WORLD

SEASON OF TULIPS – WHEN THE WORLD TRAVELS TO THE NETHERLANDS

14/04/2024 12:19 PM

(Quiz master Phanindra Ivatury from the Netherlands invites readers to marvel at the beauty of Dutch Tulips in full bloom)

 

UTRECHT (The Netherlands), April 14 (Bernama) -- Spring and Tulips are nearly synonymous to the Netherlanders. 

It’s a flowery feeling to be living in a country where you get to see this exotic bloom spring even in your own backyard during Spring.

It’s that time of the year when the country (after having shrugged off the ennui of a harsh winter) is bustling with outdoor activity, accompanied by loads of sunshine and delightful daylight hours, thereby  welcoming global tourists to marvel at the vast expanses of its surreal tulip canvas.

 

Diamond Jubilee Year of the ‘Keukenhof’:

 

‘Keukenhof’ in Netherlands, which is considered ‘the most beautiful spring park in the world’, opens its doors only for an exclusive eight-week period between March and May every year.  

This year marks the 75th Anniversary of the park’s public showcasing of the sublime Dutch floriculture sector, with specific focus on bulbous flowers like the Tulip.

The park, which is a floral wonderland, is spread into a mammoth 32 hectares, housing a staggering seven million flower bulbs planted by gardeners every year. It consists of 1600 types of bulbous plants including a jaw-dropping 800 types of Tulips.  Having no cap on ‘selfies or pictures’ inside of it makes Keukenhof occupy one of the most colourful spots on social media between March and May of the year.  

During Keukeunhof’s public active weeks, one gets to see an amusingly familiar sight at the Schiphol Airport, Amsterdam, where many arriving global tourists walk out and straight away catch the ‘Tulip season special’ city bus No.858 that connects the airport to these gardens in around half an hour’s time. 

The uniqueness and popularity of ‘Keukenhof’ not only contributes to its own sector, but effectively gives a boost to other economic sectors like the catering industry, retail, accommodation, transport companies, museums and other attractions/activities in the Netherlands.

 

Cycle Trails to the Tulips:

 

Tulips Ahoy! Engulfed with wishful wind in your hair and the soothing sun on your face, the Dutch tulip trails on a cycle offer you miles of floral kaleidoscope stretches which are comparable to almost nothing in floriculture that your naked eye had ever seen.

Most of these flower beds belong to a blooming season which starts late March and extends up to early May.  It’s a colour riot with varieties of crocuses, daffodils, hyacinths and tulips on display.

Map-based cycle trails to explore these floral fields are available in the Netherlands alongside plentiful tour operators offering dedicated tours not just on cycles but on multiple modes of transport with audio guides. 

Last year, I had the privilege of cycling to the Dutch floral fields located between the dunes and the flower village of Noordwijkerhout. 

The visual splendor on offer during that visit was enough for me to profess to all those bucket-list enthusiast  friends of mine that these floral field experiences would not just make them rearrange their given ratings to other ‘garden vacation’ conquests. The bloom fields of Netherlands will simply smash their way into the top rung.

 

Events Galore:

 

The Tulip season in the Netherlands is all about radiating revelry.  One can participate in a plethora of events like the famous ‘Bloemencorso Bollenstreek’, a flower parade organised in the month of April, tulip picking by children, running or walking for charity or even taking a high octane helicopter flight above the tulip fields.

 

Malaysian Tulip’s Dutch Connection:

 

Cameron Highlands in Pahang proudly boasts the thriving of the tulip on Malaysian soil. A recent ‘Bernama’ article highlights the success story of tulip cultivation in Malaysia with the bulbs originating from different countries as they undergo seed-breeding technology led by the Netherlands from where they are imported.  

 

Dutch Tulips and the Bollywood Dream:

 

For most Indian origin people of my age, our first dreamy impressions of a bud called the ‘Tulip” blossomed with the now famous Hindi song called “Dekha ek khwaab” from the 1981 Bollywood movie “Silsila” directed by the late Yash Chopra – a man often hailed as the “King of Romance”. 

The soothing number picturised in some of the most scenic Tulip fields of the Netherlands featured actors Amitabh Bachchan and Rekha, a heralded Hindi cinema pair over the decades.

 Around the same time, close on the heels of Yash Chopra, another iconic Indian filmmaker (and actor) the late Raj Kapoor, who himself is regarded as the “Showman of Bollywood”, travelled all the way to the Dutch Tulips for filming a poignant song for his 1982 movie “Prem Rog” (“Sickness of Love” when translated into English) starring his son, the late Rishi Kapoor, with actress Padmini Kolhapure.

Four decades later in 2022, on an official state visit to the Kingdom of Netherlands, Honourable Ram Nath Kovind, the then President of India, named a tulip in the fields of Keukenhof as “Maitri” ( meaning “Friendship” in Sanskrit) commemorating the occasion of the 75th Anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

 

“New Season Coming”:

 

 If you are a Malaysian national who never so far had a chance to witness the tulip phenomenon of the Netherlands or had missed out planning it over the years including this year, there is no need for despair.

 Malaysian citizens do not need a visa for the Netherlands (if their stay would not exceed 90 days). Find a vacation window for next year as the fascinating Dutch tulip episodes are always gearing up for the “New Season Coming”.  Obviously, on popular demand.

-- BERNAMA

 

 

 

 

 


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