Dutch spring is coming – The Netherlands from above

This is our country. Through the seasons, over time. If you truly want to know
how our lives are constantly changing… sometimes in ordinary ways,
sometimes extraordinarily… Then take a look
from a spectacular perspective. In this episode: a budding beginning. The first signs of spring. New ideas, new opportunities. Seventeen million people
on a small piece of earth. This is The Netherlands From Above! First light. A new day. Every year we make good resolutions. We start something… and are resolved to see it through. A new day also means a clean slate. A new opportunity. Are we brave enough
to tackle new adventures… or do we prefer things the way they are? In this episode of The Netherlands From Above: New light. A fresh start. How do we handle new opportunities? 1 January 2013. The new year is not even a day old. These are people delivering pizzas,
sushi, spare ribs and roti. We have put off our resolutions
for a day. We are taking it easy… but for the delivery services
this is the busiest day of the year. The towns and cities explode around 5 p.m. Distances are mostly short there… but in the country, pizzas… are delivered 29 kilometres away at times. At the end of the day, approximately
428,000 meals will have been delivered. As children, we rush into each new adventure. Not afraid to make mistakes. But being on your own… can bring out the perseverance in you. The play of light, water and clouds… produces… Dutch light. Is Dutch light a myth? Scientists claim that Dutch
light does not exist. But, at the very least,
it is a magnificent source of inspiration. The Dutch masters are world famous… for the way they captured the light on canvas. Now we capture the light in greenhouses. And we have become so good at it… that we have become
the biggest exporters in the world… of tomatoes, cucumbers and bell peppers. At some point, somebody started
out with a small greenhouse. And now one entrepreneur has found
a new purpose for his greenhouse. He doesn’t grow tomatoes, but little lambs. Shepherd Martin has an old,
rundown greenhouse once used for roses… and has transformed it
into a warm maternity ward. Going against Mother Nature… hundreds of lambs are born here
in the middle of the winter. Yes. Let’s have a look at her… because she is in the process of lambing. Look, you can see that its legs are coming. We can clearly see they are her front legs.
Its snout is on top. By straightening the legs,
I make things easier. A little bit more… Look, it’s coming out. Clean its little snout. There. That’s a good-looking lamb These ewes were
inseminated in August. Since we are in the grazing business… and we want to get started
with our sheep in April… it is very nice to have the
lambing out of the way. August was a very dark month. It was quite wet. As a result, the ewes were in heat… and that suited us just fine. It doesn’t always work,
but last year it worked out quite well… to get them lambing early. And, yes, it means we’re playing about
with nature a little bit. It’s all still a bit wobbly now. But by spring these little lambs
will be strong enough for the big trek. Martin, his dog and the herd of sheep… on the move in Rotterdam. The grass by the roadside… that used to be cut by lawnmowers… is now kept short by sheep. The herd is in blue, the dog in red. They have to move from the south
to the north. So, they all have to cross the Van Brienenoord bridge. A trek of twelve kilometers. It takes the sheep four hours
to reach the Bergsche Bos. Once the grass has been mowed… they move to a new location
early the next morning. Old ideas, but with a new twist. There is nothing more beautiful
than blossoming love. Because every time is like the first time. Flirting with each other. Unsure. The first touch. The first kiss. Madly in love. It can all be over quite suddenly. But sometimes it lasts a lifetime. Marianne Vos and Bauke Mollema… started out long ago on small bikes. Now they are cycling heroes. As children, we want to go the extra mile… to become as famous as our heroes. It starts with wanting to win a cup… to end up competing for a jersey. That goes for Femke as well. Her dream is to become a cycling champion… just like Marianne Vos. If you are the first
to come out of the bend here…. well, that would be terrific. OK? I also want to win the Tour, the Dutch
and the world championships. All of them. I want to win them all. One day I’d like to hear Marianne Vos say: Hey, she is just as good as me. But I think I’ll have to train a few more years. To cycle against Marianne Vos now
would be too tough. Watch it, eh? Very good, Fem. Come on, guys!. I hope the the flowers don’t blow away. We almost hit that curb over there. I fell really hard. Almost. We will do anything to win. Now there are only a handful of spectators. But later there may be a cheering crowd. Specially for you. It starts small. But there comes a time
when you mustn’t be afraid to think big. To make plans that have consequences… you can’t begin to anticipate. Here, on the bottom of Marker Lake… there is barely any life,
due to a thick layer of sediment. It is being dredged
in order to create new islands… for nature and recreation. The Wadden islands of Marken. Time and time again,
we begin new adventures. The extension of the A4 motorway. After years of bickering
it’s finally going to happen. It all went wrong with the Betuwe railway
and the North/South tube line. But the Hanze railway line went well. Ninety million euros under budget. The Maasvlakte 2 land creation
project. 130 million under budget. The construction of the
North Sea Canal in the 19th century… was in trouble from the start. In the end, a British contractor finished the job. Lely budgeted the Afsluitdijk at 62 million guilders. It ended up costing twice as much. Had we known the real cost
of all these projects… would we ever have started them? There they are: the Fyra trains,
with their candy-cane colors. Stranded in no man’s land
where the A10 motorway is being widened. In 2001, the NS Hispeed train
service embarked… on an unprecedented adventure. Not so much in terms of euros,
but in terms of being a prestige project. Twelve years later the Fyra project
is an unmitigated disaster. While the brand-name agency claims
the name… projects pride and confidence… we’ve made a first-class blunder. Things can always go wrong. But sometimes you simply
have to start working on something. We both had paid jobs, both of them ended. So we decided to find something
that was fun… that we both enjoyed doing. You only get one chance in life
and we are both still young. So, you have to grab the best
thing that comes along. Ivar and Rianne put everything they had
into a sandwich shop on wheels. Not on along a motorway
or a busy shopping street… but on a dike in northeast Groningen. You don’t just come here for a hamburger… but for the whole experience, as it were. And we are working on Uncle Sam costumes… and doing everything in stars and stripes. To offer something new… because there are so many chips stands
and fish stands. You want to stand out from the rest… so you have to outdo the competition. Look, McDonald’s also has its own style. Burger King, and all the other big names… they all have their own flair and style. And if I can do that on a small scale,
who knows what might happen? It’s not the big things that matter,
it’s the little things. And it is unique that you and your partner… can work together in a place like this… and live like this, with a view like this. And yes, of course, we have slow days. That is nice once in a while. But it is extremely quiet today. We eat pizzas, sushi and roti more often now. However, for Ivar and Rianne the future begins… with an old-fashioned order of
french fries and mayo. It is difficult to predict what will
be a success and what will fail. There’s a very fine line
between success and failure. Even a light night frost
can destroy your fruit harvest. You live with that threat every year. Because trees are at their
most vulnerable when in bud. Jan and Joke live by the seasons. Day and night. No harvest means no income. If the bud freezes,
they must scrimp and save all year. We have a cherry and plum orchard. They are predicting a light frost tonight. So we are taking precautions. And that includes these… fire cans… that help us fight the frost. Whoa, thick branch on the side. It is about three degrees now.
And the wind is dying down. We are expecting temperatures
around – 1, -1.5… at this level. This means that at this level… from here to here, it will be colder. And here we already have
branches with buds… where the fruit will grow later. It will be dangerous… because these are about to blossom. They cannot survive a frost anymore. They can handle one degree above
zero now. But temperatures are expected to drop tonight… so we have to take precautions. Now it is… one, one and a half below zero. So we are lighting all the fire cans… because it is cold enough now
to cause damage. We have to light about 500 cans. That takes about an hour and a half…
yes, one hour in all. This will raise the temperature
one or two degrees. It is one and a half degrees below zero… which means this will keep it from freezing. And it will prevent any damage. They are burning nicely. It started long ago with an idea. A first spade in the ground. Now it is so big… that you can’t even see
the magnitude of it. Only when the lights come on
do you realize how big it is. From budding beginnings
to burgeoning growth. A very fine line between winners and losers. For the entrepreneur
who is not afraid to think big. For the grower. What started with a seed,
can now be harvested. For the couple in love. And for the persistent man,
who learns from his mistakes… and manages to continue on his own.

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