Crazy Dutch souvenirs – a pictorial ode to wooden shoes, windmills and more

When it comes to wooden shoe and windmill souvenirs, apparently The Netherlands just can’t get enough. I started photographing them right away when I got to Holland, but couldn’t have imagined the creative lengths to which the Dutch would go. Remember that scene in Forrest Gump when Bubba lists off different kinds of shrimp, seemingly for hours? Well, if you can imagine it, there’s probably a wooden shoe with a picture of it on it somewhere in Amsterdam.

Other commonly sighted souvenirs included Delft Blue wares (including the NSFW salt and pepper shakers in the gallery — blue indeed!), tulips and well, I don’t want to spoil the gallery for you. It holds wonders of which you’ve never dreamed (how about a wooden shoe with little wooden shoes growing out of it like tulips?). Have a look through so that next time a friend of yours goes to Amsterdam, you’ll know what crazy artifact to request they bring you.
This trip was paid for by the Netherlands Board of Tourism, but the ideas and opinions expressed in the article above are 100% my own.

Gadling Take FIVE- April 4-April 10

There are still travel deals out there and specials to keep your eye on. Plus, with spring comes certain events that can mean discounts. Here are Gadling posts from this past week that point to the diversity in travel pleasures from the free to the less expensive.

  • In Italy, from April 18 to 26, it’s Italian Culture Week. As Alison wrote, this means many attractions are free, and in some cases, the only time during the year when they are open to the public..
  • One trend that’s great news for travelers is the one where upscale restaurants are offering less expensive meals. Tom’s post on pris fixe menus is a reminder that these are the days when deals can appear where you least expect them.
  • Not only are higher end restaurants becoming cheaper, so is New Zealand. Grant outlined ten reasons why a person should go to New Zealand sooner than later.
  • One detail about spring is the loveliness of flowers that belong to every one who is lucky enough to pass by flowerbeds and/or flowering trees every day. In the Netherlands the tulips are everyone’s treasure. Scott has the scoop on KLM’s very own tulip. The tulip was acquired as part of KLM’s 90th year birthday celebration.
  • With wedding season upon us, Annie found a great deal for people who are looking for wedded bliss AND happen to have family and friends with money. The Ritz-Carlton hotel chain is running a wedding special that sounds divine. It does follow the adage, “it takes money to make money” or something like that.

And one more. If you haven’t watched this video taken at the Antewerp Belgium train station, you’ve missed out on a feel good time. It’s sort of a Sound of Music for everyone extravaganza. Here’s handing you a smile that will cost you nothing to get.

KLM celebrates its 90th birthday with its own tulip

If you have ever flown into Amsterdam airport between April and May, you have probably seen the massive tulip fields surrounding the airport.

I’ve always found it one of the most beautiful airport approaches in the world, filled with vibrant colors.

So, it makes sense that KLM decided to celebrate their 90th birthday with something special – their own tulip.

The KLM “tulipa” is a cross between a China Pink and a tetraploid tulip, developed for the airline by the leading Dutch agricultural university.

The tulip can even be ordered online for your own garden, but the retailer currently only ships within Europe. Later this month, you’ll be able to order your own Tulipa bulbs from

Another way to see Tulipa is at the temporary Keukenhof tulip gardens set up inside Schiphol airport and of course, at the “real” Keukenhof just 20 miles from the airport.