During the Nazi occupation in the Second World War, the Dutch Crown Princess Juliana and her two young daughters fled the Netherlands to seek refuge in Ottawa. While she was in Canada, the Princess became pregnant with her third child and gave birth in a hospital room that the Canadian government had declared “extraterritorial” (meaning that it was not under any country’s jurisdiction and so was international territory) so that the baby would not be a Canadian citizen and would instead inherit only full Dutch citizenship from her mother. After the war was over, Princess Juliana sent 100,000 tulips to Ottawa in gratitude, and promised to send 20,000 more each year, a tradition that continues to this day.

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That was about the extent of my knowledge on tulips and Holland until this past weekend. We visited Keukenhof, the world-famous 32-hectare garden boasting over 7 million flowers, during our visit to Amsterdam. Keukenhof is open only two months out of the year, and we were fortunate enough to catch it on its second last day.May22_9

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I wasn’t sure how much I would enjoy it as I don’t know anything about plants or gardening, but the flowers and their brilliant colours were stunning. I joked to Allan that it made me want to organize our wedding all over again just so I could pick out flowers (he quickly walked away). My absolute favourites were the orchids:

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I’ve been taking my time posting these pictures of Amsterdam, putting a few up every day, because firstly I’m really slow with photo editing and it takes me a long time to put these pictures together. But more importantly I’m ramping up my studying as my exams loom on the horizon and I haven’t been doing too much lately that’s been worthy of documenting in photos or on this blog. Hope to have some original material soon! For now, one last Amsterdam post coming up tomorrow.

 

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