Live update from my trip to Keukenhof
07:20 The sunshine manage somehow to pass through the tick curtain of the room, waking me up few minutes before the alarm. Its an excited day as I am planning to visit de famous tulip garden opened outside of Amsterdam during the spring season (mid March to mid May).
I am wearing my new pink suite and a glitter top, trying to match the best way possible with the beauty of the garden.
08:50 Waiting in the hotel’s lobby for three of my colleagues who supposed to meet me downstairs but it looks like they wont show up. I am not surprised nor disappointed and I decide to not let go on my good mood and enjoy the amazing trip which brings to Amsterdam more than 1.3 million people every spring.
09:00 The shuttles bus is heading towards the airport according to the schedule.
09:10 I reach Schipol airport and I approach the information desk, having no clue how to reach Keukenhof (the tulip garden). The guy behind the desk smiles politely (probably hearing the same questions more than 1000 times today) and points towards the Arrivals 4 where I should find the bus no 858 and the tickets for the garden.
The best way to reach Keukenhof its from the airport and if you are in the city center you have to take the train or bus no 397 from Amsterdam central to Schipol. You must admit that I am learning fast…clueless few minutes ago…travel expert in present.
I am about to give up once I see the long queue ahead of me (few hundred people waiting to enter the bus) being the worst day to visit any place in Amsterdam. Today its not only weekend (when most of the tourists choose a getaway trip outside of their country) but also an important day for the locals who commemorate the Independence day (5 May, the end of the Second World War for Netherlands).
However I decide to give it a try and surprisingly in less than 20 minutes I am on the way to the garden, lucky enough to find an empty seat in the over crowded bus.
The combo ticket that I purchased while waiting for my turn, cost me 25 euro (cheaper than I expected) and it include the transportation and the entrance to the garden.
The ride itself is no longer than 15-20 minutes even with the unusual traffic and everything seems to work according to my plan today.
A huge field of red tulips rise in the right hand side of the road and before I realize, the bus enters the parking lot of Keukenhof.
10:00 The things are going pretty fast and in less than 2 minutes I manage to get my ticket scanned being allowed to enter the huge Garden of Europe.
Keukenhof its considered to be one of largest gardens in the world with more than 7 million flower bulbs covering the park alleys every year.
I am overwhelmed with the beauty which surrounds me, the multitude of colors and the perfume emanated by the flowers and not only once I felt dizzy and about to lose my balance.
The smell of childhood
The smell of childhood
Tulips reminds me of childhood and family, bringing back to life feelings and memories long forgotten…the grandparents garden filled with red tulips, the scent invading the house whenever they would visit us, my grandpa dirty hands planting the bulbs, the little kid watching through the window the early strains fighting the snow.
I pick up the phone and without thinking twice I am calling my mother on whatsapp (the park offers free wi-fi) wanting to share with her the happiness that I am feeling right now. In the end I own her everything. Not only the life and the person that I became but also the freedom and the chance to travel the world.
The smell of ignorance
The smell of ignorance
A Chinese lady is farting loudly right next to me while posing for her husband’s photo camera, ending the dreamlike moment of peace that I was living. Disgusted, I am walking fast to another side of the park, trying to erase from my mind the unpleasant smell of ignorance and stupidity floating in the fresh air. May that be the cause of pollution that China is fighting lately?
The dutch love their tulips so much that have dedicated them festivals, gardens, famous books and important paintings. But what many people don’t know is that the symbol of Netherlands was actually brought in Europe by the turks. Tulips were cultivated for the first time in the Ottoman empire (1000 AD) and used to define nobility and privilege, later being trade in different parts of the world.
Walk of fame
Walk of fame
At Keukenhof the flowers have their own walk of fame, where famous artists have given names to their favorite type of tulips. Katie Melua, Madonna, Vincent Van Gogh and Mickey Mouse they can all be seen in different colors and shades while walking inside the park.
11:30 The garden offers a wide variety of coffee shops and snack bars and I am going to have a quick lunch break before leaving the park, attracted like a magnet towards the truck which sells delicious Dutch fries and ice cream. I didn’t choose a fancy place but a normal bench in the middle of the garden trying to reconnect with the nature in the best way possible.
The park also include a children playing area, shops and flower expositions from where you can get some inspiration for your own house and garden.
12:30 I leave the garden behind, tired but in the same time recharged with positivity, marking as “seen” another touristic objective from my list.
12:50 Even though visiting the garden in the morning seemed to be the best option, I am surprised to discover that in the afternoon the bus station from Schipol airport its almost empty (6-7 people waiting). However, Keukenhof it was definitely worth visiting regardless of the waiting time and it can be easily named a natural wonder of the world.
Like everytime, Amsterdam doesn’t disappoint and I am waiting restless for my new trip to the beautiful country of clogs, windmills and…tulips.
Until then…stay beautiful and smile to the camera! You never know who is watching.