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Hilliness [Series O: “Overseas”]

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Olinguito
1274728.  Sat Feb 17, 2018 5:24 pm Reply with quote

While talking about hilly places in this episode, Bill Bailey and Alan Davies say that there is no crime in Holland or Belgium because these countries are so flat that everyone can see each other for miles.

Well I thought it was because the countries are so flat that everyone is on the level.

(Sorry, just had to.)

 
Bondee
1274742.  Sun Feb 18, 2018 5:56 am Reply with quote

The New Seekers actually did try to teach the word to sing once, but they failed because the Netherlands were too flat.

 
'yorz
1274758.  Sun Feb 18, 2018 6:51 am Reply with quote

Well, there's that, but somehow 'the world' and 'perfect harmony' also seems a bit farfetched.

 
suze
1274771.  Sun Feb 18, 2018 9:04 am Reply with quote

Do Dutch people grow up believing that they live in an especially flat country?

Do Danes also grow up believing that they live in an especially flat country, or would they say Nej, det er Holland if asked about lands of remarkably few hills?

Because Denmark is by just about every measure flatter than the Netherlands. Its tallest hill is half the height of the tallest Dutch hill (considering only the European part of the Netherlands here), and its mean gradient is 1:658 as against 1:348 for the Netherlands (ditto). Belarus is actually flatter still.

Has anyone here been to Gibraltar? It is the least flat territory in Europe, slopier even than Liechtenstein in the heart of the Alps. (Unsurprisingly, the slopiest "full sized country" in Europe is Switzerland.)

Is Gibraltar one of those places where everywhere is uphill?

 
Spud McLaren
1274773.  Sun Feb 18, 2018 9:43 am Reply with quote

It would be something of a nuisance if the beaches were.

 
Dix
1274776.  Sun Feb 18, 2018 10:49 am Reply with quote

suze wrote:

Do Danes also grow up believing that they live in an especially flat country, or would they say Nej, det er Holland if asked about lands of remarkably few hills?


Danes are very well aware that they live in a flat country. When I grew up the steepest gradients were the bridges over the Copenhagen harbour and the road tunnel under the runway at the airport.

The standard joke about flatness is that we've named the (almost) largest hill "Himmelbjerget". That hill is actually considerably lower than One Canada Square in Canary Wharf (147m vs 235m).

I think most people would think of the Netherlands in terms of canals and dykes, not flatness as such.

 
Bondee
1274777.  Sun Feb 18, 2018 11:01 am Reply with quote

Dix wrote:
The standard joke about flatness is that we've named the (almost) largest hill "Himmelbjerget". That hill is actually considerably lower than One Canada Square in Canary Wharf (147m vs 235m).


Our main customer is Danish. During a factory visit a while ago they told us about their biggest wind turbine and how, at 195m, it's taller than the highest natural point in Denmark which (IIRC) is around 170m.

 
suze
1274784.  Sun Feb 18, 2018 12:17 pm Reply with quote

Apparently not everyone agrees about what is the highest point in Denmark. At one time it was considered to be Himmelbjerget ("the sky mountain") which Dix mentions above.

In the mid-C19 they realized that wasn't right, but what is the highest point depends on whether a Bronze Age burial mound is considered a building (and therefore doesn't count towards the height, just as you don't make your hill higher than any other by building a tower at the top) or an earthwork (which does count). Either way, the highest point is between 171 and 173 meters, and is in the borough of Skanderborg in the "mainland Europe" part of Denmark.

All of Denmark is closer to sea level than all of Switzerland, since the lowest point in Switzerland is 193 meters above sea level.

 
'yorz
1274786.  Sun Feb 18, 2018 12:24 pm Reply with quote

I am very puzzled. In the early '80s I made a roundtrip to Denmark aboard a huge truck, delivering seedling plants to farmes across that country. One of my abiding memories is parts of the rural landscape that I then described as being 'like short, choppy, waves'. No idea what the more scientific name for such landscape would be but I'd think it's rather descriptive. Certainly not overall flat.

 
Bondee
1274795.  Sun Feb 18, 2018 1:59 pm Reply with quote

'yorz wrote:
... 'like short, choppy, waves' ...


Like the ripples in sand on a beach when the tide's out?

 
'yorz
1274796.  Sun Feb 18, 2018 2:03 pm Reply with quote

Good analogy - but then a lot biggerder :-)

 
Bondee
1274800.  Sun Feb 18, 2018 2:27 pm Reply with quote

Giant current ripples. I've heard/read Graham Hancock and Randall Carlson mention them in relation to the Missoula floods in the north-western US at the end of the last ice age. I'd have to let a geologist say whether this is the case for Denmark too.

 
'yorz
1274801.  Sun Feb 18, 2018 2:32 pm Reply with quote

Hmm. In my memory, they were not as long, and closer together.

 
crissdee
1274820.  Sun Feb 18, 2018 5:57 pm Reply with quote

Bondee wrote:
........biggest wind turbine.........at 195m.


Is that measured to the "hub" or to the highest point the rotors reach? Either way, that sounds like a biggie!

 
Dix
1274827.  Mon Feb 19, 2018 2:35 am Reply with quote

'yorz wrote:
I am very puzzled. In the early '80s I made a roundtrip to Denmark aboard a huge truck, delivering seedling plants to farmes across that country. One of my abiding memories is parts of the rural landscape that I then described as being 'like short, choppy, waves'. No idea what the more scientific name for such landscape would be but I'd think it's rather descriptive. Certainly not overall flat.


The term is moraine landscape.

Amended link - this one works


This link covers Jutland, where the ice rim was. It's exposed to the wind from the North Sea so it's pretty bleak in places. The eastern parts of Denmark were totally ice-covered (= lots of clay deposits) have much more lush vegetation. Couldn't find a good single online source for piccies of that.


(and yeah, I made a typo when i typed in the height of Himmelbjerget earlier. Sorry.)

Edit: thanks to 'yorz for help with the link.


Last edited by Dix on Mon Feb 19, 2018 8:02 am; edited 1 time in total

 

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