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Part Two: Holland's bike culture: an act of public more than an happy accident

on Wed, 10/24/2012 - 10:11
Bike, culture, Holland, Untours
A bicycle bridge in the background, just one display of the awesome infrastructure Holland has created for the bicyclist citizen.

While biking has been prevalent in Holland since the advent of the bicycle, Holland has not always had the bike friendly culture is it now. That was a surprise.  I had always been under the impression that the Dutch just floated along, placidly and pleasantly, from a few bikes, to the massive wonders of bike infrastructure they now have.

No such thing.  People made a fuss, and the society turned around.

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Untourists of the Week: Jack and Lila Korvink, going 'home' to Holland

on Mon, 10/22/2012 - 11:30
Korvink, Holland, Untours
Jack, Lila and Jack (the grandson!) in where else?  Holland!

If there was only one family that could be the "Untourists of the Week" for Holland, it might just have to be Jack and Lila Korvink.

Jack and Lila come to the Holland Untour by a slightly UN-typical route.  Jack was born in Holland.  As a matter of fact, Jack was born in Rotterdam in 1940.  For those of you who know your World War II history, you'll  quickly recognize that being a baby, in Rotterdam, in 1940 wasn't the luckiest spot to enter the world.  Rotterdam was perhaps the most heavily damaged Dutch city.

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Biking as a culture in Holland

on Wed, 10/17/2012 - 13:45
Hal Taussig, Untours, bike culture, Holland
Hal Taussig, Untours Founder, enjoying a bicycle ride, on a boat ride.  This photo was taken on along the Rhine, on our Rhine Untour in Germany, but Hal has been a Holland fan and  bicycle advocate since he gave his last car away forty some years ago!  When once asked if there was one Untour location he would consider living in permanently, he instantly said, "Leiden".  When asked why he said, "The common sense and friendliness of the Dutch  people, and the bikes."

Bicycling is much more than recreation in Holland.  It's a way of life.

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Bikes, dikes and other delights of Holland: through the eyes of Holland Untourists, Patricia & Jay Edie

on Mon, 10/15/2012 - 10:45
Untours, Holland, Jay and Patricia Edie
Arial view of Leiden from LaPlace eating cafe on the top of the VD Department Store.
Did you know that we have a wealth of Holland Untourists who've had wonderful trips to Holland and shared it on Untours' own social network, Untours Cafe?
Here's a sample: Patricia and Jay Edie
have writing a wonderful Triplog, complete with photos, of their time in Holland ?  Here are a few excepts; read the whole thing here....

We just returned from a recent Untours sampler trip. We spent one week in Leiden in the Netherlands, and one week on the Rhine River in Germany in the town of St. Goar.
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Culture Clue: Where the Dutch fall between 'direct' and 'diplomatic'

on Wed, 10/10/2012 - 11:23
culture, holland, Untour

Perhaps the biggest culture difference that most visitors to Holland notice (in social behavior) is what some call the "Dutch directness."  Our Dutch team here at Untours says:

"They always speak their mind and ask questions that most would deem personal. This gives the impression they are rude or crude--attributes they refer to as openness. What may strike you as being blatantly blunt topics are no more embarrassing to the Dutch as discussing the weather."

If you explore conventional wisdom on the subject of Dutch directness, (just Google 'Dutch directness') you'll hear a general consensus

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Jerry and Deena Koffler: Untourists of the Week again....

on Mon, 10/08/2012 - 09:46
Holland, Untour< Koffler

We couldn't resist.  After last weeks profile of Jerry and Deena we realized we didn't have room for any of the photos that they always come home with and post on Untours Cafe

So this Monday, we wanted to share with you their photos from Holland.  There's something for everybody, from stunning fields of flowers, to stunning glasses of beer, to a lovely shot of one of Leiden's canal with the old Fish Market Bridge at night, and the biggest bubble blower we've even seen!  No need to drive you can see, the natives favor bikes, to put it mildly.

And while we're speaking of places

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Culture Clue.......start with your own.

on Tue, 10/02/2012 - 11:07
Untours, Culture clue

Some of you may know that before I worked at Untours, I was a consultant to corporations and my main role was in the delivery of workshops on cultural diversity.  I wrote workshops and delivered them, spending a lot of my time training trainers, who would then teach the workshop to lots and lots of other folks.  It was fun work and, I thought, good work.

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Holland Untourists of the Week: Jerry and Deena Koffler

on Mon, 10/01/2012 - 11:17
Jerry and Deena Koffler, enjoying one of their 9 Untours!
Jerry and Deena Koffler, enjoying one of their 9 Untours!  Holland (2x), Italy (Amalfi)2x, German Castle, Spain - Andalusia, Prague, Budapest, Greece, Swiss Heartland, Tuscany, Umbria

Tell us a little bit about your most recent Untour. 

Holland 2012:  This was the first time we returned to an Untour destination.

We were looking forward to our return trip in April 2012 so we could see the tulips in bloom.  When we arrived in Leiden, there was a feeling of coming home.  It was market day so we walked along the canal and bought a few things.