I have always loved bright coloured flowers and as a child I dreamed of visiting the tulips in Holland. So on a 5 week trip to Europe I have taken myself for a taste of Holland while my other half is busy walking another Camino
Based in the charming city of Leiden I walked to one of the bike rentals in town this morning and rented a sturdy city bike for the day. I was given a map with a series of thirty numbers to follow on a route from Leiden to Keukenhof Gardens return. Well that seemed a bit of fun to ride from number to number! The trip was meant to be 30 kilometres but was more like 50 kilometres by the time I took a number of wrong turns.
Riding along dedicated bike paths through rural areas was an invigorating thing to do and a good cure for jet lag. So much greenery and fresh air and interesting to see commercially grown tulips in the tulip fields.
Along the way I also passed through a number of small towns all looking smart and prosperous with their mixture of carefully maintained historical buildings, colourful and artistic shops and beautiful flowers.
One happy diversion along the way was a busy local market in the pretty town of Sassenheim. A good chance to grab some delicious fruit for the journey.
By the time I arrived at Keukenhof it was so crowded that I thought twice about queuing for a ticket and heading into this famous garden. But I was so glad that I did because Keukenhof appears to cope well with crowds. Open only for eight weeks each tulip season it usually has close to a million visitors each season. With seven million tulip bulbs planted it is a feast for the eyes.
A number of tulip varieties were on display. The vivid colours were amazing and the sizes and heights of the tulips were surprising.
My favourite tulips were possibly the various shades of pink as well as white tulips.
As well as tulips there are some plantings of hyacinths and daffodils.
So on a perfect spring day a trip through the tulips was a rewarding experience Which may yet inspire me to develop some green fingers.