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My name is Rhona and I'm nine years old.
TRANSLATED: I live in Kinderdljk in the province of South Holland.
It is only a small village but people come here from all over the world.
They come to see something special. It is something you will like.
What people come to see are the windmills.
We have 19 windmills.
Most of them stand along the canal. The canal is a drainage canal.
Our windmills are used to keep the land dry.
If they didn't, the land would flood.
The windmill is a symbol of the Netherlands
and it's really important in the history of our country.
In cold winters the canal freezes and you can skate on it.
My dad said they used to skate it every year.
What is special is that the windmills are lived in.
Bjorn is putting on the sails. He is a miller.
A miller is actually a wind catcher.
Not many people in the world know how to do this.
A miller needs to know a lot about the weather.
Mr Vandenberg also lives here. He has been a miller here for over 40 years.
His children also know how to operate the windmill,
but I'm not sure if they will be millers.
It's not easy to become a miller. It takes a long time to learn.
What are you doing?
TRANSLATED: Taking the brake off, so the windmill can start turning.
-Will you be working the windmill tomorrow?
-Yes, if there is wind.
When the mill is running you can hear the sails.
They go really fast, just like the wind. It sounds a bit like this.
When you go inside, straightaway you will see some big wheels.
The sound of the mill can send you to sleep.
But a miller will know exactly if there's a problem
or if the wind stops or changes, just from the sound.
This is a windmill you can visit.
You can see inside this one and see how millers used to live.
This is where the parents used to sleep.
This is the chamberpot.
And these are the clocks people used to wear. And some people still do.
Here are some old clock boots millers used to wear.
And some old ice skates.
I'm going to live in a windmill soon.
This is our windmill.
Rick is my brother, and he's helping Dad do up our windmill.
Our windmill is octagonal.
My dad is very passionate about windmills and keen to preserve them.
Because the windmills are very old,
they are an important part of Dutch history.
We have to look after them otherwise we lose a part of our history.
If you'd like to visit, that would be fine by me.
It's great fun to live in a windmill because, well, yes,
it's really rather beautiful.
And it's also on the water.
TRANSLATED: I am Robert. I am nine years old.
I live in Vera, in the province of Zeeland.
Zeeland is in the south-west of the Netherlands.
The province consists of islands and water.
Did you know that almost half of our province is water?
After the big North Sea flood in 1953, the Delta works were built.
My home is located near the Delta works.
The Delta works is a network of sluices.
When there's a really big storm they protect our land from the sea.
There are 13 Delta works dams.
Without this dam, half of the Netherlands would flood.
What is so special about the dam? The sluices can remain open.
The sea water can flow in with the tides.
This is good for the fishermen and nature.
Famous engineers from all over the world have come to see it.
I live in the centre of Vera. It's a town of about 1,600 inhabitants.
I live with my family, just a few minutes' walk from school.
There are 72 pupils at my school.
School starts at 8:30 AM, but I get there a few minutes earlier
so I can play around with my friends.
We usually play ball.
Our school is Protestant and class starts and ends with a prayer.
Afterwards, we sing a song and I love taking part. We also sing in English.
My favourite subject is maths.
I really enjoy maths because it is easy.
ALL: # And we are ready to go
# Ready to go, ready to go We are ready to go, you and me
# Where we can see Are you ready? Yeah! #
Whilst I'm at school, my mum works at a nice restaurant in the town centre.
Lots of tourists go there in the summer.
And their favourite meal is mussels.
Tourists come from all over the world to just eat mussels,
oysters and lobster.
Hundreds of people living in Zeeland
earn their living from mussels and oysters.
In Europe, the Netherlands is the biggest producer of mussels
after Spain and France.
We have different types of mussel farming.
One method is called hang culture.
Where the mussels grow on ropes in the water.
The baby mussels take about 30 months to grow into big, juicy muscle.
These mussels are big but they are not yet big enough.
These are from near the river mouth,
where the water mixes with the seawater from the North Sea.
My dad, grandpa and my uncles are fish wholesalers.
This is Friday. This is the day when dad gets back
with a lorry full of fish.
They buy, sell and transport fish.
My dad fetches fish from all over Europe.
Sometimes I go and help him when he comes back from a trip.
When he arrives we offloaded the fish into containers.
I've been doing it since I was three years old,
and I also joined him on trips.
Your hands get really cold, but it's still fun!
My great-grandfather founded the business.
At the time, he traded fish from the local area.
Sometimes I travel with my dad in his lorry.
This is great fun and I can visit lots of other places in Europe.
My favourite thing of all is football. That's my passion.
I train twice a week and then I have a match on Saturdays.
My older sister, Nina, also plays football.
My position is striker.
I support Ajax. It's the best team in the Netherlands.
I love football because I love to score.
If you are passing Vera any time, come and watch me play.
My name is Mika,
and I'm 10 years old.
I live in the city of Haarlem.
TRANSLATED: Haarlem is a lovely city
with lots of typical, old Dutch buildings.
So it may look old-fashioned but it's very nice living here.
The River Spaarne runs through Haarlem
and it connects to the North Sea Canal.
You can't miss the river. It is part of Haarlem and the city life.
I'd say Haarlem is full of creative people.
It's a pretty relaxed place with plenty of music, arts and dance.
I love dance, especially street dancing.
It's really fun to dance with friends
because with different kinds of music we make the dance.
I like street dancing a lot because it's really cool but also different.
I love going shopping or stopping off for something yummy to eat.
Have you tried Oliebol? This is something typically Dutch.
Oliebol are delicious, warm and also very sweet.
I'd like to show you a great cheese shop
we have in the centre of Haarlem.
My dad and I really love Dutch cheese.
Thank you. Mmm! SPEAKS DUTCH
Our favourite cheese can be translated to English
as "old cheese".
I love old cheese because it's a bit sharp and crumbly.
This is a typical Dutch cheese.
You probably know Haarlem is really famous for its flowers,
My mother's favourite tulips are the pink ones.
I can't show you any blossoming tulip fields
but I can show you something interesting about the bulbs.
Because now it is bulb planting time.
In spring, all these fields will be covered in flowers.
Rob is a flower and bulb grower.
TRANSLATED: This is where the tulips are.
And over there, under the greenery, we've planted the daffodils.
Rob plants thousands of bulbs out in the fields.
He plants 20 million bulbs a year!
Lex is his son, and he also wants to be a bulb and flower grower.
This family specialises in hyacinths, daffodils,
crocuses and, of course, tulips!
-Let's see if we can find a tulip.
-They are buried quite deep.
Yes, they are about 10 centimetres deep.
In March, April, that is when they will flower.
This is time for their winter sleep.
It is also when the flowers have time to grow inside the bulbs.
In the winter, some of the bulbs are planted by hand in peat.
The hyacinths are a big part of their business.
You probably recognise the Delft blue hyacinth.
I think the bulbs look a bit like red onions!
That is my grandfather.
These are all hyacinth bulbs.
They have to make sure the roots are planted correctly.
This is so the flowers grow straight and not crooked.
My mum likes planting daffodil and crocus bulbs in our garden.
She also plants them in the winter.
I think it's a real shame
that I can't show you the beautiful flowers when they come out.
But I can show you my great new pony.
His name is Billy and I just got him a few weeks ago.
It was a huge surprise and I was very happy.
I love Billy because he's brave and cute and sweet
and small and fat.
I'd don't need many words with Billy
because when you have a thought, horses can read your mind.
So, when you're sad then your pony is sad.
But when you're happy, your pony is also happy.
My name is Josephine.
I'm 11 years old and I'm a speed skater in Inzell.
TRANSLATED: Inzell is world-famous for speedskating.
Inzell is at the foot of the Alps in a region called Chiemgau.
And it's in Bavaria.
We have lots of beautiful mountains.
These are the Alps and the Alps are in Germany.
Over there, where you can see the snow caps, that's all Austria.
The river is made from melting ice water
that runs down from the mountains.
It's a little bit cloudy but otherwise you could see Munich.
And Munich is where my mum works.
Sometimes, I like to go walking in the forest.
The forest is very important in our area.
It protects us from rock and snow avalanches.
It gives us wood as we still build many houses from wood.
We also use the wood for our heating.
There are lots of farms in Bavaria.
Some of the farms are very old.
The animals, mostly the cows,
are now brought into barns because it's getting colder
and the snow will come soon.
They'll stay there until April.
Some cows are still in the meadows but they'll soon be brought in.
In the autumn, like now, we still get sunny days.
So, sometimes, I like to go wave boarding with my friend, Susanna.
I especially like wave boarding with her
because we can do lots of good tricks together.
Soon, we won't be able to any more,
because in winter we always get a lot of snowfalls.
Sometimes more than a metre.
Here, in Inzell, you can do lots of sports in the winter,
like skiing, cross-country skiing and sledging.
But, for me, the best is speed skating.
Speed skating actually started at a lake here called Frillensee.
In the 1950s and '60s, people trained here in winter
and there were very important competitions here.
It's the coldest lake in Germany.
And one of the coldest in Europe.
In the winter, it's completely frozen.
Now, all the competitions are held at our new indoor arena.
The ice stadium in Inzell is really new.
It was officially opened for the world Championships in 2011.
It's the most modern speed skating arena in Europe
and in Germany there are only three.
Teams come from all over the world to train here.
It can offer teams the best training facilities all year round.
I trained three times a week with my two friends, Anita and Susanna.
We get on really well and we joke around and chat.
Anita and Susanna are both really nice.
When we train, we often skate in a threesome,
one behind the other.
we are all the same speed and level
so we can keep together, which is always much more fun.
It's great racing around the track together,
feeling the air rushing passed us.
At competitions, we wear a skin-tight suit.
Then we feel so light on the ice.
Almost like you're flying.
And, yes, that's just such a great feeling.
I hope you can come and watch us one day!
My name is Philipp. I live in Bavaria.
TRANSLATED: Halblech is a few kilometres away
from Schwangau and Fussen.
This region is called Allgau.
My father is a soldier and works in Dresden, training officers.
Once, he was stationed in Afghanistan.
That was quite hard for my mum because she was all alone.
My house is made from wood and concrete.
The concrete comes from our family business
which was started by my grandpa and grandma.
My mother, grandpa and uncles all work at the gravel pit.
Grandpa and I often drive the bulldozer together in the gravel pit
and we dig from the huge mounds of gravel and sand.
Once, we found a mammoth tooth in the sand!
It's a lot of fun driving the bulldozer with my Grandpa.
This is the land of kings and castles.
Neuschwanstein is the most famous castle.
King Ludwig built it.
Some people say he was mad
but he is often called the Swan King or Fairy Tale King.
This castle has been a location for lots of films like
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Sleeping Beauty.
I can see the castle from my house and my school.
This is my classroom and from here, I can see Neuschwanstein Castle.
In Bavaria we have many old customs, for example,
we have a traditional costume club.
Each club has its own costume with its own colours.
My feather is a real eagle's feather but eagles are now protected.
Our mountains and lakes are really beautiful.
Our mountains are called the Alps.
Lots of tourists come up here to see the beautiful views
and enjoy the tasty food.
From the top of the mountain, you can see all the lakes, rivers and woods.
The most famous lakes in our area are called the Forggensee,
the Bannwaldsee and the Alpsee.
The Forggensee is the largest.
It is man-made and it was built to help generate electricity.
At the power plant,
there is a section that looks just like a pair of trousers!
In Bavaria, we have got about 4,200 hydro-electric power plants.
What I really love is fishing by the river.
The river is called the Lech.
I fish for trout all year round, except in winter
when we are not allowed to.
The river is important because we use its water for drinking.
It's pure, clear and flowing water from the mountains.
We don't need to clean the water with chlorine because it's so clean.
In the summer, lots of children come here to build stone men by the river.
It's quite tricky because you need to be careful
that the stones are balanced.
I love where I live.
And if you were to visit Allgau, you would love it, too!
TRANSLATED: My name is Zoe. I'm nine years old.
I live in Hamburg in Germany.
I live in Hamburg, in Altona, close to the River Elbe.
Hamburg is the second largest city in Germany.
Maria is a good friend of mine.
At school she is very helpful and kind.
Actually, she is very helpful generally and she is very nice.
My favourite place is down by the beach.
From the beach, you can see the big ships, almost as big as a house.
Sometimes, I ask myself where the ships are coming from.
And where are they going?
Every year, ships bring ten million containers.
The big ships come from the sea.
The water is deep, otherwise the ships can't get through.
Hamburg is about 100 kilometres from the North Sea.
And Hamburg is the third largest port in Europe.
From the ferry, you can see the big ships, the small boats,
the port and the cranes.
And the people who work there.
There are lots of bridges in Hamburg.
There are also tunnels in Hamburg.
In the old tunnel, there is a lift for cars
so they can go under the Elbe.
I have a brother. He is 11 years old.
I also have a little sister.
She is 1 1/2 years old.
My hobbies are... Playing a bit of football.
And I play the violin and the piano.
My school is called Trenknerweg.
I am at primary school.
My school is a kilometre away from home.
I like sport and art and also like English.
I take an extra English course because I enjoy it so much.
We went on a visit to England and I met my friend Emma.
We went in a small group to make contact with an English school.
Next year, 25 children from my school will go there.
You saw them wearing uniforms. Would you like to wear uniforms?
Perhaps girls would wear a skirt in summer and a dress in winter.
Maybe the boys would wear short trousers in summer
and long ones in winter.
In that checky pattern.
Is there anyone here who wouldn't like it?
Yes, because we would all look the same and that would be boring.
If English children came here, they would want to explore Hamburg.
What would be your favourite places to show them?
I would show them the Elbe.
The Elbe at night because there are lights everywhere
and it looks really great!
I would take them to the town hall at night. It looks so great lit up.
The Hamburger Dom comes three times a year.
I would definitely show any children visiting the Dom.
I like the big wheel best and the wild mouse ride
and the booths where you can win things.
In Hamburg we like eating Frikadellers.
In England you call Frikadellers hamburgers.
Anyone visiting Hamburg would have a brilliant time.
Hello, my name is Helen. I am 11 years old.
I live in Rantum on Sylt.
TRANSLATION: And down there is where I live.
Sylt is the biggest German North Sea island, with an area
of 99 square kilometres.
There are 11 villages on Sylt and one town called Westerland.
Rantum, where I live, is one of the narrowest parts of the island.
My pets are chickens.
My guitar teacher is called Oliver and he also teaches my brother piano.
I started when I was six years old.
I couldn't even write then and now I have been playing for four years.
I was born here on Sylt and I have lived here my whole life.
I live here with my brother and my parents.
Sylt has a population of 21,500.
It is just 38.5 kilometres long from north to south.
And east to west, it is between 350 and 12,600 metres wide.
A third of the island is covered with dunes.
The rest is covered with heathland and marsh.
In Sylt, the wind blows mainly from the West.
There are lots of thatched houses on Sylt.
In the past, reeds grown on the island were used to make their roofs.
In winter, far fewer people live on Sylt.
Lots of people only come in the summer
to spend time in their summer houses.
Over 800,000 people a year come here on holiday.
Since the 1st June 1927,
Sylt has been connected to the German mainland via the Hindenburg dam.
To stop Sylt shrinking, sometimes a ship anchors off the coast,
sucks up the sand from the sea bed and squirts it back onto the beach.
The Wadden Sea is a nature reserve
on the more protected east coast of Sylt.
I am here with my friends because we are really
interested in the Wadden Sea and we are young Wadden Sea guides.
Kirsten says you can only protect and conserve what you know about,
which means, that if we really get to know the Wadden Sea,
then we'll know how best to take care of it.
This is sponge. Like Spongebob.
It is a native sponge of the North Sea.
And when the mussel boats dredge the mussels from the sea,
they destroy the sponges and everything else on the seabed.
Kirsten has shown us all the different plants
and animals on the Wadden Sea.
Up to two million tiny plants
and organisms can live in one square metre of the Wadden seabed.
Svea, Samira and I have learnt a lot about the ebb
and flow of the tides.
We know that the tide goes in and out, or ebbs and flows,
because the earth is spinning.
And when you spin around, you are forced away from each other.
The same thing happens to the water on the earth when the earth spins.
There are two high tides and two low tides every 24 hours.
Because of the wind, the weather changes very quickly
and it often doesn't stay bad for long.
Sylt is an extreme place to live in and we love it!
My name is Nicholas and I am nine years old.
I live in the city of Cologne.
TRANSLATION: It is the fourth largest city in Germany.
You'll see that Cologne is a pretty busy place.
You can't say Cologne without mentioning the River Rhine.
Because the Rhine is part of life here.
The Rhine flows through the city
and people live on both sides of the Rhine.
My grandma lives very near the Rhine and I visit her often.
Sometimes we go off to high places and look at the views.
You can even see castles.
I like it when she tells me things about the river.
Did you know the Rhine is one of the longest
and most important rivers in Europe?
It is over 1,000 kilometres long.
Its source is in Switzerland
and it ends in Rotterdam in the Netherlands.
I like strolling by the water's edge because you can find so many things.
It is a lot of fun because you can watch the boats
and wave to the captains.
SHIP HOOTS HORN
Sometimes they hoot and call us.
My grandma says she has never seen the Rhine so low.
When we were on a walk today she said
she had never seen those rocks before.
This is because we haven't had enough rain.
Usually, you can't play on these rocks
because the river covers them all.
My grandma can still remember when the river came right up to there.
The river went up to over ten metres.
But my grandma says that Cologne has a very good defence system
to protect us from floods.
It is very easy to get around Cologne with buses or a tram.
But the best are the trains.
You can get a normal train or you can get a high-speed train
ICE stands for Inter City Express.
ICE is a fantastic express train,
which can go up to 300 kilometres an hour.
It's the fastest train in Germany.
There's also another fast train, it's called the double express.
Here, people can sit upstairs and downstairs.
When I travel from the main station,
I always cross over the famous Hohenzollern Bridge.
People have hung over 40,000 padlocks on it.
These are love locks to show how much people love each other.
Look at this one!
When they've locked it, they throw the key into the Rhine.
If you walk over the bridge, you will come to the old part of town.
That's where our famous cathedral is.
It is one of the most visited sites in Germany.
It took 750 years to build it.
Cologne cathedral has the largest free-swinging bell in the world.
It's called Fat Peter and weighs 24 tonnes.
But there's something else that Cologne is really famous for.
The Christmas markets.
We have seven really beautiful ones in Cologne.
My sister and I love this one.
Elves are hidden all over the place but I can easily spot them.
The market in the old part of town is called the Elves Market.
It is called this because of our very famous fairy-tale,
The Elves Of Cologne.
This is the famous story of Cologne.
There are so many lovely things!
Over four million tourists visit the markets in just four weeks.
There's also a puppet stand.
The lady selling the puppets at the stand was really nice
and we chatted about the puppets for a long time.
You can also learn a lot about wood cutting
because there's a wood sculptor there.
If you come in December you will be able to have
loads of fun in the markets.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
Child-led documentary revealing life in two of Europe's most geographically and culturally interesting but sometimes overlooked countries. Through the eyes of seven local children, the programme features the mountains, rivers and coastline of Germany and the canals, ports and flatlands of the Netherlands.