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Cycling to a Gouda cheese farm on a Saturday

Start at the Gouda cheese market and go in any direction for about 25 km (15 miles). This is the region where the Gouda cheese is produced. Today we’re cycling to a Gouda cheese farm in the village of Bodegraven for a proper tour.  We begin at the cheese market of another Rhine village. Read more

Making of Hague Peace Challenge: Palace Tour

A Hague Peace Challenge wouldn’t be complete without a stop at the Peace Palace in The Hague.  To come up with a good question and a creative assignment, I wanted to visit this mustsee in The Hague again, but I needed an incentive. Then my friend Jacqueline Alders, owner of I Guide you Through The Hague  told me that the annual summer Peace Palace tours had started again.

Peace Palace The Hague front side Peace Challenge 25 September 2016-veritasvisit
Front side Peace Palace The Hague

Guided Tour through Peace Palace

One of the main goals in my life is to find the exceptional, to get off the beaten track. A long time ago I worked for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. One of the many departments organised a trip to the Peace Palace and, like many, I was curious to find out how the building looked from the inside. So, I went along. I remember beautiful objects, stained glasses, amazing decorations.  if you haven’t done it: a guided tour through the Peace Palace is definitely worthwhile. There is no proof that I went inside; you are not allowed to take any pictures.

This statue is a gift by Chili to the Peace Palace. It represents the women, children and elderly who suffer from war.
This statue is a gift by Chile to the Peace Palace. It represents the women, children and elderly who suffer from war.

Peace Palace tour

There is a guided tour offered at the Peace Palace in which you are allowed to take pictures. It’s the guided tour through the garden of the Peace Palace. Our guide Roos – what’s in a name- not only told us about the flora and fauna, the landscaping and the statues, objects and plants that were given to the Peace Palace by the different nations. She also explained how shortly after the competition for the design of the Peace Palace, three garden architects were invited to compete against each other for the design of the grounds around the building. Thomas Mawson won the competition and became the designer.

Peace Palace guided tour garden-veritasvisit

Peace in the Palace Garden

In an earlier post I have tried to define peace. Mawson associated peace with balance, harmony, symmetry, soft leaves and no thorns ( except for the roses), water. While walking through the garden I thought about the the base of the Hague Peace Challenge. imaginary situation of constructing a second City of Peace and Justice in the Middle East.  I thought it would be interesting to integrate Mawson’s ideas in the design of the City or in The Hague Peace Challenge itself.

If you are interested in visiting the gardens ( only in Dutch, on request in English) or the Peace Palace itself, use this link.

Registration for the The Hague Peace Challenge has started. Register before 1 September and get a chance to win two free entrance ticket to the Humanity House. I want to know more about the The Hague Peace Challenge


Update:  In The Hague Peace Challenge the question and creative assignment about the Peace Palace will be based on what you see and hear in the Visitor’s Centre. If you are participating in the challenge, it could be a good idea to visit the centre before. Go for the opening hours to the website and while you’re at it, also check the great activities they organise during the Just Peace Festival ( 21-25 September.)

A Day Out in the Tulip Fields

A day out in the tulip fields is the best way to enjoy your visit to the Netherlands in spring. When you have friends coming over, a company outing, family visiting, head towards the Keukenhof and you soon feel your smile growing by the sight of the multicoloured tulip fields….And don’t forget the scent of the hyacinth fields. It’s all one dreamlike package.

In Holland you can spot many different tulip varieties in the area around Keukenhof
In Holland you can spot many different tulip varieties in the area around Keukenhof

So, what do I do when I visit the Keukenhof area? To be honest, I haven’t been in the Keukenhof Park yet, this year at least. I plan to go, but there’s so much to discover in the area.

Bike ride Leiden- Keukenhof

Last week I did my Leiden- Keukenhof cycle tour. This bike ride I organise together with Bizon Bike Company, which simply has the most comfy bikes in whole of Leiden. From there we crossed the lake area Warmond and before we knew it we were in the midst of the flower fields.  My participants were two American families who were seeing each other again after a long time. They had a lot of catching up to do, so for them it was just perfect not having to organise anything and just following me, their guide.

Two families catch up while on a guided bike tour Leiden - Keukenhof
Two families catch up while on a guided bike tour Leiden – Keukenhof
On a day out in the tulip fields all your senses are tickled.
On a day out in the tulip fields all your senses are tickled.

Make Your OWN Flower mosaic

On Wednesday, I organised  an event, in which you could help make a flower mosaic out of hyacinths . Every year, out of hundreds of hyacinths teams of volunteers create beautiful works of art in three days. It takes a lot of time and energy, but it is quite addictive. Once you start you just can’t stop untill it’s done.


Treasure Hunt Keukenhof Area

In the weekend I welcomed English participants on the treasure hunt through the area around Keukenhof. After a surprise tour at the Castle Teylingen, former residence of Jacqueline of Bavaria ( who you see walking around in Keukenhof Park), they had lunch in the bulb farm and breed their own tulip at the local museum on the history of the bulb culture.


What do you need to breed the perfect tulip?
What do you need to breed the perfect tulip?

lunch in a bulb farm Holland-veritasvisit

Beer & Tulip Festival

When tulips and beer are found together in one festival all clouds just seem to disappear. On Saturday 16 April the Beers & Tulips Festival took place in Noordwijkerhout. For me it was the first spring festival of the year and a good start. Food, beer tasting, music that made you boogie woogie and fantastic tulip arrangements near and on the lake.

beer tulip festival-veritasvisit


Beer tulip lake festival Netherlands veritasvisit


Power Flower Vloggers & Selfies

Then a group of bloggers and vloggers came to visit the Keukenhof area to discover its treasures by bike: castles, canals and tulip fields, the local museum and the tulip farm, where we got a guided tour and heard how tulips, daffodils and hyacinths are grown.

picture Keukenhof castle Netherlands-veritasvisit


Guided tour tulip farm-Netherlands veritasvisit

An Adventure in the tulip fields

A day out in the tulip fields can be a true adventure. Head for the bulb flower region and discover it for yourself. Contact Verita’s Visit if you want to have more information about special, custom-made tours & events in the tulip fields or if you’re looking for a (bike) tour to cheese farms, greenhouses, windmills….

Bike tulip fields Netherlands-veritasvisit