Diving in the Netherlands
This is where it all started! After my mother gave me the open water course as a present, it all went deeper and deeper from then on. Learning to dive in cold, dark, and usually muddy lakes is difficult. Skills are not easy to perform because of thick hoods and gloves. Taking off your mask is even worse because of the sudden splash of cold water hitting your face. But I do think it makes for a better diver in the end. I'm not saying a cold water diver is better than a warm water diver... Just better at different fields of the scuba world.
Diving in the Netherlands has a great mix of dive sites. From deep and dark quarries filled with old vehicles to shallow saltwater lakes with lots of little critters to look out for. I do prefer salt water over fresh water, simply because I like macro more than objects. My first seahorse was at the 'zeelandbrug' a channel dive site near the North Sea. Also, my favorite sea slug, E. viridis, is still a cold water species and not one of many (also beautiful) Asian species.