A little bit of The Netherlands in the middle of the Dandenong Ranges.
Be warned: this post contains A LOT of photographs. It was just so difficult to pick only a few!
Chantelle had suggested going to the Tesselaar Tulip Festival in the Dandenong Ranges, so naturally I said yes. We head out from my place after a slight distraction (I locked us out of my car and house, typically enough). The drive is stunning, we meander along the back lanes passing magnificent country estates and, Chantelle's favourite, a number of horse ranches. As we pull up to the tulip farms, Chantelle starts to exclaim like a teenager at a Justin Beiber concert. Today we are tulip dorks. To be fair, the glimpse of tulip fields in front of us is stunning.
Inside, the atmosphere feels like a beginning of summer festival, all sunglasses and hats and drink cups filled with lemonade. There are quaint little shops up the top of the hill, selling clogs, potted tulips and souvenirs. We wriggle our way through them, squeezing past mothers dragging their children out of the toy shop and the elderly discussing the benefits of planting bulbs in June. The vista in front of us when we emerge is worth the two hour drive. Row upon row of bright tulips line the fields, dotted here and there with people. Tiny kids run through the aisles, dismayed when their parents tell them not to pick the blooms. I can understand their disappointment.
There are little touches of The Netherlands scattered here and there. A giant clog sits in the middle of the field, covered with children and adults alike who are scrambling to take photographs on it before the next batch of photo takers arrive. We take our photographs on it later on, when only a lone girl with blond braids sits atop of it. She kindly crouches down behind the impractical shoe as we take our photos, jumping back up into position when we finish. A windmill that does not work sits down the bottom of the field. Dutch pancakes are being sold by a woman in a food van next to an old man running a giant music machine. The music he plays lends to the feeling of a Dutch festival and reminds me of my time spent in Amsterdam.
We eat baked potatoes smothered in coleslaw and sour cream under the shade of a blossoming cherry tree whilst listening to a band play hits by The Andrews Sisters. Behind us is a fairy garden, complete with tiny dangling bridges hanging between the trees and a wishing well that Chantelle is particularly delighted with. I sit in a throne made of twisted tree branches and peer through windows set into the sides of trees.
By the time we are ready to head home we have taken far too many photographs of the flowers and our shoes are caked with a red clay. We vow to be back next year and the year after and bring home with us two sets of potted tulips that we optimistically agree to plant at our prospective houses. I say optimistically because despite our obsession with the flowers neither of us are gardeners, but we figure that we will just buy another lot next year!
Hi! I'm Louise. I am a writer, photographer, traveler, book fanatic and blogger. I love to post about my adventures and the little things I do that make life fun.
MARLEE'S INSTAGRAM: @marleethecat