THE NETHERLANDS: Ijsselmeer

Plump Queen Wilhelmina beamed, so did the plump Prince Consort. Comfortable Princess Juliana went out to inspect the new villages near Wieringen and thousands of Dutch trippers on hundreds of excursion boats yelled themselves hoarse. But at Volendam and Marken, those overexploited bits of quaintness, fishing boats were tied in glum rows to the quays, their painted sideboards hauled out of the water, their flags at half-mast. Fisher folk clumped gloomily over the cobblestones in wooden shoes.

Cause of the general rejoicing and the Marken gloom was the same: Holland remade her...