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03 March 2011

PizzaQ! identify the unnatural thing

Click image twice to enlarge.

The only hint I'll give you is that I've seen this, and believe it's the most ethereally beautiful unnatural phenomenon on Earth.

What is it? Where is it? 4 slices of pizza with shallots, garlic and shitake mushrooms, and for 2 more slices: When is it? (That sounds vague or ambiguous, but it's really not.)


PatFromCH said...

In Holland which is about as flat as the brainwaves of George Bush flowers and tulips are planted on an industrial level. So I opt for a Tulip plantation in Holland.

Prolly a bit unfair because had the advantage and pleasure of having been to Holland. This country kicks A !

Vleeptron Dude said...

We took the train south from Amsterdam during tulip season, aqnd it passed through the industrial-scale bloomenveld (well, that's close to the right word).

Tne flatness -- you can do the whole country on a 3-speed bicycle without breaking a sweat.

Oh also I asked: When? Seems vague, but the answer's actually pretty specific.

I don't have a drop of Dutch blood in me, I don't speak the lingo, but I love this place, I feel almost trapped in NL from pleasure, I've been there 8 times. It's hard to see the rest of Europe.

Tulips were the first commodity to make the Dutch fabulously rich. A Dutch diplomat smuggled some wild tulip bulbs (species tulip) from Turkey, and they domesticated them to the modern tulip. Europe went wild with desire to buy and plant tulips, and paid through the nose for them.

Spices from the Pacific were the next fabulous wealth bubble for the Dutch. Most of the windmills were for grinding spices.

And yet these great, wealthy merchants also thought, dreamed, made exquisite visual art.

And won their independence from superpower Hapsburg Spain in one of Europe's longest, most gruesome, most atrocity-filled wars. The Spanish General, the Duke of Alba -- Dutch and Flemings still cringe to hear his name.

Once every 10 years they have a great tulip and flower festival called the Floriade

Vleeptron Dude said...

... we went to the last one, but the dandiest tulip attraction and tourist trap is Kukenhof, a collaboration of all the major tulip growers.

Vleeptron Dude said...

Keukenhof ("Kitchen garden", Dutch pronunciation: [ˈkøːkə(n)ˌɦɔf]), also known as the Garden of Europe, is situated near Lisse, Netherlands, and is the world's largest flower garden.

Approximately 7,000,000 (seven million) flower bulbs are planted annually in the park, which covers an area of 32 hectares.[1]

Keukenhof is located in South Holland in the small town of Lisse, south of Haarlem and southwest of Amsterdam. It is accessible by bus from the train stations of Haarlem, Leiden and Schiphol. It is located in an area called the "Dune and Bulb Region" (Duin- en Bollenstreek).

Keukenhof is open annually from the last week in March to mid-May. The best time to view the tulips is around mid-April, depending on the weather.

Keukenhof is situated on a 15th century hunting area. It was also a source of herbs for Jacqueline, Countess of Hainaut's castle, which is the source of the name Kuekenhof. After Jacqueline, the land was owned by merchants. Eventually, the Baron and Baroness Van Pallandt had the Zochers, who also worked on the Vondelpark, design the grounds around the castle.[2]

The garden was established in 1949 by the then-mayor of Lisse. The idea was to present a flower exhibit where growers from all over the Netherlands and Europe could show off their hybrids – and help the Netherlands export industry (it is the world's largest exporter of flowers). Keukenhof has been the world's largest flower garden for over fifty years.

patfromch said...

Well I was there in early to mid April and it was still bloody cold ! I do remember ads for a flower show which would be opened by Queen Beatrix. I did miss Bad Religion at the Paradiso for just a few hours but was cycling in Vondelpark and saw someone play Air Golf. I went to the Rijksmuseum to see Rembrand's Night Watch and had a jolly good time in Amsterdam. As I said this place kicks A. Unfortunately they lost their mellowness when it comes to being cool and open and liberal a bit but they are still cool

Vleeptron Dude said...

Everybody's scared. Even the Dutch moved right and xenophobic and anti-immigration.

But I'm convinced NL will swing back to their traditional tolerance -- almost 500 years old -- faster than any Euro country.

Ryszard Wasilewski said...

They also grow other kinds of plants very well, for which they have earned my affection and admiration.

Vleeptron Dude said...

There's a buzz among traveling gardeners that Dutch authorities are going to restrict coffeehouses to patronage by Dutch citizens only, and try to end Cannabis Tourism. I don't know how far along these plans have progressed.

But I think the government has severely shut down cannabis trade in Maastricht, most of whose customers are Germans crossing the border, buying, and returning to Germany.

This is my favorite Earth Party. I do so fervently hope NL doesn't shut it down.

In Amsterdam, I love the Bulldog, the Grasshopper, Fancy Free and Softland which sells the remarkable Cannabis Cup winner White Smurf. One puff and you will require assistance to urinate.

Vleeptron Dude said...

oh, PatfromCH wins the Pizza! (But not the extra slices for When?)

patfromch said...

I have been to the Bulldog, right by the canal, suffice to say I did order the menu. they even gave you rolling paper with their own logo. I don't need these substances these days but have fond memories.

Since then the city has shut down about half the coffee shops and put restrictions on other traffic so to speak. If all goes well I might go to Amsterdam this fall with some Aussies. Might be fun.

Holland has a tradition of being liberal with me mate Spinoza and Descartes and I am sure they will recover from the recent populist craze which unfortunately is everywhere, even in CH

Ryszard Wasilewski said...

Amsterdam Hampsterdam... to me a sad thing is the continued pressure on Christiania in Copenhagen. Populism thrives in Denmark too, although they are having elections soon, and there is hope that the Socialdemocrats will come through, which might allow the “social experiment” to continue. Otherwise developers will come swarming in with their gated communities, or whatever.
At least Rasmussen, he headed the government that set the commune back, has found himself a proper niche (head of NATO); perhaps him and his lot will be too busy bombing brown people to notice setbacks in real estate development on Pusher Street..