You may think I’m reaching, using Keukenhof Gardens for the CFFC “Eyes” challenge, but it’s hard to think of anything but our eyes — staring goggle-eyed and visually dazzled — when confronted with so much color and light and so many beautiful blooms.
When we first planned to stop-over in Amsterdam for a few days on the way back from a tour, I was thinking about art, not flowers. “But wait –,” I thought, “We’ve only been to Amsterdam in autumn. If we’re going in the spring, shouldn’t we see tulips?” Sam agreed to a tulip tour, so we booked early. After all, we were going to be there Easter weekend. There would be crowds. And so there were…
The fields alongside were full of color too…
I’ve since read that there were a record 200,000 visitors to Keukenhof over the 4 days of Easter weekend. Compare that to 236,000 visitors in the entire first year the park was open – 1950. We were 2 of the multi-thousand there on Good Friday. It was “hot, flat, and crowded” (thank you Thomas L Friedman) but still drop-dead gorgeous. We took a tour bus from the Central Train Station, a ride of 30-40 minutes depending on traffic. I later read that by Saturday, traffic was so heavy that there were problems just getting to the Gardens, and tourists went into the fields along the way instead. We saw that happening on Friday too — here are some pictures I took out the bus window on the way back to Amsterdam…
Meanwhile, no flowers were harmed in the actual gardens — Is this peak tulip or what?
Keukenhof wasn’t exactly a bucket-list item, but now that I’ve been there I’m tempted to count it as such. Tulips and other spring bulbs were among the first things I planted when I bought a house. Along with violets, irises, and peonies, they’re the plants most likely to evoke a sense of home and childhood memories. The graceful arc of a stem, light slanting through blossoms, or the heady scent of a large bed of blossoms in sunlight are enough to transport me.
I guess I qualify as a flower-fanatic… do you?
I’ve been to the Gardens and was mind-boggled, first by field upon field of dazzling colors, then by the gardens inside. If I close my eyes, I can see them still.
Isn’t that the best compliment you can give them? To be so unforgettable? I agree, I can still see them (but then, I have all these photos so maybe I’m cheating)
It really was a lot of colour at the Amsterdam Keukenhof Garden. So many tulips and flowers in full bloom. The shot of the red ones is indeed dazzling – very bright red and a sight like that would be hard not to notice. Going to the fields along the way sounds exciting and I’m guessing there was no admission fee for that.
Hi Mabel – it’s good to hear from you. Yes, those red tulips would be hard to miss. I snagged a window seat coming into AMS thinking maybe I could see flower fields from the air, but must have come from the wrong direction, saw only one. And yes, the fields are free, but I don’t think we’re supposed to go out there.
It is always a bit of a disappointing feeling when you snagged a seat on the train with the view on the wrong side. Makes you want to take another ride back and forth again 😀
Absolutely! And of course that applies to tour buses too. (We must always be vigilant)