Monday, September 25, 2017

Chasing Tulip Fields in Holland!

Trivia: Did you know that tulips originally come from Turkey?

If you visit Turkey in spring, you will find the beautiful gardens of Istanbul in a colourful carpet of tulip flowers. I was able to witness this 2 years ago. Check it out here: Sultanahmet Park in Istanbul, Turkey

Tulips these days, as synonymous to Holland aka Netherlands, were made popular around the world by the Dutch, after a professor brought the tulip bulbs to the Netherlands for further experimentation and cultivation. Who would have thought a flower can cause an economic crisis? But that's another story to tell. The Netherlands tourism website even uses the orange tulip as one of its many quintessential logos.

[To read the rest of the post and see more pictures, click the READ MORE link below]

Tulips to me though are nothing new. My first job in the Netherlands was situated in Hillegom, in the midst of the flower bulb region of the country. I can literally see the plethora of tulip fields from my work desk. Whenever I go to the terrace upstairs which is through the in-house Irish pub (yup, the office has its own brown Irish pub), I could see an endless colourful tapestry of flowers, row after row, of course only during spring.

By June the flowers on the fields have wilted or have been cut off. It’s all about the bulbs. When the farmers harvest the bulbs, they just throw away the flowers, most of the times leaving them on the ground.

When Bubbles visited me last April, I promised her that I will bring her to the flower fields. She has never been, although I believe she saw an American version in Michigan, USA, however, she doesn’t view it as an original experience, haha.

We were able to visit 2 areas, Hillegom and De Zik. Both villages are very near each other. It helped that we went with the car so it was easy for us to move around. But for those who are tourists and do not have a rental car, I suggest taking the stop-train from either Haarlem or Leiden. Get on the train and get off at the Hillegom station. The ride takes approximately 10 minutes from Haarlem and 13 minutes from Leiden. The flower fields are just beside the tracks. Haarlem and Leiden are easily reachable by train from Amsterdam and Utrecht.

Aerial view and distance between De Zik and Hillegom train station:

These fields turn to bright colours during late March to early June. De Zik and Hillegom are not too far away from each other. Just a half an hour walk.

These fields were very near my previous workplace. The company was not in the horticulture industry though but in IT. It does not exist anymore.

Anyway, Bubbles and I went gaga posing with the flowers! We really walked the length of the fields to experience being surrounded by a sea of flowers. It was very beautiful. Stunning! It is not advisable though to pick the flowers even though the farmers won’t be harvesting them. It’s just proper etiquette to leave them alone. It’s considered stealing if you pick them. There are however some flower farms that allow flower picking for a fee.

In between chasing flower fields, we took a break at this antique house café near De Zik. As it was a lovely day, Bubbles and I decided to sit outside. We had some tea and shared a slice of the typically Dutch apple tart crowned with rich whipped cream. We are sharing because we will have dinner later so we need to make sure there’s enough room in the stomach.

The quirky house café is one of a kind. It was like stepping inside a collectors museum. The owner himself was very friendly and was very quick to engage in a chat.

Bubbles and I were very lucky as it was a beautiful blue skies spring day. Best to check out the flower fields at the end of April and beginning of May when the flowers are in full bloom. We went end of April.

Here comes the rest of the photos:

Literally between the sea of flowers.

We spotted some tourists nearby with the same agenda.

More tulip/flower fields tourists =)

Stopping for a quick tea and apple tart in De Zik.

The quirky house cafe in De Zik. It even has an old juke box.

Just doing the pose!

More poses of course. Gotta grab the chance, haha.

Travel Period: April 2017
Destination: Hillegom and De Zik, Duin en Bollenstreek (South Holland), The Netherlands

Keep in touch and follow me on Facebook: Travel & Lifestyle Diaries by Dutched Pinay Travels
Happy Travels! Enjoy Life =)

All pictures were taken by a point and shoot pocket camera or a smartphone.

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