Not for points...
Floriade, the World's Fair of horticultural shows, is the largest public event in the Netherlands. The exhibition, which takes place only once every 10 years, will make its 21st Century debut in April, 2002.
More than 3 million visitors are expected at Floriade 2002, which occupies an all-new site in Haarlemmermeer near Amsterdam. The 160-acre (65-hectare) park will have more than 300 indoor and outdoor displays that showcase every aspect of Dutch horticulture, with the highlight being a "valley of flowers" with more than a million bulbs. Other noteworthy features include:
Big Spotters Hill. Floriade's terraced 120-foot (40-meter) artificial hill resembles a Mayan temple and offers views of the park, lake, and countryside. For €2, you can take an automated "CyberCab" Personal Rapid Transit Vehicle to the top. (See photo on page 2.)
The Roof. Many exhibitions will be sheltered by a glass roof with a surface area larger than four football fields. The roof will have the world's largest integrated solar-energy installation.
Geniedijk. This old wall, once part of Amsterdam's defenses, runs through the middle of the park. You can also visit the nearby Cruquius steam pumping station, which was used to reclaim the Haarlemmermeer Polder from the sea in the 1800s.
The Lake. Rent a boat, or eat in a lakeside restaurant with a view of more than two dozen international pavilions and exhibits.
Haarlemmermeerse Woods. This forested area of the park will house Floriade's market garden and ornamental sections.
Dates: April 6 - October 20, 2002.
Hours: 9:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. (The park will be open to 10:30 p.m. on May 9-10 and May 19-20.)
Tickets: One-day tickets cost 17 euros for adults and €8.50 for children from 4-12 years old. You can buy tickets at the gate or in Amsterdam's Schipohl Airport.
Transportation: Free Zuidtangent buses for ticketholders will run from Schipohol Airport and two other locations near Amsterdam. If you'd rather drive, see the highway directions at the Floriade 2002 Web site below.
Tours: Many companies are offering Floriade tours and excursion packages. Check with your travel agent, the Netherlands Board of Tourism, or the companies on the Garden Tours page of my Europe Travel Planner.)