Saturday, March 14, 2009

A ride in the foothills of the Indian Himalayas IV

Letting my mind drift as I passed from one scenery to another was the best part of sitting on the back of a bike. Being an easily distracted driver it surely was a wise solution to stay alive. Man made landscapes...aren't they all? Better like that. I can't agree with some purist ecologists idealising an untouched natural world and leaving humans outside the equation...what do they mean, anyway? Don't they realise that man has had an impact on nature for thousands of years? Maybe they'd rather be eaten alive by some giant spider while raving on the beauty of nature left to its own device... Jurassic Park, tres peu pour moi, I much prefer a tamed the Dutch. When Philip II of Spain suppressed all political and religious freedom in the Seventeen Provinces, the protestants- led by William of Orange- revolted and declared the independence of the Seven United Provinces, also called the Netherlands. The period between 1550 and 1560, when the Dutch political identity was established, coincided with an alteration of the landscape made watertight for survival of the people. This tradition of creating land explains why Dutch landscape architects are good at landscape design but poor garden designers while the opposite holds true for their British probably also explains why landscape is the only English word that takes its origin in the Dutch word landschap. By the way, the best place to visit Holland is Holland Village, in the outskirts of Nagasaki, Japan...

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