Today is Valentine’s Day and Amsterdam is extra full of flowers. The local bloemenkiosks (flower shops) peppered around the city have more buckets of bouquets on display—surely to supply gifts to those who are inclined (or compelled/forced/extorted) to be romantic this day.
But this sudden burst of flowers in the city for Valentine’s Day is nothing compared to the explosion that will happen in a several weeks when Winter finally gives way to Spring. Amsterdam and the whole of The Netherlands will unveil its flower fields and every street corner will have flowers of bright yellow, pink, red, purple, green, and blue. For tourists visiting at this time of year, it will be very apparent why The Netherlands is the centre of European floral industry, if not the world. Cycling around the city will once again feel like going around a flower garden. And I simply cannot wait.
SPRING AND SWEETS
Three months into winter, every cell in my body is praying for Spring. What’s worse is that I’ve also cut desserts and sweets from my diet this past month in preparation for an upcoming trip to India where I know I will be gorging on delicious Indian food to the tune of 3,000 calories a day. Before, I would console myself with a slice of rich chocolate cake or warm apple pie during dark, dreary days. Now, I sulk with a small mandarin. But I know this dessert deprivation is temporary, and so is this Winter season. In a few weeks, the tulip bulbs will break the earth and bloom, and the intoxicating scent of wild roses will fill the air. Also in the Spring, I will be visiting Toronto to see my family; a mandatory stop is to sample KG’s Kitchen’s unbelievable desserts (owned by a friend) as seen in these photos below when my husband brought some home for me from his short visit to Toronto.
Until then, I will continue daydreaming about Spring and soul-nourishing desserts. I can almost smell the roses, taste the ube cake, and feel the warmth of the sun from these photos.
In April, you can expect the blog to go flower-crazy with stories around the Keukenhof—the world’s largest flower garden located in Lisse (30 minutes away from Amsterdam) where over 7 million bulbs are planted in a 34-hectare garden. I already have stories lined up for you; for now, here are a few photos from my visit to the garden in 2011 and 2012.
Are you also daydreaming about Spring?