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Posts Tagged "Netherlands"

Holland: Springtime in the bulbfields

Holland: Springtime in the bulbfields

Spring has officially started. Time to visit the bulbfields in The Netherlands. The Bulbfields With millions of flowering bulbs in bloom the landscape of the ‘Bollenstreek’ is a kaleidoscope of eye-searing colour interspersed with a gentler palette of muted pastel shades. Add a windmill and you have a quintessential Dutch scene. Surprisingly, considering the tulips place in Dutch imagery, the bulbfields are a relatively small area south and west of Amsterdam. What they lack in size the make up for in impact. The flowering season is short; mid-Arch to mid-May which is about 8 weeks. While there are narcissi and hyacinths early on it is the tulips that provide the vast range of colours. These tend to follow the narcissi in the flowering cycle so the best time to visit is in the small window when their blooming season overlaps around…

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Keukenhof, home of the tulip

Keukenhof, home of the tulip

It was back in the early nineties when I first visited Keukenhof. The trip was my first as a fully fledged travel writer. That was back in the days before iPhones and iPads and laptops, if you had one, weighed as much as a slab of concrete. The other day I discovered the VHS video tape I was given of Keukenhof on that visit and I don’t have anything to play it on. Never mind I have a memory stick with their promotional video on it that fits in my pocket. I remember that visit like it was yesterday. The sweet smell of hyacinths was all pervading with a hint of narcissi notes every now and then. Stretching away to a small lake was a palate of eye-searing intense colour. Tulips of almost every colour imaginable, narcissi of all shades from white…

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European city breaks by rail

European city breaks by rail

In the plane vs train stakes the train often wins hands down, or should that be wheels down, when it comes to total travel time from city centre to city centre. For journeys beginning in London this only applies to the cities nearest to the Channel Tunnel. Places like Brussels, Paris, and Amsterdam immediately come to mind. However, Cologne, Strasbourg and Lyon can be reached in little more than it would take to fly there. When the issue of comfort, no baggage fees or restrictions (within reason), high speed city centre to city centre journeys are taken into account travel by train becomes a far more inviting option. I have travelled on the high-speed Eurostar, TGV, ICE and Thalys trains across some of the European network and have chosen 6 cities worth considering for a rail break. Paris and Brussels are Eurostar destinations…

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