Amsterdam, Holland. The morning started out sunny, so we commenced to execute our long-planned visit to the Keukenhof, also known as the Garden of Europe. It is one of the world’s largest flower gardens, and approximately 7 million flower bulbs are planted annually in the park, which covers an area of 80 acres.
When we were here about ten years ago, it was a few weeks earlier in the season, and everything was at its peak. All the tulip-growing fields outside of park were covered with tulips on our previous visit, but they are empty now, as their flowers have left for other places. We loved our visit here and didn’t want to miss the chance to see it again, as we were sort of in the neighborhood.
The garden was established in 1949 by the then-mayor of Lisse, the town in which the garden is located. The idea was to present a flower exhibit where growers from all over the Netherlands and Europe could show off their hybrids – and help the Dutch export industry. The Netherlands is the world’s largest exporter of flowers.
His idea worked. It’s overwhelming to think about the amount of work the featured growers put into this exhibit every year, but it is glorious.
But enough history. Just look at these amazing tulips!
But they aren’t the only flowers represented. We finally got to see some rhododendrons in bloom, lots of azaleas, some wisteria, and and entire pavilion of orchids. The woods are beautifully sculpted and the colors are just fabulous – even the the drizzle you will notice that we got to enjoy. Lots of Indian and Chinese tourists here admiring the show – we felt right at home, tourist-wise.
There are various pavilions that feature cafes and tea rooms, along with the obligatory gift shops. But they are all somewhat different and the grounds include some fun Dutch references. Note Don doing his best to help with the flowers.
As you might infer, Don’s wearing of one of our very chic new hoodies indicates that our own luggage has yet to appear – but we are still hopeful. However, they were most useful and warm on a cold damp day in the Netherlands. Naturally, the sun did emerge as we were leaving. We really enjoyed our day – regardless of the weather – but many of our bus companions on the way back to the city just didn’t have our fortitude.
News Flash!!!!! Our luggage has arrived at 9:30 PM tonight!!!! I had to kiss it several times.