The morning after a particularly intriguing evening in Brussels, I was feeling emotionally wiped and in dire need of an escape from the constricting walls of city life. I wanted nature. I wanted pretty things.
Earlier the day before, I had come across a brochure for a springtime event called Floralia Brussels, set upon the grounds of Kasteel van Groot-Bijgaarden just a short train ride away. So, as my fellow travelers took inspired day trips to places like Bruges, Ghent, and Antwerp, I settled my mind on disembarking at a desolate train station to venture to an abandoned 12th-century castle.
I’ll admit, I had never been to a flower festival before in my life, but Florists kind of run in my family, so I guess I was more or less surrendering to the petals.
Only 7 kilometres from Brussels by train, the rustic-looking castle was built in the year 1300 for Almaric Bigard, the first lord of Bigard. ‘Groot-Bijgaarden’ translates to Grand Bigard, who’s grounds are open every spring to visitors looking to gape at Floralia Brussels.
I mean, the castle has a 5-arched bridge, a moat, and lion statues guarding the entrance. Umm, sign me up.
Running from early April until early May, Floralia Brussels is curated by gardeners who plant (by hand!) more than 1 MILLION bulbs. Guys, there were over 400 varieties of tulips alone. Between the castle grounds, the sheer volume of flowers, and the peaceful ambiance, this place gives a new meaning to ‘stop and smell the roses’.
Here are my favorite photos from 2017’s Floralia Brussels:
Sad lion looks sad.
Castles, moats, and wagons, oh my!
Doesn’t this old, abandoned house kind of make you feel like a Disney character who finds pleasure by singing in the woods and talking to animals?
I’m still drooling over these hues.
Natures favorite color palette.
When I’m rich, I’m totally commissioning a giant flower bird to be constructed in my front yard.
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Have you ever been to a flower festival? Tell me all about it in the comments?
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