Warning: This is a very floral post, hardly any words. There will be lots and lots of flowers, enough to put any dentist’s ceiling or car insurance calendar to shame. I’ll try not to give you a tooth ache.
That being said… I love tulips. To be fair, peonies are my favorite flower, but tulips with their slender stems and satiny petals are a near tie. The whole reason we were in Holland in mid April was to be there for peak tulip season. So we went to Keukenhof Gardens, the best place to see millions of tulips in a manicured setting, and the world’s second largest flower garden, nearly eighty acres (Dubai just planted an even bigger one.)
Keukenhof Gardens 4
There isn’t a direct way to get there from Amsterdam unless you join a tour. We didn’t want to join a tour because we prefer more flexibility. So we took the train to Schipol airport, exited the terminal, turned right and followed the outside of the building to the very end and turned right to a covered area that is very much hidden unless you know where to look. From here we bought combo bus/gardens tickets and boarded. A bus leaves about every half hour, but look up schedules to be sure. The bus takes another half hour, then you’re there, and free to take any of the buses back.
Now it was serious flower time.
Keukenhof Daffodil Field
A great thing about this time of year was that we got to have cherry blossoms, tulips, hyacinths, and daffodils all at the same time. All of spring’s A List in the same room. The result was an almost unnatural beauty.
Keukenhof Gardens 3
Keukenhof Stripes 3
Keukenhof Tulips Orange Purple
Keukenhof Tulip Fields
Keukenhof Tulips Orange
I knew the gardens would be somewhat crowded, afterall they’re only open for about two months. What I wasn’t expecting was how many other squatting obnoxious photo opportunists there would be. I can say that because I was one of them. It made getting the large overall shots a little difficult, because most flowerbeds looked like this:
Keukenhof Garden Photographers
The dedication and equipment I witnessed was both impressive and quite silly. Competition was fierce in some areas. So most of my pictures are pointed low and zoomed in on particular flowers. These are pictures of the same flowerbed, with the same squatters around me:
Keukenhof Tulips Pink Purple
Keukenhof Tulips Pink
I was one of the worst offenders though, I took nearly four hundred pictures in about four hours. These are the presentable ones. I don’t really have a favorite, but if things get tough I guess I could always set up a digital wallpaper business. I promise mine will not include viruses.
Keukenhof Gardens 6
Keukenhof Gardens 10
Keukenhof Green Tulip Bud
Keukenhof Tulips Red White Yellow
Keukenhof Gardens 9
Keukenhof Tulips Purple Orange
Keukenhof Stepping Stones
Keukenhof Tulip Stripes 3
Keukenhof Tulip Yellow Orange
Keukenhof Gardens 5
Keukenhof Tulip Stripes 2
Keukenhof Tulips Pink Fuzzy
Keukenhof Tulip Waves
Keukenhof Gardens Vines
Keukenhof Tulip Field Canal
Keukenhof Tulips Red Yellow
Keukenhof Tulips Yellow Orange Purple
Keukenhof Gardens 8
Keukenhof Tulips Red
Keukenhof Gardens 11
Keukenhof Garden Trees
Keukenhof Gardens 7
I think we actually covered most of the park in about five hours, stopping only for important things, like pie. I’ve visited my fair share of arboretums, but this was on another level, if you’re in the area between late March and early May you should definitely check it out.