I picked up this neat little book at the Expatica I Am Not A Tourist Fair recently and have enjoyed flicking through it since.
You know those cute little Delft Blue miniature houses that KLM Royal Dutch Airlines have bestowed upon their business class passengers since the 1950s?
Author Mark Zegeling has done some impressively thorough research into each and every one of these replicas to present a fascinating look behind the facades.
The original Dutch language version is called Sterke Verhalen – voor bij de borrel (Strong stories to discuss over drinks) and is a much larger format. Published in October 2013, it has 432 of beautiful Dutch design.
This English language version has only recently been published (September 2014) and is a much more compact size, though still loads of information with 936 pages. It’s a handy size to pop in your bag to read on a train, and to carry around as a walking guide through history as you explore the locations detailed in the book.
Not only Amsterdam is covered, there are also places throughout the whole of The Netherlands, including Alkmaar, Breda, Delft, Dordrecht, Rotterdam, Utrecht and more.
Each entry first shows a photo of the KLM house, followed by a treasure trove of information covering history, architecture, culture and general interest. Many entries also have visual support to tell the story, including historic and modern day photos.
All together, the result is a delightful book that is informative, interesting and unique. At only 18.95 euros, a wonderful gift for a friend, family member or yourself!
Shipping to Australia is unfortunately expensive, but still possible – or perhaps pick up a copy on your next visit to The Netherlands, it’s small enough to tuck into your bag and perfect to read on the plane.
The website itself has lots of interesting information and is well worth a visit. You can also purchase the book there. http://littlekingdombythesea.com
You can also follow the Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/littlekingdombythesea