Different Donderdag: Highways

A highway is a highway is a highway. There probably aren’t that many differences from one highway to another, from one country to another, at least in the standard western world. Aside from the license plate shape, the picture above really doesn’t look much different from any similar highway scene I remember from the US. Still, there are a few differences you’ll notice on Dutch highways compared to American highways (and I use highway interchangeably with interstates).

First up, the Exit sign is now an Uit sign.

Speed signs are posted above the road in electronic form that can change as needed.

We’ve got electronic information signs too, of course, but they’re in Dutch!
Information Highway

There are the big blue signs providing direction to various cities, and information about ring roads.
Ring Around the Rosie

There are even signs directing you toward cheese! Yum! Gouda!
Say Cheese
OK, no, it’s not actually directing you toward cheese, just the city for which the cheese is named.

As you can see, it’s all pretty similar to anywhere else. One thing that is a bit different here is the fact that there aren’t the same huge, ugly billboards everywhere. This is the only one I saw that even remotely came close to the ones I was so used to in America (I saw these South of the Border billboards a lot in North Carolina).
Euro Menu

There are also a lot of wind turbines near the highway here, at least on the stretch we drove from Utrecht toward Rotterdam.
More Molen
You’ll also see lots of fields divided up by canals like these, often with cows, horses and/or sheep hanging around.
But it’s always going to be flat.

11 thoughts on “Different Donderdag: Highways

  1. Nice to see things I take for granted through new eyes.
    Can’t wait to read about strange habits we Dutchies have 🙂

  2. Excellent photos! I love driving the highways here because I always see something new. I try and spot all the plates and figure out wich country they are from and I got all excited when I saw someone driving from England..I was startled at first because when I looked over to my right the woman was reading a book and I thought oh my gosh what is she thinking!? and then when they pulled in front of us, I saw the husband driving on the other side..lol

    • Heh. I can imagine that would be a bit of a shock to see a British car on the road here! I enjoyed reading the various trucks and trying to see how much I understood — or how similar the German was to Dutch (saw lots of German trucks).

  3. I love how your pictures highlight the beauty we have along our motorways here in Holland.

    One of the best tourist experiences is driving from the airport, along that route you see nice building windmills landscapes etc etc

    • Heh. I left out some of the less attractive shots of the cranes and industrial stuff. But the fields with the small canals through them really do make up for any industrial eyesores!

      When I did the ride from Schipol to Utrecht that first time, I was a bit put out that things didn’t look so different — until I saw my first windmill!

  4. Another aspect I might add of driving in NL in general is as a non-dutch(yet) speaking American I tend to miss the signs that say slow down and my gosh I can’t seem to remember the person to the right has the right away a lot of times… even if I’m on a straight way..now that rule I just don’t get!! My hubs saids it’s to slow down traffic in the villages…I suppose I do get it..but just don’t drive over the speed limit, right?!

    • I don’t drive here yet anyway, and I don’t miss it. I know that there are all sorts of signs that I’ve seen that I just can’t translate at all yet and I figure I’d do something horribly wrong, not to mention the small differences like right of way and such.

  5. When a speed is posted on the electronic overhead signs, is it a warning or a limit? I always slow down in anticipation of congestion, but if the traffic doesn’t materialize, do you still have to drive below the electronically posted speed?

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