National Geographic : 1954 Sep
S\ ands \ S <Bdrkum S^Rotfmmeroog , Oosterburen < Rommeroog Smeln Schiermonnikoo Tesh Ameland Terschell n g _ oI ed,l / ¢f" capsize, Gibby slammed on the car brakes. The taillights reappeared up the road. The cyclists had merely honored a stop sign. In our hotel lobby was a city map showing waterways slicing close by most of the places we wanted to visit. Wives Paced Balcony of Weepers' Tower "Take the sight-seeing boat," advised the hotel clerk. "It's the best way to see Amster dam. If you get lost, remember this: the main canals run in five semicircles around the Central Station. Follow any one of them, and you come back to the trains in time." A floating charabanc with a guide who declaimed in four languages, the boat chugged under bridges and along placid stretches where moss grew thick on stone canal walls. Leafy branches scraped the glass roof. Images of old houses stood reflected in the water. "Amsterdam, because of its 50 canals and 400 bridges, is sometimes called the 'Venice of the North,'" intoned the guide dutifully. "Hey! What do we do now?" broke in (Continued on page 377) The Netherlands: Victor over the Sea A quarter of the lowlands country popularly called Holland lies below sea level. Without the dikes, major storms would flood almost half the land. Electric pumps dispose of rain water and seepage; in days gone by the job was entrusted to windmills. 371 Crushed basaltfills spaces Detail of between cut basalt Dike Structure (Enlargedtwo times) Basalt Brick Clay Wooden stake- "