So Many Flowers!

Trip Start Aug 18, 2011
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Trip End Ongoing


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Where I stayed
Aivengo Youth Hostel Amsterdam
Read my review - 2/5 stars

Flag of Netherlands  , South Holland,
Tuesday, April 3, 2012

If you go to the Netherlands you hope to see flowers. If you go to the Netherlands in the spring you expect to see flowers.

Now, yes, there were flowers all over Amsterdam, but that was not enough for me. I seriously wanted the postcard pictures of the fields upon fields of tulips. So, I went in search of them. While wandering around Amsterdam I saw an advertisement for the Keukenhoff Gardens. It depicted people in flower gardens. This looked like what I was looking for, so we looked into it. We had not exactly planned on adding this to our trip. However, Victor and I both agreed that we had come to the Netherlands specifically for the flowers, so we decided to forgo one of our days in Amsterdam and go to the Keukenhoff Gardens. We decided to do the shortest day trip, which was five hours, because you can only look at flowers for so long. However, they recommended that real flower lovers go for the seven or nine hour trips.

We bought tickets and were directed to a bus that was full of tourists from an older demographic. Our driver gave us an explanation about where we were as we drove to the city. He was very impressive because he said the same thing in English, German, Spanish and he also spoke Dutch. He said that I had pronounced Keukenhoff very well, which was nice because Dtuch is a hard language to speak if you are not from the Netherlands. Keukenhoff actually means kitchen garden, because it was built next to an old castle in the 1960's. If was pretty impressive for a simple Kitchen garden.

The gardens were past Harlem in a town named Lisse. We drove past vast fields of daffodils before we got to the entrance of the gardens where we were dropped off and told to be back at a certain time.

We saw flowers from the entrance on. There were more than seven million flowers hand planted all around the gardens. They had been planted last winter and were only blooming now. There were thousands already in bloom. We estimated that it would have been better to go the next week when all of them would have been in bloom. Needless to say however, that the flowers in bloom were gorgeous. I swear they must have had every breed of tulip there is, plus ones that may have been created especially for the garden. I loved all of the different names such as pink champagne, apricot paradise and the tweety bird daffodil. Even I, who do not really like gardening, could enjoy the colorful splendor of the Keukenhoff Gardens.

The gardens were pretty much built for tourists so there were little cliché things all over the gardens such as giant Dutch shoes to stand in and take pictures and a gift shop devoted to nothing but shoes. The Keukenhoff Gardens were laid out in a nice manner, each section being named after a member of the royal family. There were ponds and water fowl strategically placed in parts of the gardens where they would look the most picturesque and attract more tourists to stop and take pictures, conveniently located next to a gift shop or food stand.

Honestly there was not that much to do except take pictures, however there was a play ground for children. In the back there was an authentic windmill that you could go up in and survey the flowers beds in the distance. There were a few green houses that had flower related products to purchase, such as artwork and handy-crafts.

Then there was an exhibition hall. Each year the garden chooses a different European country to be its theme. This year was Poland, so all of the exhibitions had to do with Poland in one way or another. There were also a few billboards placed around the entrance giving brief summaries of Polish culture.

Near the entrance was a giant old street organ. It played all day and the guide told us to find the entrance just follow the music. That tricked worked. It was a really cool organ and you could see how it worked in the back where the worker fed in the giant books of what looked like punch cards that got the machine to play the right notes.

Now back at the entrance we headed back for the bus which was arriving with a new bus load of tourists with digital cameras clutched in their hands. The shuffled off and we shuffled on, ready to head back to Amsterdam and finish our sightseeing before we continued our journey to Delft in the morning.

My Review Of The Place I Stayed



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