This is the main reason of my trip to europe this year. I had been waiting for the moment I'll be able to catch the glimpse of....
When I arrive in Lisse and Noordwijk, I was greeted with hectars of blooming tulips field. Make it very hard to decide where to stop and take a picture.
In the Middle Ages, Lisse was a small settlement; there were only 50 houses in 1500. Because of prolonged warfare (particularly the wars of Charles the Bold and the Eighty Years' War), poverty was prevalent. Its population lived from agriculture, animal husbandry, and peat harvesting.
Yet in the following centuries, every one of these estates (except Keukenhof) was removed to make way for the cultivation of bulb flowers. The sandy soil in Lisse's surroundings were highly suitable for its growth provided the soil was fertilized. The nearby dunes were excavated and forests cut down progressively over time for more fields for the flower business. This brought employment and prosperity to this area.
Can you see the soil? believe me.... it's actually very dry and sandy!
In the 20th century, the bulb flower business continued to boom, resulting in the establishment of auction and trading houses, large-scale cultivators and cooperatives. Today, Lisse exports bulbflowers in large quantities to over a hundred countries worldwide. The auction start the bidding from higher price (to lower), a very strange way of bidding, but still people buying this tulips at very high price.
Located at the centre of the "Dune and Bulb Region" (Duin- en Bollenstreek), Holland's flower-growing region, Lisse is also a major tourist attraction. During the spring when the fields around Lisse are in a colourful bloom, hundreds of thousands of local and foreign tourists visit the area. Ironically, the only remaining estate that was not removed for flower cultivation (Keukenhof) became world-famous for its flower displays.
In few days time, we'll step to the ultimate tulip garden.
The Keukenhof! Stay tuned!
Stay : 2 nights
Where : Pension Maaike, Noordwijk (http://www.pensionmaaike.nl/)