Thursday, 26 April 2018

The Keukenhof, on the second try

We had grand plans to go to the Keukenhof yesterday, but "called an audible" (as my brother describes it). As we were heading to the train station, it was raining and cold. We didn't really treasure the thought of being outside in the rain all day. So instead, we went to NEMO, the Amsterdam Science Museum.
A Hoberman sphere
NEMO is a lot of fun, but it would be a LOT more fun if there weren't throngs of crazed, maniacal 8 year-olds tearing around the place, paying no attention to anyone but themselves, learning nothing and attempting to turn every wheel, play with every device, without any purpose at all.

Turns out we could have gone to the Keukenhof, because it quit raining by 11 AM and turned into a nice, if cold day.
On our way back home
It did, however, give us a chance to get supplies for King's Day.

Today dawned windy & chilly but mostly sunny, so we headed to the Keukenhof fairly early, arriving around 10:15. It was a quiet day in the gardens; only about 200 busses and the parking lot was only ¾ full when we arrived. It's popular. There had to be 50,000 people there today, but that's a quiet day, and the place is big enough to handle it.

We took over 700 photos today, mostly flowers (there are apparently 7 million bulbs here). I could bore you with them all, but I won't. Hence a small sampling of some things.
No matter where you go, the gardens are artfully laid out 
A sundial 
A duck photobombs this flower 
A blue road to somewhere 
This art piece reminded me of the monolith from 2001: A Space Oddessey 
A good use for a dead Beetle 
The have a windmill 
The crowd in front of said windmill 
One of my fave pieces of art in the gardens 
What's a garden without gnomes? 
Or flamingos? 
What's THAT doing there? 
A giant flower made out of flowers 
Colour, colour and more colour 
Boardwalks and water flumes 
The oldest continuously grown tulip in Holland: first cultivated in 1535 
Fields of bulbs just outside the gardens
It's a pretty spectacular place even for folks like me who aren't flower junkies (Karen was in seventh heaven), but once you've seen one tulip in my world, you've seen them all.

One weird highlight of the day: one of the most memorable things for us from our last trip to the Keukenhof in 2011 was lunch. Awesome "beenham" sandwiches from a cart, and we've been making them at home ever since, though never coming close to how good they were here. We even asked my Dutch friend Edwin about them to try to improve on my recipe.

We found the cart again.
If you ever come to Keukenhof, find this cart. It's by the mill.
Very happy tastebuds indeed.

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