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Bollenstreek Bloemencorso Flower Parade 2018 at Hillegom

Once I left Puerto Rico, and experienced fall season, I fell in love with it. The not so cold or warm weather, watching all the trees get ready for winter, and everything pumpkin comes back in stock. I have always loved nature, especially the beach. Island girl over here. 🙋🏽‍♀️ But now I am loving this spring season so hard that it may become my favorite season. Spring in the Netherlands it’s all about flowers.

Lately, we have had incredible sunny summer days in the Netherlands. And this Saturday wasn’t any different. The sun was out, blessing us with the perfect weather to wear a dress and hit the outdoors. This past weekend we visited Hillegom to enjoy the Bollenstreek Bloemencorso (Flower Parade). This flower parade is the biggest in all Netherlands. But more importantly, it’s free! The route lasts around 12 hours. It goes from Noordwijk to Harlem every spring. Along the 40km route is Hillegom. According to the event agenda, it was a great area to take photos.

Eindhoven Hillegom Train

The train ride from Eindhoven to Hillegom was around 2 and a half hours each way. You might think that it’s a long journey. But it is not. First, the longest train ride you will take will be 50 minutes (from Eindhoven to Utrecht). Then 40 minutes from Utrecht to Leiden Centraal and then 15 min to Hillegom. During the whole trip, you will be enjoying beautiful landscapes of rivers, flowers, buildings, and farm animals. I even saw a pony running around! The train ride is a lovely experience itself.

via GIPHY

To travel, we used a one-day ticket from Kruidvat (14€) and a Spoordeelwinkel roundtrip train ticket offer that included a complimentary sandwich and fresh squeezed orange juice from La Place (20€).

Once we arrived at the station and got out from the train, it smelled like flowers! It was unbelievable. We even took photos of the tulip fields we pass on the way from the Hillegom train station. We had to walk 20 minutes or so to get to the area where the parade was passing later that afternoon. In our way, we wandered around and visited this spectacular tulips field.

Hillegom Train Station Tulip Fields

 

Hillegom Tulips Field

 

Bollenstreek Bloemencorso Flower Parade

Around 3:00 pm we grabbed some snacks in the local Albert Heijn and joined the Dutchies sitting on the sidewalk. Dutch people never stop to surprise me, they brought beach chairs, coffee tables, found a spot to watch the parade and started to read while drinking and tanning. Kids were snacking while sitting on picnic blankets, while the grandpas were reading. The only thing that kept me from thinking that I was back in Puerto Rico was the lack of people playing Dominos.

The parade was programmed to pass Hillegom by 4:20 pm. It was delayed, so it started around 5:30 pm. This caused the parade to arrive in Harlem after the sunset. We decided not to go to Harlem to see the parade because we imagined that it would be crowded with tons of tourists and we wanted to experience it like Dutchies. We made the greatest decision because we saw the parade when the sun was out right before the sun started to set.

via GIPHY

Once the floats arrive in Harlem, they stay there until 9:30 pm of the next day. This allows people to enjoy the floats up close and take pictures, similar to the Fallas in Valencia. In the future maybe I will skip the parade and see the float exposition in Harlem.

Bollenstreek Bloemencorso 2018 at Hillegom

 

Dragons Bollenstreek Bloemencorso 2018 at Hillegom

 

For more information on the Bollenstreek Bloemencorso, you can visit their official website. And, if you want to experience the Bollenstreek Bloemencorso next year, add it to your agenda, it will take place on April 13th, 2019.

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