20 May 2016

Keukenhof, The Netherlands

On the road again, this time with a 7-seater. 

The interior was as spacious as a bus. Unfortunately, it handled like one too. Bus driver Ben in his natural state up the front, Lew and I in the middle, and Nanna and Josh in the back.

Waiting for the road to be returned to normal...

Our destination? The Garden of Europe: Keukenhof, near Lisse in The Netherlands. The Keukenhof itself contains approximately 7 million bulbs and is only open from March to May (actual dates vary each year). I was so worried as they "head" the flowers once they have bloomed and I was sure we would miss them.

Thankfully, we didn't! 

A small glimpse of just a few of the rows of tulips outside Keukenhof. Funnily enough, for business purposes, the tulips aren't grown for the flower, they are grown for the bulb. So the farmers will "head" the flowers, ensuring the bulb gets the nutrients from the stem and grow stronger. The bulbs are then exported around the world.

A gardener beginning to head the flowers. Stop! We only just arrived!

Not to worry, there were many more flowers to be seen. The gardens were huge!

Oh look! Tulips almost as big as Lewie!

For added difficulty let's put it over a pond.

Hang on who made this bridge!

I love what you've done with the place, Miffy.

The petting zoo.

And the playground, of course.

A new word to add to Lewie's ever expanding vocabulary: SPLASH!

A not-so-traditional bronze kangaroo sculpture.

Some very traditional, oversized clogs.

And, of course, a beautiful windmill.

Poor Lulu. Visiting a huge flower garden and crunching numbers is tiring.

Future album cover?

Our accomodation for the night: a hostel in the converted Heemskerk castle that also does wedding events. Reliving the hostel experience with us, the kids and Nanna in a bunk bed dorm was not the most pleasant of times, especially as I wasn't feeling too good. The all-you-can-eat jam and bread, with endless juice, tea and coffee in the morning was pretty good though.

The view from our room over the moat.

Unfortunately the two families had to part way on Saturday as I developed a nasty case of pharyngitis. So while the other family pushed onto the miniature Holland World at Madurodam, near The Hague, I went to the "House doctor" at the hospital for antibiotics, and we headed for home.

A quick stop for lunch and a look around Venlo, and I was home in bed... Until Monday's adventure!

This boy and his throne poses.

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