Skip to content

Posts from the ‘Tulips’ Category

Pella Iowa Tulip Fest

Travel Thursdays-My visit to Keukenhof reminded me of a town that I visited one May in Iowa. Since 1935, Pella, Iowa, has been celebrating Tulip Days in honor of the towns-people’s European Dutch roots.  The town has dedicated volunteers who have grown this festival into sites that can be visited year round.

windmill with tulips

During this time there are parades.   The parade also involves local people and children and highlights the heritage.  It is a fantastic taste of the Midwest.

wooden shoe parade 2

wooden shoe parade 2

And, of course Tulips! this is an outlying area where there is a sunken garden.

Europe Holland 378

Other sites to see are the canal, two bronze sculptures that were commissioned for Scholte Gardens and dedicated by Her Royal Highness Princess Margriet of the Netherlands. Historical homes, a Klokkenspel with its animated Dutch figures.  and, of course the 100′ windmill that you can tour. There is a Dutch craft market with 100 vendors that include food.

Moelngracht Market is next to a man made canal.  The list of vendors for 2015 included many craft vendors and Pella Dutch Bakery. The letters and pastries are really yummy! The year that I went, there were also some cheese vendors with taste offerings and did not see them listed on the vendor site for 2015.

MEGastars I have to give Tulip Time  a 5 ***** of 5. These hardworking folks continue to make this town a welcome visit with historical preservation and a great time.


  1. A great visit, If you are interested in Dutch heritage and tulips, try to visit during May Tulip Time.
  2. I have to toot the horn of my hometown area.  Little Chute, Wisconsin has a very large population of Dutch families, my children included. Mainly from the area of Noord Brabant.  A windmill has recently been built in Noord Brabant, Netherlands and assembled on site in the small downtown area.  The windmill and visitor center is a functioning Dutch windmill with an interpretive center. The authentic wooden windmill is a tribute to the Dutch heritage of the Midwest.  This area has a very large amount of award winning cheese factories. Love cheese? check out this area. June 5-7 there is a Cheese Festival where one can sample award winning cheese of many varieties. The best cheese  and cheese curds can be found in this area. I stand by that fact!

de Ark is de Best! Lekker! Tasty-Tuesday In Haarlem, Netherlands.

I found this town by accident when the Concierge at my hotel, located in a neighboring town, recommended a restaurant in Haarlem because it was a bit past dinner hour and all of the local restaurants were closed. Haarlem, Netherlands is a charming medieval town located about 10miles from both Amsterdam and Schiphol Airport, on the banks of the Sparne River. It is also 10 miles from Leiden and the cheese market Alkmaar.  A great jumping off point with train access. 

Europe Holland 387

I wished that I had stayed in Haarlem for at least several days. The Huffington Post recently listed this town as “10 Secret European Spots you want to visit STAT.” Great old buildings, boats and lots of style. Dating back to gothic times, Haarlem is older. Who knew?

The surrounding area is gorgeous!

good holl #1

good holl 29

Even the buses are colorful

Even the buses are colorful

Known as the capital of North Holland and the center of the Dutch flower-growing district. The main export point for flower bulbs, there is great history here. It is a great jumping off point to Keukenhof and Amsterdam. Honestly, I would have LOVED to just drive around in the countryside and towns. The train is so easy to take into Amsterdam without the hassle and cost of parking-which I did experience.

Europe Holland 398

Love the houses!  But these fields are quite a sight!

Europe Holland 386

Europe Holland 382

 Now, about Tasty-Tuesday. Close to the do not miss Frans Hales Museum, and near the canal is a restaurant that I loved. Located in a three story building off the beaten main path, with a cool pub below. After the fact, I checked Trip Advisor and it wasn’t rated in the very top of many restaurants in Haarlem. I loved it so that just means there is great food in Haarlem ready when I return. The pub is super chill and has many choices of great beers. It is totally my style. Upstairs is a dining area though I saw people eating downstairs.

Europe trip 218

The staff was super friendly and accommodating, even at a later hour there were many diners. They ran up and down some pretty darn steep stairs for my food. The menu, available in other languages, includes daily specials with choices for everyone, without being too overwhelming. Interesting meats, poultry and vegetarian dishes.

Europe trip 222


I guess I was hungry, check out this table.  Steak with herb butter. Mounds of French fries. Warm bread with garlic herb butter. I had the best greens, beet , fruit and cheese salad. Especially loved the toasts with warm goat cheese and honey-LEKKER! Oh, and did I mention, the awesome bier/beer selection?

Europe trip 223

It was night time when I visited Haarlem. My photo ops were limited.

MEGastars 5 ***** of 5!


  1. Consider staying in Haarlem and exploring this fantastic town. Great boutique shopping, museums, and awesome sights.
  2. Use the train that takes you to Amsterdam without the hassle of parking.
  3. Visit de Ark. It is a great pub with some great “real food.” I need this when I roadtrip. There is a self pay parking lot nearby.
  4. Lekker in this instance means “good, tasty, nice..”
  5. For more photos, check out my Instagram and my prior blog about Keukenhof.
%d bloggers like this: