Countries, Culture, Europe

Crocus gold… Valentine’s in Amsterdam and Ireland

When it’s Spring again we’ll sing again ‘Crocuses from Co. Waterford’.

Yes, I would and, when I can afford it, do cover my flower beds with tulips from Amsterdam.

And one we enjoyed on our visit to Amsterdam Pictures of Amsterdam and George Clooney and Amal’s Amsterdam hotel.

Dylan promise: At the Dylan in Amsterdam

Where we also took home ice cream tulips (think raspberry ripple colours) from the Amsterdam Museum https://amsterdamtulipmuseum.com.

And got a Spring out of them before we handed over the keys of chez notre maison in Ireland.

To someone we can only hope appreciates the opportunities as we did.

My wee flower in Amsterdam

The history of the crocus is also captivating.

We can date the crocus back to the Egyptians, Greeks and Menoans.

With a few pounds of corn served as a loan of gold and jewels.

The best place to see crocuses in Ireland is the Mount Congreve Gardens in Co. Waterford.

Purple reigns… in Co. Waterford

The gardens will open early this year on Valentine’s Day, February 14.

To showcase more than 20,000 crocuses in flower at the beautiful gardens located just ten minutes from Waterford City.

Which is a two-hour drive south of Dublin.

Which we all know is served regularly by our friends at Aer Lingus www.aerlingus.com and Ryanair www.ryanair.com.

For more on what the gardens have to offer throughout the year visit www.mountcongrevegardens.com.

The crocus story doesn’t finish there.

The Crocus Project from Ireland

The Crocus Project was launched in Ireland in 2005 by the Holocaust Education Trust Ireland.

Intended for pupils aged 11 and over it provides schools with yellow crocus bulbs.

To plant in memory of the one million and a half Jewish children.

And thousands of other children who died in the Holocaust.

The yellow flowers recall the yellow Star of David all Jews were forced to wear under Nazi rule.

Which Anne Frank had up on her wall of the attic house she, her family and friends hid away in from the Nazis during the War.

A giant: Anne Frank in Amsterdam. http://www.twitter.com

On this the 75th anniversary year of the liberation of Bergen-Belsen, where Anne and her sister Margot died, and Auschwitz were liberated, pay tribute…

By either visiting those sites or the Anne Frank Huis in Amsterdam… https://www.annefrank.org/nl/.

And also make use of the wonderful city pass https://www.iamsterdam.com/en.

While all major airlines fly to Amsterdam I like to promote national airline carriers and recommend KLM www.klm.com.

Me, I’m off to buy crocuses and tulips for someone who deserves them… and also The Scary One.

And I’ll get back to you on Friday, Valentine’s Day, with more blooming marvellous places to visit for gardens and flowers.

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Two lips from Amsterdam

Mwaah! Some couples have Venice, some Rome, others Paris… we have Amsterdam.

Amsterdam was the first holiday myself and the Scary One went on.

And we managed to survive a row in a lift.

Me getting a whitey in a brown cafe and cramp after a 25-mile bicycle ride.

Which incidentally should have been only 15 miles.

If a certain someone hadn’t taken the wrong fork in the road. It also caused me to slip on the pathway.

To make matters worse when we did get to Cheesetown, or Edam as it’s known to the locals, it was their half-day and the town was shut.

We had the pleasure to return to Amsterdam last year where we stayed in the Dylan Hotel.

A bit more upmarket than our billet on our first trip, and took a romantic trip down the canal.

We’d recommend that, the art galleries, the restaurants and the quirky museums.

Not least the Tulip Museum… http://www.amsterdamtulipmuseum.com/nl/ While you should also make use of their city pass… http://www.amsterdamtulipmuseum.com/nl/.

With all this in mind let me recommend The Dylan’s Tulip Valentine package.

And a word to the wise, George Clooney and Amal stay here when they are in Amsterdam… https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/george-and-amal-hotel/

You’ll spend two nights with B&B in a luxury double room (and unlike a lot of hotels you will want to spend time here).

You’ll have a chilled bottle of champagne and a bouquet of tulips in your room on arrival.

There will be a pre-dinner Valentine’s-themed cocktail in OCCO.

Followed by a set menu dinner at Michelin-starred restaurant Vinkeles.

And then also those tickets to the Tulip Museum… https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/pictures-of-amsterdam/

The Dylan is all about personal service.

And you’ll also get a handwritten letter from the concierge.

With suggestions on how to make the most of your romantic getaway.

From intimate hidden away bars, and cosy restaurants.

To the best places to see the world’s best flowers (I have ice cream tulips just waiting to be planted in the Spring).

And the best boutiques (thanks for that… my credit card will take a hit!)

The Tulip Valentine’s package starts from €1695 and is based on two people sharing a room. Valid throughout February. Visit http://www.dylanamsterdam.com

Just promise me that you’ll check which is Edam’s half-day.