Floriade 2012 – World Horticultural Expo Garden Tour
Including Keukenhof
April 19th – April 27th, 2012
 



April 22, Day 4

Visit to the Bloememarkt

The Bloemenmarkt at several hundred meters long, is a favorite tourist attraction but you can tell that they also do serious business here.. Founded in 1862, it is a treasure trove of delight awaiting you. Since you are here early in your tour, pick up some flowers to take back to your room. I always have flowers in my hotel rooms while on tours and here you can buy them for a song!

A visit of the Botanical Gardens of Amsterdam. The Hortus Botanicus Amsterdam is one of the oldest botanic gardens in the world. Today, there are more than 4,000 plant species growing in the garden and greenhouses. The Hortus is located in the Plantage district on the edge of the hectic center of Amsterdam. Behind the 300-year-old gates, however, the bustle of the city seems to disappear. Originally, the Hortus was a medicinal herb garden, founded in 1638 by the Amsterdam City Council. At that time, herbs were of vital importance as the basis of medicines and the city had just experienced a plague epidemic. Doctors and pharmacists trained in the preparation of prescriptions at the Hortus.

Thanks to the ships of the Dutch East India Company (Verenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie, VOC), the Hortus expanded quickly in the 17th and 18th Centuries. The VOC ships brought not only herbs and spices, but also exotic ornamental plants. In fact, a few of the Hortus' 'crown jewels' date from that time, e.g. the 300-year-old Eastern Cape giant cycad.

Although the Hortus is just 1.2 hectares in size, the number of plants is enormous. In fact, there are more than 6,000 plants (>4,000 species) in the garden and 7 greenhouses. Each greenhouse represents a different climate: i.e., the temperature and humidity are especially adjusted. In this way, the garden and greenhouses can accommodate plants from no less than 6 different climates.

The Outdoor Garden looked much different in 1682 than it does today. The straight beds contained medicinal plants, while the ornamental flowers were grown in symmetric arches. The present design (dating from 1863) is characteristic of the Romantic Movement: the curving paths and round shapes are supposed to make the visitor forget the surrounding city.

It is lovely and if you have the time, sit and have a cup of coffee in the Orangery. I was thrilled to discover that they coffee came from Panama!
http://www.dehortus.nl/informatie.asp

In the afternoon we enjoyed a cruise along Amsterdam´s picture perfect canals - something not to be missed! This cruise took along several canals and past the city´s most spectacular spots. As we glided through the historic city centre we saw elegant merchants´ residences, churches and warehouses, dating from the Golden Age and steeped in history.

The best cruise through 17th century Amsterdam. Hollands capital has 160 canals and 1000 bridges. We experienced Amsterdam from the water. Cruising through a number of Amsterdams canals, this cruise passed along some of the cities most beautiful spots. While gliding through the old centre of the city we saw elegant merchants mansions, carillon-crowned churches and the warehouses with their rich history from Hollands Golden Age.

Finally Van Gogh Museum

A visit to the Van Gogh Museum is a unique experience. The museum contains the largest collection of paintings by Vincent van Gogh in the world. It provides the opportunity to keep track of the artist's developments, or compare his paintings to works by other artists from the 19th century in the collection. Van Gogh was only active as an artist for 10 years and juring that time he produced an impressive body of work – about 800 paintings and more than 1000 drawings as well as watercolours, lithographs and sketches in letters. The museum also holds an extensive offer of exhibitions on various subjects from 19th century art history.
http://www.vangoghmuseum.nl/vgm/index.jsp?lang=en

 

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