the Conference is the Hilton, on a canal and just a block from the Royal Stables and a lively shopping and dining area. I’m happy to see old friends arrive and am putting faces to the names and the emails of a good many more. The surrounding area with quiet and town homes is both charming and full of lovely light, a photographer’s paradise. Here are some of today’s photos: