It started as a whisper and then got much louder. You could hear the news from friends, neighbors and family members. It was on the television, the radio, online news and then finally, it hit Facebook. It was now official: the tulips were in bloom and you better get ready. In The Netherlands, if you want to see the tulips in bloom and still in the ground, then you cannot hesitate to take a road trip. The timing is very tricky and you don’t want end up driving by miles and miles of dirt and wonder “where did all the tulips go?”

So the cars head out to the flower regions and it can be quite crazy. There are also busloads of tourists and they are not just Dutch buses. There are buses from Belgium, Germany, Poland and many other countries. The viewing of the tulips is like going to Stonehenge or the Grand Canyon, it is a big thing. The difference here, is that you have to be on wheels as these farms are spread out over quite a big region. You can pull over and take photographs. But I refuse to do what I saw others do, and that is to actually step into the area where the tulips are. Number one, it is private property. And number two, I can only imagine what damage can be done to those flowers. So these photos were taken, as Bette Midler sang, from a distance.

The colors are so vivid, alive and deep. The colors are so bright and cheerful. The tulips are the welcome wagon for The Netherlands. I can honestly say that seeing these flowers in print is nothing like seeing them in person. And that is the way nature should be anyway. But at least you can get a sense of a Dutch May.






Recommended reading: The Middlesteins by Jami Attenberg and When this happens to you by Molly Ringwald. I read these two great novels back to back and what a treat it was. Both so different but so very good.

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  • teelee2013  On May 13, 2013 at 12:45 am

    Absolutely gorgeous! Wow.

  • Jean Langley  On May 13, 2013 at 4:38 am

    Thanks for sharing this. It’s good to know that the Dutch get pleasure out of this every year. I guess it never gets old when the colors are so vivid.

  • Carol  On May 13, 2013 at 4:12 pm

    Beautiful… I love tulips. Thank you for sharing.

  • Ien in the Kootenays  On May 19, 2013 at 5:10 am

    Thanks for the pictures!

    Naar de bollen, naar die prachtige bollen,
    waar je sprakeloos geniet
    van de kleuren die je ziet…
    Popular song from the twenties or thirties that my dad used to hum.

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