Flying start for Dutch tourist attractions
The high temperatures and record-breaking numbers of tourists in the Netherlands have given many Dutch tourist attractions a flying start to the season.
The floral displays at Keukenhof gardens near Lisse attracted over 100,000 visitors, probably the gardens' best ever Easter.
Amsterdam was overrun by tourists at the weekend, many of them from Germany and Eastern Europe. Hotels and camp sites were full, and canal tours were busy until late in the evening.
Holiday parks up and down the country were fully booked and all expectations were exceeded at theme parks.
The Floriade World Horticultural Expo in Venlo in the southern Province of Limburg will not even officially open until next year, but 2500 people came for the cable car, which came into operation just before Easter. The 1.1 km cable car is the longest in the Netherlands.
More people than usual came to see the sea life at the Dolfinarium in Hardewijk, and Madurodam's miniture city in The Hague drew 15,000 visitors, up 36 percent on last year. Likewise Walibi Holland theme park near Biddinghuizen saw 10 percent more visitors.
There was less interest for indoor attractions. Amsterdam's Madame Tussauds saw a 20 percent drop in admissions compared to last Easter.
Blijdorp zoo in Rotterdam also saw fewer visitors than normal, in spite of baby polar bear Vicks and mating elephants being among the special attractions. But ice cream sales were up compensating somewhat for the lack of punters.
© Radio Netherlands Worldwide