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Contained within the Netherlands state of Zuid Holland is an area called the Bollenstreek. Literally translated from Netherlands Dutch, 'bollenstreek' means 'bulb streak' or 'bulb strip'. This has traditionally been the area where many of the Netherlands' bulb exporters grow fields of flowers and their bulbs for export. This has historically also been the place where tourists can find many colorful fields of flowers in the springtime.
However, life within the Bollenstreek has begun to take a different direction. As with the rest of the world, development encroaches upon the land. Export companies/growers still exist in the Bollenstreek. But, with the land becoming more expensive, the bulb companies are finding it better to move their industry farther north.
A famous flower exposition in the Netherlands, the Keukenhof, is located within this region. During the spring, the Keukenhof opens up to show the many spectacular colors from the many blossoms planted within. Timing is critical for maximum effect. Go too early in the spring, and the fields may not be as brilliant as you hope.
Flower parades, called 'bloemencorso', are celebrated in various towns in the Bollenstreek. They are certainly not to be missed. Think of a much smaller and not quite as densely decorated, version of the American "Tournament of Roses". The beauty and creativity of the arrangements on the small floats are very impressive. Again, something not to be missed.
Recently, 3 older towns - Sassenheim, Warmond, and Voorhout - have been administratively combined into one municipality called Teylingen. Within this municipality are the Teylingen ruins, dating from the 1200's. Despite the administrative blend of these three towns, each maintains its own little culture and history. You will still see thatched roofs on a number of homes, as well as the more modern tile. Some of the old style windmills are still maintained in the area.
The best about each town is their distinct town centers. In the town center, you will see well stocked produce shops, cheese shops (with all types and styles you may never have seen before), meat shops, bakeries (with amazing fresh baked pastries). Malls are not prevalent in these towns. The shopping area tends to be the small shops along the main street in the town center.