'Tulip Island' opens in Amsterdam's Vondelpark

Tulip Island, Vondelpark

ABOVE: Tourists and locals mingle amid the flowers on Tulip Island, Amsterdam.

Tiny Tim would have loved Amsterdam's newest tourist attraction: "Tulip Island," on the tiny islet of Muziekkoepel opposite the Blue Teahouse in the city's Vondelpark. As you follow the late singer's exhortation to tiptoe through the tulips, you can pick your own bouquet while learning about the cultivation and history of Holland's most famous flower.

Couple on Tulip IslandAs a bonus, you'll meet other harvesters, and you'll have the opportunity to sell or trade your pickings in front of the traditional auction clock. The Tulip Experience Foundation, which runs the island, is also offering classical music and a high tea during the inaugural 2014 season, which runs from July 4 through September 7.

(Fun fact: Tulips normally grow in the spring, but Tulip Island's organizers are using specially-prepared "ice tulips" to keep the island in full bloom during the summer months.)

To schedule your 30-minute visit to the Island, go to, where you can pre-order your tickets for a specific data and time. (Tickets cost  €7,50, and the booking form is in six languages.)

More photos:

Tulip Island, Amsterdam


Photos courtesy of

New guide: Germany for the Jewish Traveler

Munich Synagogue and Jewish Museum

ABOVE: The Jewish Museum in Munich opened in 2007. (The museum is on the right; the building on the left is Munich's new main synagogue.)

The German National Tourist Board (GNTB) has published a new e-brochure titled Germany for the Jewish Traveler.

The English-language brochure contains travel tips and information about Jewish life, culture, and places of interest in 64 German cities. It also features interactive maps and Web links.

According to the GNTB, Germany is home to the third-largest Jewish community in Western Europe--and the only one that is growing, not shrinking.

In 2013, the GNTB reported an increase of nearly 15.4 percent of overnights from Israel to Germany, so the country is attracting plenty of Jewish tourists as well as residents.

To download the free brochure, visit the GNTB's brochures page.

BELOW: Erfurt's Alte Synagogue, or Old Synagogue, was rediscovered in the late 1980s after being hidden behind other buildings for nearly 600 years. It is now a museum of medieval Jewish life in Erfurt.

Alte Synagogue Erfurt


Photos: Durant Imboden.

Ironbridge Gorge Walking Festival: May 3-11, 2014

Ironbridge Gorge bridge with walkers

ABOVE: Walkers gather for a group photo by the Iron Bridge at Ironbridge Gorge, a UNESCO World Heritage site where the Industrial Revolution began in the early 1700s.

England's Ironbridge Gorge Walking Festival, now in its ninth year, will offer more than 50 free walks from Saturday, May 3 through Sunday, May 11.

All walks are in and around the Ironbridge Gorge World Heritage Site in Telford, Shropshire, about 50 km northwest of Birmingham.

Walks range from short informative walks and family trails (one designed especially for pushchair and wheelchair users) to a 15-mile circular hike over the Wrekin, with plenty of steep climbs and rough terrain.

Along with nearly 20 other new walks, this year's festival will introduce the "100 Mile Ironbridge Challenge." Participants in the Challenge must finish seven specified walks on seven different days for a total of 100+ miles. Winners will receive certificates and woven badges for their rucksacks.

For those who want to learn more about the area's heritage, the festival will have a walk that takes in the history of the river bridges and another 15-mile circular walk that skirts the edge of the 1,360-acre (550-hectare) World Heritage Site.

The organizers tell us that all walks are free, but pre-booking is essential. Well-behaved dogs on leads are welcome on most walks, but please check before signing up.

To reserve a place, or to view details about the program (including a downloadable Walking Festival Map and a list of walks in PDF format), visit:

Photo: VisitIronbridge
Source: Pat Edgar, PR Matters