September 30, 2022

If you love greenery, flowers, new ideas and major expositions, and you’ve been looking for an excuse to travel, here’s a great one to do in the next months.

Floriade, the World’s Fair of horticultural shows, is the largest public event in the Netherlands. The international exhibition Floriade Expo 2022 is in Almere, a modern “garden city” near Amsterdam that was built on land reclaimed from the sea.

The Floriade has taken place once every 10 years for the past 70 years. After Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague, Zoetermeer, and Venlo, it is now Almere’s turn to provide the green backdrop.

Visitors can enjoy the scent and colors of flowers, plants, vegetables and fruit for six months — from April 14 to October 9 — visiting country pavilions displaying their culture and local innovations.

Floriade is just about the greenest day out you can have. Almost 150 acres of land, forty country presentations, a greenhouse complex, and an aerial cableway across the park make Floriade Expo one of the world’s major horticultural shows.

“I worked at a pavilion at the Floriade 20 years ago,” said Renske Lute-Green, a marketing expert from the Netherlands. “We showed everybody about the dunes and the dikes in a big area that’s below sea level that was reclaimed from the sea. Lots of countries show their futuristic ideas to the world.”

This year’s theme is ‘Growing Green Cities.’ By 2050, some 68 percent of the global population will live in cities on two percent of the earth’s surface.

The focus is on ‘Greening the City’: more greenery; ‘Feeding the City’: improved food supplies; ‘Healthying the City’: more conscious living; and ‘Energizing the City’: smarter energy supplies.

New technologies, future products, and solutions to global urbanization, food supply, health, and energy generation are showcased in an art and culture program in pavilions and the huge greenhouse complex.

The arboretum is the Floriade Expo’s green engine, a gigantic living tree, flower and plant library. Trees and plants are organized by their botanical names as designed by the architect and urban planner Winny Maas.

The site will become a new urban district named Hortus after Floriade shuts down in October, 2022.

The living lab, as Floriade is nicknamed, showcases Almere’s aim to be a green city, and the way in which the horticultural sector strives for continuous innovation in sustainability and food production.

At the beginning of the last century this entire area around Almere was under water. To accommodate the growing population of Amsterdam and the surrounding area, it was decided to dam and drain the shallow Zuiderzee bay. The result: a modern province with Almere as its green heart.

From the train station in Almere, it’s a 10-minute walk to the Esplanade, where you can board one of the electric boats that will take you directly to the Floriade Park. During the trip across the Weerwater Lake the captain will tell you all about the Floriade Expo 2022 and Almere.

Your entrance ticket includes a single ride in a cable car, with a view over the park. You can get on the funicular at the south side of Floriade Park for a ride to the north side; or make the trip in the opposite direction.

An exciting green experience, altogether. And remember, if you miss this 2022 expo you’ll have to wait a decade before the next one.

For more info on the Netherlands, including Floriade, check out Episode #56 of my award-winning travel podcast, Places I Remember with Lea Lane, anywhere you listen to podcasts, or on my website.

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