March, April and May are the months to come to the Netherlands and see the flowers. Each autumn, forty million bulbs are planted throughout the Keukenhof, for us to enjoy three months of flower beauty in spring. Holland is closed this spring, but you can see the flowers online.
Travel: Keukenhof’s World of Colors
In order to ensure that Keukenhof always has a new look, the park is redesigned every year. This starts with the eye-catching flower mosaic at the entrance. In 2020, the mosaic features a massive tulip alongside a rainbow. As Keukenhof is expecting warmer weather, the mosaic is planted in two layers for longer flowering. 50,000 flower bulbs have been used: tulip, muscari and crocus. This is part of Keukenhof’s theme, A World of Colors, which is a reference to all the different people and cultures that visit the Keukenhof. ‘There are 1.5 million people visiting Keukenhof every year and they come from more than 100 countries,’ said Tom Schreuder, the commercial manager at the Keukenhof, ‘So we thought it was a beautiful theme to use all these colors with meanings and rituals from all over the world.’
Apart from admiring seven million tulips, you can also see flowershows in the pavilions, and learn how to take care of plants yourself. For years, Keukenhof has reserved the thousand square-metre Beatrix Pavilion specifically for orchids. This is the most beautiful orchid show in Europe. Another traditional leading attraction is the lily show in the Willem-Alexander Pavilion, where visitors can admire approximately 15,000 lilies in over 300 different varieties. The most romantic spot at Keukenhof this year is at the Bridal lane. Also not to be missed for the romantics is the Red Romance garden.
Keukenhof will not open in 2020, but you can see this year's park online on their website: keukenhof.nl
Also Read: Everyone Loves Flowers
Movies: Netflix discovers Lithuania
With ‘Stranger Things' season 4 filmed in Vilnius, Lithuania, Europe has another new place on its long list of beautiful or scary film settings. Lithuania’s capital city already served as a backdrop for HBO’s Emmy-winning series ‘Chernobyl’, and now this latest production has followed suit. The shooting for the fourth season of the Netflix hit ‘Stranger Things’, took place across the city these last months. One location, in particular, got a lot of attention: Lukiškes, a former prison dating to the early 1900s, which housed inmates all through the country’s tumultuous history, right up until last year when it ceased operations. For fans of the series: this is where the “American,” a mysterious Russian prisoner whose identity is teased in a post-credits scene at the end of season 3, is revealed. Lithuania’s capital isn’t the only Eastern European city attracting Hollywood’s elite. ‘Game of Thrones’ famously filmed in Dubrovnik, while ‘The Witcher’, another Netflix production, was filmed and inspired by locations all over Poland.
Tourism: Rome builds barrier around Trevi Fountain
Imitating movies like ‘Three Coins in the Fountain’ and ‘When in Rome,’ the magic of Rome has long drawn tourists to toss coins into the Trevi Fountain. Unfortunately, there are also tourists who think of themselves as actors in Fellini’s blockbuster La Dolce Vita, where young Marcello’s fruitless search of love and happiness ends up in a famous love scene in the fountain. Climbing into the fountain, or sometimes even on top of it for that one perfect picture is not very good for the Baroque structure dating from 1732.
So now wonder the city's mayor Virgina Raggi has announced plans to build a barrier around the landmark. “It seems to me the most common-sense proposal to protect one of the most important and visited monuments in Rome,” she said in a statement. The barrier will not obscure the view of the fountain and would still allow the traditional tossing of coins. The coin tossing is important ritual for tourists - it promises that they will return to the city and/or find love - and for the Catholic Caritas organization, who has received the money for its charities since 2001. Around Euro 3000 is tossed in daily, which makes up about 15% of the charity’s annual budget.
Also Read: The Good Things in Life
Lifestyle: Isle of Man Digital Detox
Visitors to the Isle of Man who are looking to switch off and get away can try its digital detox experience. The island, which is known for its beautiful nature, have now is now offering 'Phoneboxes' to its tourists. As a visitor, you can lock your mobile phone away on arrival for the duration of your trip in return for traditional, analogue alternatives. This includes an Isle of Man guidebook and map, a film camera, bird and plant identification books, binoculars and magnifying glasses. There will also be a travel journal, a digital detox guide, a notepad, postcards and stamps, itinerary inspiration ideas and a pack of playing cards. These items will enable people to switch off from the digital world, spend time reconnecting with the natural environment and further enjoy time with their loved ones. The boxes will be located at specific rural retreats on the island.
Research carried out by the Isle of Man showed that with the rise of modern technology, many people continue to work during their vacations. Over half of those surveyed regularly check work emails while abroad and 54% continue to work because of fear of getting behind on workloads or underachieving. Almost a third said that digital distraction is the main reason why they're unable to relax during their holidays.
Also Read: Racing with the Manx
Travel in March to:
March is when many destinations begin to bloom. Apart from the flowerbulbs in the low countries, there’s Spain. This southern country sheds its winter skin in March, when as if by magic a wave of warmth sweeps the cities and parks all over the country burst into bloom. Temperatures stay around 20ºC, far more gentle than the capital's sizzling summers, meaning you can explore its world-class galleries, belle-époque mansions and designer boutiques without breaking a sweat.
Spain’s third largest city Valencia celebrates spring by setting everything on fire. March’s week-long Las Fallas festival sees Valencia display a host of giant, satirical papier-mâché sculptures, before they’re paraded around town and spectacularly set ablaze on the final night.
Also recommended is miracle city Santiago de Compostela, where the flowers are blooming but where the beautiful old town isn’t swarmed with pilgrims yet. Santiago de Compostela, where the flowers are blooming but where the beautiful old town isn’t swarmed with pilgrims yet.
Read our Spain and Portugal articles for more travel inspiration.