Holland met us with excellent roads and slight drizzle. Later we learned that this rainy weather is not uncommon due to the proximity of the sea. Perhaps due to the constant natural watering flowers and plants grow so well in Holland.
Our first day in Amsterdam we dedicated to this beautiful city. Arriving at the central station, we boarded on a tour bus for a city tour. Amsterdam is an incredibly beautiful city with many bridges and canals, you would want to walk through them even in bad weather. Capital impressed us not only with its beautiful architecture and unforgettable scenery, but also active leisure facilities. Museums, theaters, restaurants, cafes, shops and much more is what attract about 4 million tourists to this city every year. By the way, there is a museum of the world famous beer Heineken Experience in Amsterdam, where we happily spent 4 hours.
We should pay special attention to one of the main attractions of the city - Bloemenmarket, the world's only floating flower market. Shops are located on pontoons that stretch along the Singel canal. Long time ago, farmers brought flowers from their fields and sold them directly on the boats. Now the flower stalls are located on barges, firmly attached to the shore. Here you can enjoy a wonderful floral aroma, choose among great variety, including exotic flowers, ready bouquets, dried flowers, potted plants, bulbs, seeds, roots, soil, souvenirs and much more. And buying flower bulbs, you can focus not only on the photos or pictures of the future plant, but also see what it’s like.
Early in the morning we headed towards the Aalsmeer city, which is 13 km away from Amsterdam. The purpose of our trip is to visit the world's largest flower auction of Flora Holland, which controls over 90% of Holland cut flowers market.
Auction begins its work at 6am. For tourists and tour groups it has a separate entrance, which is open from 07:00 am. By purchasing a ticket, we were went on a special bridge, located a few meters above warehouses on huge area of 990 sq. m. The building of the auction is on the 4th place in the list of the largest buildings in the world.
A whole ocean of different plants and flowers of various colors, shapes and forms appeared before our eyes. From the top a warehouse looks like a huge ant hill: a few hundred employees randomly moving the warehouse on foot or on electric vehicles, loaded, unloaded, sorted, or move the cart with flowers. Boxes, packets and containers with flowers move on special trailers that are on rails laid on throughout the building.
The auction itself takes place in several separate halls, in amphitheater there are the tables with special buttons where buyers. A large auction clock with an arrow that moves from the maximum to the minimum bid price hangs on the wall of the hall. Traders need to press the button as the arrow moves. Trades last no more than a minute. Shipment goes to the buyer, who first pressed the button and confirmed the price. At this time, the trolley with selling flowers and plants automatically moves around the room, so that buyers could appreciate the color and appearance.
Before getting to the auction item is thoroughly tested. Purchase is made immediately in electronic form via the computer. Within an hour of purchase, the formed order is ready to be shipped - in stores or to the airport.
Each day about 20 million flowers are sold here from around the world. The main supplier countries are the Netherlands, Kenya, Israel, Ethiopia, Ecuador and Germany. Best selling flowers are roses, tulips, lilies, gerbera daisies and chrysanthemums. FloraHolland clients has companies-buyers from 58 countries. From this small town of Aalsmeer, begin the path of beautiful flowers, which then delight their recipients in all corners of the globe.