poniedziałek, 30 grudnia 2013

The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, consisting of twelve provinces in Northwestern Europe and three islands in the Caribbean. The European part of the Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders with Belgium, Germany and the United Kingdom. It is a parliamentary democracy organised as a unitary state. The capital is Amsterdam and the seat of government is The Hague. The Netherlands in its entirety is often referred to as "Holland", although North and South Holland are actually only two of its provinces.

Did you know that:
1. The herring with chopped raw onions and pickles is a national dish. The Dutch consume 12 million kilograms every year, which translates to at least 5 fish per person.
2. The first country to legalise same sex marriages in 2001.
3. 70% of the world's bacon comes from Netherlands.
4. The Dutch are the tallest in the world with an average height of 184 cm for men and 170 cm for women. Some believe its the combined result of DNA and dairy.
5. Gin was invented in the Netherlands. Called "jenever", it was originally used for medicinal purposes in the 16th century.
6. The famous Dutch windmills were used to pump away water for hundreds of years.
7. Rotterdam is the second largest port in the world.

Czech Republic

piątek, 27 grudnia 2013

Czech Republic is a landlocked country in Central Europe. The country is bordered by Germany to the west, Austria to the south, Slovakia to the east and Poland to the north. Its capital and largest city, with 1.3 million inhabitants, is Prague. The Czech Republic includes the historical territories of Bohemia and Moravia, as well as a small part of Silesia.

Did you know that:
1. The Czech Republic is almost entirely surrounded by mountains (except to the south, toward Austria and Slovakia). Mountains mark a natural border with Germany and Poland.
2. 90% of Czechs have completed at least secondary education - the highest score in the EU (along with Poles, Slovaks, and Slovenes).
3. Czech people are the world's heaviest consumers of beer.
4. The country is renowned for its numerous spa towns, especially along the border with Saxony (Germany). The most famous ones are those of Karlovy Vary (Karlsbad), Františkovy Lázně (Franzensbad) and Teplice (Teplitz).
5. There are over 2,000 castles, keeps, and castle ruins in the Czech Republic, one of the highest density in the world (notably after Belgium and France).
6. A Czech, the chemist Otto Wichterle, invented the soft contact lenses in 1959.