Europe 2013- The Netherlands- Day 7- Searching for Tulips at the Keukenhof

I had saved a very special excursion for my last day in The Netherlands.

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Bus from Schipol

After dropping my bags at Amsterdam’s Schipol airport, Toni and I boarded a bus for the half hour ride to the Keukenhof, The Netherlands national gardens and billed as the ‘world’s largest flower garden’.

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Where are the tulips?

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Beautiful Grounds

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Walking on water?

I had read a blog post a couple weeks before that said that, due to an exceptionally cold winter in Northern Europe, the garden’s famous tulips had not started blooming yet. Since my visit was still a few weeks away, I figured I would be hitting the gardens at the perfect time to visit. Upon entering the gardens, and seeing all of the tulips beds without the flowering plants, I began to get the impression that my hopes of a fully blooming garden would not be realized.

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Sculpture in the gardens

Hyacinths in bloom

Hyacinths in bloom

We were obviously disappointed not to find the flowers in full bloom. There were some of the non-tulips varieties that had flowered, specifically Hyacinths and daffodils, but the tulips were noticeably absent.  It was still a pleasant weather day to be walking around a large, beautifully landscaped place, so we made the best of it.

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The orchid show in Beatrix Hall

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Orchids

After a nice long walk in the beautiful April sunshine, we made our way to Beatrix Hall, and it’s outstanding display of orchids. (A full photo essay on the orchids in forthcoming.)

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Cherry blossoms- a gift from Japan

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What are Dutch gardens without a windmill?

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Toni enjoying the sun

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Willem-Alexander Pavilion

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Inside the hall

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The real highlight of the visit was inside the massive Willem-Alexander pavilion, where we were able to see hundreds of different varieties of tulips on display.

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Toni & I after 2 1/2 days of fun

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It was time for me to head south and for Toni to head back for a day in Amsterdam by herself. It’d been a great 2 1/2 days hanging out with a friend who, up to that point, had only been a virtual one.

I caught a train south to Rotterdam, where I transferred to a second train headed to Brussels. I was finally was out on my big Eurail adventure…

Europe 2013 Posts-

Iceland-

Netherlands-

Beers & Bars of the Europe 2013 Trip:

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