Tea, bulls and bicycles…
I’ve often thought that stereotypes make the world go around. The Frenchman and his bicycle, the sleeping Spaniard dreaming of bullfights and the Englishman carefully brewing his five hundredth cup of tea of the day.
Holland is one of the key destinations served by P&O Ferries, and arriving in that country travellers may bring with them a number of different preconceptions. Booted with clumsy wooden clogs, churning cheese and dressed in orange, you might encounter a Dutchman up to any number of liberal activities, so be prepared!
Of course, upon closer examination many stereotypes don’t quite live up to reality. Unfortunate I know, but none the less true. However, visitors to the Netherlands may well be able to enjoy one of their national emblems on a trip down through the country.
The tulip is one of about 100 different species of bulbous flowering plants that can be found all around the world. Grown from bulbs and spectacular to view in the months between March and April, thousands of visitors flock to the Netherlands each year to see them blooming.
A chap called Charles de L’Ecluse is one who is particularly responsible for the growth in popularity of the tulip in Holland. In the sixteenth century he authored a popular book on the subject and later planted a remarkable garden at his home in Leiden, from which hundreds of bulbs were stolen over the years.
International tulip theft, now that’s a novel concept. Perhaps the tulips of today are all great-great-great grandchildren of L’Ecluse’s, it’d be a fittingly remarkable notion to imagine that they were.
So, in spite of stereotype, for the green-fingered it is clear that Holland is a wise destination. With P&O you could be cruising into the tulip-sunset sometime soon.