Subject: Floriade and Visiting Gardens
Hello Travelziners, We'll be leaving on our Benelux trip in two weeks and I've got a couple of questions regarding the Floriade, the world horticultural exhibition being held in Haarlemmermeer, Netherlands.

First of all, I know it's only been open 6 days but I'm curious as to the crowds it has been drawing. More precisely, will purchasing a ticket at the park on the day of the visit be a problem? Is it absolutely necessary to reserve a ticket ahead of time? I'd prefer not to so as to give ourselves more freedom regarding which day we'll be visiting.

Secondly, we were considering visiting on Fri. May 9th (Ascension Day) or Sat. May 10th. On the official website at:

they mention that these two days have extended hours. Should we expect larger than normal crowds on these days? Are they national holidays?

Finally, how many other Travelziners are planning on visiting this exhibition? I know it has been mentioned by a few. This leads me to believe there are quite a few of you out there who like to stroll through a garden while traveling. I know Sara and I do.

On our last trip we took in a wonderful garden in Valdivia, Chile on the campus of the Universidad Austral de Chile. This huge botanical garden had been planted in the last century by insightful members of the faculty. The result is a well established garden whose trees are at their peak of maturity. The strange varieties of South American species are all represented, such as the conguillo and araucania, plus excellent specimens of Northern Hemisphere species. We were fortunate to tour the grounds in the middle of spring and viewed the largest azaleas and rhododendrons we've ever seen. Of course, being on a campus, the park was filled with students between classes whose thoughts obviously were also influenced by the season. The campus with its gardens sit on Isla Teja at the confluence of the Rio Cau-Cau, Rio Calle-Calle, and Rio Valdivia. A really beautiful spot.

So, how about it Ziners have you a particularly memorable garden moment you'd like to share?

John in San Diego