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Soaking up Spring in Holland

Like clogs, windmills and bicycles, the tulip as a symbol is intimately linked to one’s image of Holland. This bulb, which originated in Anatolia and the Middle East, reached Europe in the 16th century and was met with marked admiration, particularly in the Low Countries. There, just one century later, it sparked a phenomenon that came to be known as “tulip mania”. As a result, the flower became a veritable cult object, fetching exorbitant prices and eventually being listed on the stock exchange. This ended up triggering the first recorded economic bubble in history, on account of the speculation that emerged around this product.

Nowadays, tulips inundate the Dutch countryside each spring, turning it into a genuine explosion of colour. It is well worth a getaway to the Netherlands just to contemplate it. For those eager to savour this priceless flower to the full, we have put together a selection of places you can’t fail to include on your must-see list.

Keukenhof, a Park With Over 7 Million Flower Bulbs
is located in Lisse, between Amsterdam and The Hague, in the heart of what is known as the “Bulb Region”. Here you will encounter an amazing 7 million plus flower bulbs, the sight of which is overpowering. This is a must-visit site for flower lovers and nature devotees in general. But, Keukenhof is not celebrated just for its huge number of flowers, but also for its landscape design, featuring lakes, fountains, walkways and windmills, making up a surprisingly heady ensemble. The only drawback is that this marvellous garden is only open to the public at the time of the tulip blossom; that is, from mid-March to the end of May and, owing to the large crowds that flock here, it is advisable to book well in advance.

En Route Through Bollenstreek, The Bulb Region
The area known as the Bulb Region (Bollenstreek, in Dutch) is another destination you should make a point of visiting in spring. Situated 30 kilometres south-west of Amsterdam, between Haarlem and Leiden, the area is characterised by the presence of clayey earth which, in conjunction with the prevailing maritime climate, makes for perfect tulip-growing conditions, in addition to other bulbs, notably crocuses, daffodils and hyacinths. The time of year to come here is in April, when the tulips reach their maximum splendour. Touring this land by car or bicycle is a veritable delight on the eyes, as you come across field after field of myriad tulips in all shapes and colours – an astonishing sight for any visitor to behold. Organised tours from Amsterdam ply a fairly comprehensive circuit through the towns in Bollenstreek.

Tulip Museum
If you are eager to know the history and all the ins and outs of this popular, highly prized bulb, make a point of visiting Amsterdam’s Tulip Museum before you leave Holland. Located in the Jordaan district, hard by the Anne Frank house museum, it is an essential resource for learning the thrilling history of this priceless flower.

Book your Vueling to Amsterdam and gear up to savour spring in Holland.

Text by Los Viajes de ISABELYLUIS

Photos by Robert Lyle Bolton

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100 Years of De Stijl Holland in Red, Yellow and Blue

De Stijl,one of the major avant-garde movements of the 20th century, is celebrating its anniversary. No less than a hundred years have passed since Theo van Doesburg published the first issue of the magazine, De Stijl,after which this unique movement would eventually be named. Conceptualising art as all-embracing, dominated by geometry and the use of primary colours, the artists Piet Mondrian, Bart van der Leck, Gerrit Rietveld, Jacobus Johannes Pieter Oud, Vilmos Huszár, Cornelis van Eesteren, Antony Kok and Theo van Doesburg were instrumental in changing the course of the visual arts. As the cradle of this art style, Holland is gearing up to celebrate this event on a grand scale, with exhibitions, special itineraries, reviews and tributes to contemporary artists.

First Stop – The Hague
A first, essential stopover for this celebration is The Hague, just over a half-an-hour’s train ride from Amsterdam. There you can visit the Gemeentemuseum, which has the world’s largest collection of Mondrian’s works, boasting over 300 exhibits. To mark the centenary of De Stijl, they have organised Mondrian to Dutch Design. 100 years of De Stijl, an annual cycle comprising three exhibitions revolving around the figure of Mondrian and the De Stijl movement.

While you’re in The Hague, be sure to visit the City Hall, designed by architect Richard Meier, the walls of which are used as a huge canvas for displaying Mondrian’s popular grids, filled in with the most emblematic colours of the De Stijl – yellow, blue and red.

Celebrating De Stijl Architecture in Utrecht
Utrecht houses one of the leading icons of the De Stijl movement, the Rietveld Schröder House. Regarded as Rietveld’s crowning achievement and built in 1924, its design adheres to the movement’s tenets, dominated by planes and lines to form flexible spaces. This was highly innovative at the time and the house also features a generous dose of primary colours in its decoration. It is currently a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is part of Utrecht’s Centraal Museum collection. Incidentally, the latter is hosting an exhibition, lasting until 11 June, entitled Rietveld’s Masterpiece; Long live De Stijl! dedicated to Rietveld’s career, as well as his links to other artists in the movement such as Bart van der Leck, Theo van Doesburg and Willem van Leusden.

Leiden and Drachten – Spotlighting Theo van Doesburg, the Founder of De Stijl
Another two stopovers on our centenary route of the De Stijl are Leiden and Drachten. Leiden was where Theo van Doesburg published his first issue of the magazine, De Stijl, leading to the birth of the new movement. Here, from 2 June to 27 September, you can visit the exhibition, Open-Air Museum de Lakenhal, featuring a prototype of “Maison d’Artiste”, the work of Theo van Doesburg and Cor van Eesteren.

In Drachten, one of the houses in the so-called Parrot District, designed by Theo van Doesburg, will be open to the public during the second half of 2017.

Mondrian’s Legacy
In addition to visiting The Hague, where, as mentioned earlier, one of the largest collections of the artist is on display, those wishing to find out more about one of the leading figures of the De Stijl movement should also see Mondrian’s house of birth, located in Amersfoort, as well as head for Winterswijk, where Mondrian lived from the age of 8 to 20, which also features what is known as the Villa Mondrian.

Book your Vueling to Amsterdam and join in the celebration of the centenary of the De Stijl.

Text by Los Viajes de ISABELYLUIS

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Seven destinations for travelling alone

You can travel with friends, as a couple, with the family... yes, we know that it's nice to share experiences, but those of us who love travelling recommend that everyone should travel alone at least once in a lifetime! Why? You can get around without having to wait for anyone, make your own decisions and choices, get away from it all... In short, you will be your sole companion. Which are the best places for this? Here is a list of destinations for travelling alone.

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Also known as the Garden of Europe, Keukenhof has been the world’s largest flower garden for over fifty years situated near Lisse, in South Holland. The garden was established to present a flower exhibit where growers from all over the Netherlands and Europe could show off their hybrids. Whit over 32 hectares of flowers, 7 million tulips, daffodils and hyacinths, inspirational gardens and wonderful works, you will discover through Keukenhof the special beauty spots and one of the most popular destinations in the world that you should not miss.

Open daily from 21 March until 20 May
Opening Hours: from 8:00h to 19:30h (ticket office closes at 18:00h)


Picture by Chuck Szmurlo

Makes you want to go, right? Do it! Check out our prices here!

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