TRAVEL: Tiptoe Through the Tulips in Holland
I have had the privilege of traveling to some of the most beautiful places in the world. At the very top of my list is Holland during tulip blooming season. There are rows and rows of gorgeous flowers in every color imaginable. Pictures just don’t do it justice! The perfume from the hyacinth is almost intoxicating.
When I go to Holland I love to stay in the quaint town of Delft. This village was made famous by the Royal Delft Blue pottery that has been hand painted there since the 16th century. The last of these factories is still operational and open for tours.
Architecture of the Netherlands is distinctive and Delft is no exception. During the Dutch Golden Age, canals were dug and many tall narrow homes were built with intricate facades to show the wealth of the merchants living there. The name Delft actually stemmed from a word meaning “delving” or “digging.”
I stayed at a friend’s apartment right in the center of town. From the front windows we watched the merchants set up their wares and the people riding in on their bicycles to grab some fresh bread, cheese and flowers!
Sitting on the balcony in the back we had views of the old church steeples. This was a perfect respite after a long day of walking the city or exploring through one of these old churches.
We also saw the city hall, shopped for some Delft Blue pottery and encountered street performers of all sorts. If you turn the corner, you can visit the Vermeer Center and see beautiful works of art in the traditional Dutch style.
There isn’t a need for a car in the city. We did all our exploring by foot, bike or train. It’s all part of the ambiance.
Now the day we have all been waiting for: our experience at Keukenhof Flower Garden in Lisse. It is one of the largest flower gardens in the world and in April there are flowers blooming as far as the eye can see.
First we walked through millions of bulbs planted in the garden. They had everything from formal gardens to natural areas and even creative touches like old cars filled with flowers.
After spending hours strolling through the fields, it was time for the parade. This is a special treat since they only have it once a year. The year we went the theme was musicals. We saw Lion King, Singing in the Rain, Mary Poppins, Alice in Wonderland and so many more. This year the parade will be on April 26, 2016.
The floats were beautiful but nothing compared to what we did next. We rented bicycles and rode through the fields of tulips and hyacinth. You cannot even imagine the aroma. Smell evokes such a strong memory. Now if I experience anything similar it takes me right back to that moment in time.
I hope you all have a chance to visit one day soon. I suddenly have the urge to plant some flowers. Guess I am headed to the garden center!