Home > Uncategorized > Keukenhof Gardens, Holland 5.12.13

Keukenhof Gardens, Holland 5.12.13

European Day 1: Uppsala

European Day 2: Amsterdam


Our third day in Europe was Mothers day.  In honor of our mothers, and because we visit gardens around the world, and because I am a gardener by trade, we took a train back to the Amsterdam airport and boarded a bus to Keukenhof Gardens.


Here in Seattle we have a very similar climate to Holland, and we have our own tulip growing region (Skagit Valley) but I have never been to the tulip farms less than an hour from my house, but I did visit this one in Holland.  It was amazing!  It was 18-hectare (44 acres) of formal gardens with tulips, daffodils and ranunculus and other varieties I had never seen before.


The last picture (Ice Cream Tulip) was amazing!  Seeing so many different varieties made us want to purchase some, and thankfully they ship them in October, so we didn’t have to lug 100 tulip bulbs around the rest of Europe. 

Funny story: while we were deciding what to purchase, the large (tall) Hollander in his early 50’s (who had been speaking great English to us) noticed the name I had entered, and began speaking to me in Dutch.  I explained to him that I didn’t speak Dutch, and he said something else in Dutch, so I put it on Ron, saying that it’s his last name, I just married into it.  So he began speaking to Ron in Dutch, and finally understood that neither of us spoke Dutch even though we have a very VERY common last name for the region we were in.    I wish I had taken a picture of that guy, he was so nice. 


So now we will receive a wonderful reminder of our Holland adventure showing up on our doorstep sometime in fall.  Yay!  I could post another hundred photos of tulips, but I wont.  If you do get the chance to visit this garden when it’s in bloom, don’t miss it!  Superb!


We weren’t lollygaggers though, and once we were done we had a number of hours of travel to accomplish to get to our next destination.  We took a bus, then a train back to the Okura Hotel to get our bags, then walked to the train station to catch another train to the town called Den Bosch (baa-sh) but the name was written as ‘s-Hertogenbosch.  Once there, we took the Bus to the town of Waalwijk (wall-wick), and then walked to our hotel. 

Rather than sit in our hotel room, even though we were tired, we headed out again to walk around this little Holland town and find some food.  Wandering had become our specialty, so knowing full well that we were going to be spending the next day walking around a theme park we took off to explore.  At some point we realized that we had gone too far.  It was likely when we were in the warehouse district, across the freeway from Wallwijk looking at a McDonalds sign down the way and feeling that we could make it. 

We made it alright, but it was late, we were tired, and unsure of how far from our hotel we were.  Next to the Mickey-D’s was a Chinese restaurant, and it looked closed but the door was open.  The cook or owner came out and said they were closed, and Ron asked if he could call us a cab.  The guy then got a phone call, and talked in animated Chinese for close to four minutes, but if we tried to leave he would motion for us to wait.  Once he got off the phone he said he would give us a ride.  I was like cool, thinking this is what Ron was hoping for, but Ron declined, saying we were going to get some food and would get a cab from there.  He was worried that the guy set up something mischievous on that phone call and his safety radar said NO. 

McDonalds was great, the manager came out and called us a cab, and let us wait inside even though the dining room had closed.  We ate McD’s for the only time on the trip there, I had a steaming hot 1/4 pounder with cheese and a Kit-Kat McFlurry, and Ron had a Greek-Mac and Magnum McFlurry.  Everything was delicious, and the Greek mac was a lamb burger on a regular bun with feta cheese and tzatziki sauce.  Delicious!

It was an interesting time waiting for the cab, there were two other couples in the dining room.  One we later assumed was the grandparents of a worker, and they hugged when she got off work and left together.  Ron felt they were visiting from out of town and stopped to say hi and give her a lift home.  The other couple was the questionable one.  The woman was intermittently crying, and the guy had his arm around her. They weren’t talking, just sitting there with a half eaten apple pie in silence.  I feel (of course I would) that they had a miscarriage. 

The cab arrived and took us back to the hotel where we crashed for the night, setting early alarms so we could get to Efteling when it opened.  Efteling is a theme park using the fairy tales of Hans Christian Anderson as the backdrop.  And it was awesome.  Here’s an unflattering photo of me (that I staged) the day after visiting Efteling with the memento we bought. 


Ta-Ta for now.

Categories: Uncategorized
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  1. July 3, 2013 at 7:12 am
  2. September 6, 2013 at 5:44 pm

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