Monday, May 4, 2015


We woke to sunny blue skies this morning, and we were feeling pretty lucky.  Our plan for the day was to visit the beautiful Keukenhof Gardens, which would be much prettier on a nice day.  I'd been before, on a 2012 trip with my Mom & Dad.  It was so spectacular that I was really looking forward to seeing it again, and  I knew David would enjoy it, too.

A little information about the gardens:

The Keukenhof Gardens are about 24 miles southwest of Amsterdam in an area known as Bollenstreek, or "bulb growing area".  The name Keukenhof means "kitchen garden" in Dutch,  and the gardens origins date back to the 15th century when Countess Jacqueline of Bavaria gathered fruit and vegetables from the woods for the kitchen of their castle.  Keukenhof Castle was built in 1641, and the gardens were designed in 1857 to serve as a park.  In 1949 a group of bulb growers & exporters came up with the idea to use the estate and gardens as a permanent exhibit of spring blooming bulbs and flowers.  

Today The Keukenhof gardens are a world class tourist attraction, with an average of 15,000 visitors each day of it's 8 week opening.  I think they were ALL there today!

To reach Keukenhof by public transportation from Amsterdam is not difficult, but it was quite a trek!  First we walked to the Central Station, where we caught a train to Schipohl Airport, where we then caught a bus to the gardens.  Whew!  Even though we'd bought our tickets before leaving home there was a huge line at Schipohl waiting to board the buses.  It moved fairly quickly, though and we got on the 3rd bus,  and it was standing room only for the 25 minute ride.

But it was worth it!  The gardens are in peak full bloom right now, and they are absolutely beautiful.  We spent almost 3 hours strolling through the park.  Even though it was VERY crowded, it felt great to get out of the city to enjoy some "nature time". 

There's not much to say about strolling through the park, so I'll just the the pictures speak for themselves.  Enjoy!

Windmill on the edge of the park:

These are some bulb fields across the canal outside the park:

After our 3 hours enjoying the park, we made the reverse trek back to Amsterdam, and after arriving at Central Station we walked to a nearby brew house to enjoy a cold one.  We sat outside at a picnic table, and we were soon joined by a nice lady.  She was a local tour guide, and we had a great time visiting with her.  She asked if we minded if she smoked, and we grudgingly said OK--and then she lit up a joint.  (We didn't inhale--honest!) During our conversation she filled us in on some nearby buildings and the interesting history behind them.  She also mentioned that the brewery was staffed by people with mental disabilities.  That explained the bit of difficulty we'd had in understanding the bartender.  She said she had been in line behind us when we ordered, and noticed how patient we were with him--made me feel good!

By now it was time for dinner, and we agreed to try a wood-fired pizza restaurant near our apartment.  We'd tried Friday night--but it was crazy busy with a 35 minute wait for a table.  We lucked out tonight, and were seated right away.  We shared a delicious pizza and antipasto plate, and each had a glass of red wine.

We walked the short few blocks home, and now we're settled in, doing a load of laundry and resting my old knees!

Good night from wonderful Amsterdam!


  1. WOW! Tulip lovers paradise for sure.....thanks for the pix. Dano

  2. All the pictures are beautiful. Wind mill and David in the wooden shoes, made me smile...Beautiful flowers and the dinner you had...two thumbs up...enjoy

  3. What wonderful pictures. Every one of them. You must be on sensory overload.