How would you like jaunting in a town of neat streets dyed by hundreds of fully bloomed bright tulips diluting your pupils with its allure, along with some Dutch folks whisking hither and yon with their traditional costumes on? If you thirst for the delicacy of cultures, beliefs and customs of certain clans and identify yourself as a hopeless lover of flowers than a poet from the 50s, Holland, during the Tulip Festival is your terminus. Oh mind you, it is the beautiful small town, Holland of Michigan I'm talking about and not the one in Netherlands!
Just as the sun guides happiness to the humans on earth during spring, so does the appealing blossoms of rich tulips add up to this beautiful world. Every year in May, the Tulip Festival in Holland helps balm your eyes with postcard perfect views of the blossoms and beaches, which explains why I headed there looking for a great weekend.
A post-card perfect lighthouse.
Arriving in the evening, I set up a tent to camp for the night at the Holland State Park which is a low-key, pet-friendly camp ground with satisfying amenities. Soon, the beach got me calling. Snapping back and forth my volleyball at the hard ground, I finally reached a point where I couldn't do it any more. The sun was shining bright with the waters at the horizon sighing out for dusk (at 9p.m) while my toes were in the sand. I have witness innumerable sunsets and sunrises in different places and not once have I felt spiritless about them. Eminently, not this time where I could glare at the admirable sunset on one side and gaze at the soul-easing full-moon rise on the other.
Holland is one such town that will want you to sling your car keys away and grab a bike or just care-freely take a walk under the moonlight. It looked to me like a country side area with a treat of commercialization (simply like my fantasy homeland). I flattened as one of its victims and spent a while trolling around the city debating how moronic I'd seem if this place wouldn't top the places I would want to stay at.
Supper, camp fire and transcendence. Did I need more of anything to call it a great night? Not at all (Oh wait...probably another sweater). My first camping trip couldn't get any better.
Tuning in to the tweets of birds on the tree branches with sunlight on my face, I woke up to the genial wishes of my fellow campers to a fine cloudless day ahead of me. It was the second day since the Tulip Time Festival had begun and we headed to the Centennial Park which was the hub of the event. Stalls were put up persuading visitors to buy some souvenirs, arts and crafts. Ooh, I also got a caricature done along with my friends compensating the wait. Entertaining piece of art that one.
One of the main streets was crammed with tourists at one period. The sounds of women in knocking wooden shoes and traditional Dutch costumes, reached me and I was positive that it was for the waited Dutch dance. It was great watching mothers and daughters pairing up and shaking a leg.
Fun fact: The Dutch dancers wore 5-10 pairs of socks with their real heavy wooden shoes during their performances.
Brunching at one of the best restaurants in town, we headed to the Windmill Island to get a view of the windmill that was reassembled in Holland(MI) from Holland(Europe) and to get concealed by the vast expanse of rich, vibrant tulips that took my breath away. It would have stood out taller, only if all of the tulips were fully bloomed.
My weekend trip came to an end after filling up with some Dutch cultural and historical exhibition hosted by the Dutch.
Places like Holland need no explanation, I believe, as it stands out singly with its homey magnetism. It is latched on with post card perfect views which leaves an impression in your head, making it a memorable place.
Go ahead, comment about the place that made you feel well-off and that which almost persuaded you to cleave to it.
(More on: www.anothertravellab.blogspot.in )