Keukenhof Gardens: Flower Festival

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“Imagine setting it all down-papers, plans, appointments, everything-leaving only a note: ‘Gone to the fields to be lovely. Be back when I’m through blooming”

You can’t go to Holland in the spring and not see tulips. They’re everywhere; on every street corner, in front of most shops, advertised on every other sign. It’s impossible to ignore.

One of the first things I noticed when I arrived at the Amsterdam Airport Schiphol was the advertisements for the Keukenhof Gardens. The signs were so bright and colorful (clearly they did their job well) that I knew I wanted to try to squeeze in a visit if we had time.

The weather was cold and rainy, but we decided to ignore the weather forecast for the weekend and book a day trip to see the gardens anyways, in spite of the 70% chance of rain! We lucked out, and it ended up being a beautiful, sunny day!

Our tour didn’t leave until 2, so we had the morning to explore and visit museums. It was about a 45 minute bus ride to the gardens, and I was able to squeeze in a quick cat nap on the way.

When we arrived, the first thing I noticed when stepping off of the bus was the intense smell of flowers. I felt like I had just stuck my head into a Yankee Candle jar! It was heavenly!

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The park was huge! We had a little under three hours to walk around, and we used almost the entire time and still didn’t see everything. I hadn’t realized how big this place was going to be. Since this was a bit of a spur of the moment trip, I didn’t do much research about the place, which was actually a bit nice because I was able to be completely surprised by everything!

Everywhere I turned, there was something to see. It was a bit overwhelming at times!

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Over 7 million bulbs were planted in this place, which is only open from March-June. All that hard work for such a short amount of time…

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There are over 800 varieties of tulips planted at Keukenhof, each one smelling better than the last!

The theme for this year was “The Golden Age,” focusing on the era when Holland became wealthy through its involvement in worldwide trade. It felt so magical. I kept waiting for fairies and little woodland creatures to appear!

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It took all of my willpower not to ignore the “do not step on the grass” signs and lie down with a good book

We just kept walking through the seemingly endless flower gardens, soaking in all the pretty colors.

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The old windmill was one of my favorite parts! The view of the park from up top was just stunning.

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This field made me think of the poppy fields in The Wizard of Oz. Unfortunately, we couldn’t walk through the actual fields because we didn’t have enough time. I would haver loved to have taken a biking tour through them,  or have sailed down the canals. Maybe next time…

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View from the inside of the windmill

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We took a brief stop for some authentic Stroopwafels, which are two thin waffles filled with warm caramel.  Soooo good! Mine did not last long.

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Then it was right back to flowers…

The park did have more than just flowers, though. To keep it entertaining for younger kids, there were fun little things to see/do along the path. Deator and I took full advantage of that!

Love this classic Holland blue!

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They also had a petting zoo, with roosters, baby goats, and alpacas

They had three buildings with special exhibitions inside, all centered around flowers. This building was all about flowers in fashion, with a few of the dresses being completely comprised from flowers.

This room’s theme was more focused on Holland’s “Golden Age” of international flower trading

They also had so many shops, I had to keep reminding myself that I only brought a carry-on suitcase that would not fit everything that I wanted to buy…

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Because to take the road less traveled, I’m going to need new shows…

As much as I love city life, I do miss living in the woods and being overwhelmed by nature. It was so nice to have that feeling again!

Below are pictures I took on my plane ride home. I was lucky enough to snag a window seat and fly over the tulip fields!!

 

2 thoughts on “Keukenhof Gardens: Flower Festival

  1. Pingback: Wysteria Hysteria in London | coddiwompletheworld

  2. Pingback: Amsterdam, Part II: Anne Frank, Van Gogh, and More | coddiwompletheworld

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