Finally.....FLOWERS!!!March 27 in the Netherlands
The main reason I added Amsterdam to our itinerary was because I have always wanted to see the tulips in Holland, particularly at Keukenhof Gardens. The easiest and cheapest way was to buy a combo package offered by Keukenhof that included a train ride, express bus to the garden entrance, and admission.....for €36 each. It took us about an hour to get there and we enjoyed lunch and the gardens for over 5 hours. It was money well spent and even John agreed. Unfortunately, it did start to drizzle shortly after we got there and continued on and off throughout the afternoon until we left. Also, the fields were not in bloom or even close to it. I was shown photos of last year’s crop at this time and the fields were in full bloom. Just my luck! Although I did feel for the farmers as they are predicting full bloom at the middle of April but admitted that it wasn’t looking good because of the long winter and cool, rainy days.
Despite the barren fields, there is so much more to see at Keukenhof as other Spring flowers were in bloom.....daffodils, crocusses, and early tulips. The gardeners plant 7 million bulbs each year by hand and every year is different. There are 100 suppliers of bulbs which use this event as a living catalogue. At the end of the tulip season, the middle of May, the entire property is cleared back to the bare ground, including the grass, and it takes a full 10 months for the designers and groundskeepers to prepare next year’s tulip display. There were 4 large indoor pavilions, one for tulips, one for orchids, one with a variety of flowers, and one for special exhibits. There was a demonstration of flower arranging that I watched and master gardeners to speak to, while John rested nearby as he was starting to lose interest by the end of the day. On the way back to the city we noticed huge areas of daffodils growing wild along the roadway, similar to our dandelions in Spring.
What a wonderful day, despite the rain. I think we are at the point where we expect to see rain every day, while a sunny day is a bonus. The only negative today is that I have yet another cold, or it could be a recurrence of the original one that never completely resolved. It started with 5 days of a sore throat so I’m hoping that I didn’t infect Cheryl and Ewe. Maybe the Netherlands virus will treat me more kindly than the Portuguese one!Read more