We frequently fly to Holland for work. Our visits generally involve back-to-back supplier meetings and a fair amount of hunching over laptops.
During a trip in April 2015, we squeezed in a visit to Keukenhof gardens. Set in the heart of the Netherlands’ prime bulb region south west of Amsterdam, the garden is home to over seven million spring flowering bulbs – when they’re in full bloom, it’s basically a riot of kaleidoscopic colour.
It was early evening and luckily for us, most of the tourists were leaving. Thoughts of work drifted calmly into the ether as we followed meandering paths lined with tulips, narcissi, daffodils, hyacinths and bluebells. Taking in the patchwork of reds, yellows, pinks, purples and oranges, we had the same thought; our parents should see this!
So, after coordinating three sets of parents, flights, hotel rooms and an itinerary (plus a couple of meetings), we went back the following spring – a sort of take-your-parents-to-work weekend! Over the two days, we crammed in a fair few ‘wow-inducing’ sights.
The first stop was Keukenhof. Like kids love sweetshops; parents adore spring flowers…
Then the bulb fields for tulip nirvana. If you’d rather not walk the fields, you could always hire a bike from Rent-A-Bike Van Dam (www.rentabikevandam.nl/en/).
And the annual Flower Parade – a heady mix of flower-filled cars, bikes, floats and marching bands – which passes Keukenhof.
Of course you can’t go to Holland without visiting Amsterdam…
Or pretending the giant clog is a racing car, vroom vroom… (ahem, Rob Copsey)
On our last night we had a picnic-dinner on the beach. It was great fun, if a little nippy (absolutely freezing).
Our trip to Holland was a big hit. We all agreed we’d never seen such an array of psychedelic colours and flowers in the space of 48 hours (well, who knows what our parents got up to in the 1960’s).
One thing’s for sure, we all came back feeling inspired to plant more spring bulbs. You never know, in a few years time we could even start charging entrance fees.