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How did the herring-eating Batavian tribes eke out a living in the marshy coastal swamps, confronting the dual wraths of the North Sea and the Roman army?

How did the sea dike and the windmill lead to the Dutch being world leaders in hydro-engineering and wind-power technology? 

How did Philips of Eindhoven turn a light bulb into global  products - such as radios, TVs and MRI scanners?

The Blue Thread follows the Dutch working with water. We trace the industry and culture of the global gateway of Rotterdam, the Dutch pioneers, the explorers and traders who plied the seven seas, as well as the innovative engineers who tame the waters of seas, rivers and canals at home and around the world. The Dutch population benefit from the extensive canal and river networks for trade and leisure. 

The Green Thread explores the land resources of the Netherlands, by exploring the city and the province of Groningen, and visiting Wageningen the city of Life Sciences.


Dutch farmers and millers, bakers and brewers, market gardeners, horti- and flori-culturalists shape the land and feed the nation. The nation’s energy resources, including wind energy and the bonanza of natural gas are examined. The ecology of the Netherlands is discussed.

The Gold Thread introduces us to Dutch industry and trade. We visit the serendipitous city of Amsterdam, the birthplace of twins: capitalism and liberalism.


We see the Dutch as a trading nation, specialised in the services of buying and selling, production and transportation of goods around Europe and across the world. Small and large enterprises ride the ebb and flow of prosperity. Family manufacturing businesses morph into multinationals with Dutchmen at the helm. The bicycle is underwriting the health and hence the wealth of the nation.

The Orange Thread focuses on people and ideas. We explore the courtly capital of The Hague and visit the historical university city of Utrecht.


The Dutch political structure and the scientific, technical and cultural achievements are reviewed. Ministers of state and ministers of religion, painters and poets, republicans and royalists, scientists and engineers, entrepreneurs and athletes all colour this ever-evolving nation of the Netherlands.

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