The Netherlands was notorious for constant flooding thanks to its low elevation and closeness to the North Sea, but the Dutch have found a way to beat the ocean multiple times: this is the reason why nearly 20% of the land in the Netherlands is reclaimed land from the many marshes, swamps, lakes and of course the sea. But how? well two words delta works:
After a deadly storm in 1953 that covered over 200,000 hectares of land and took the lives of an estimated 1.836 people, the Dutch decided something had to be done, delta works was the answer. Delta works is a vast network of 13 dams and barriers, featuring suitors, locks, dikes and levees which are used to reduce the curved line by 700 kilometers and remove the need for smaller and weaker levees and dams that would require constant maintenance.
That laid the ground for the largest and most efficient seaport in Europe: The Port of Rotterdam. The port of Rotterdam is in a perfect strategic location for ships coming from or going into the North Sea. It is about 1.5 times the size of Manhattan, it’s incredibly large and with 82.5 percent of the Netherlands GDP coming from exports it’s fair to say that the port of Rotterdam is crucial.
Amsterdam’s airport Schiphol is the third busiest airport in Europe, which looks average until you consider the number of people moving through it. The whole airport facilitates 50 to 60 million passengers annually to 332 direct destinations utilizing its six runways facing multiple directions. Schiphol coordinates an average of 1500 to 1600 departures and landings per day and accomplishes this despite being smaller than other major airports like Adolfo Suarez Madrid in Spain or the Leonardo DaVinci International Airport in Italy.
The best thing about this airport though, is that once passengers arrive, they have any number of transportation options: high speed tellers and Columbus trains can be accessed just beneath the terminal building, from the airport you can take a 15-minute ride to the Amsterdam central station or use the Dutch rail network to travel across the country and if trains aren’t your style then the airport offers express buses as well. All that with the airport being at 4 meters below sea level.