Sunday, April 27, 2014

Rhine Getaway: Keukenhof, Netherlands (4/26/2014)

Saturday, April 26, 2014
Koningsdag/King's Day; time to get out of Amsterdam!
Lobby of the Rho Hotel
The entire inner city of Amsterdam was closed off, with no tram service, so we had to walk to the train station at 7:30, after a breakfast at the hotel. There was so much trash everywhere, and a few people were waking up on the sidewalks. The eve of King's Day is King's Night, but the big party was today, with outdoor concerts, food vendors, carnival rides, children's activities, and a city-wide flea market. The streets of Amsterdam are reportedly packed with people wearing orange, and most museums and attractions are closed.
Which is why we planned to go to Keukenhof this morning. We took the train to Schiphol Airport, put our luggage in a baggage locker, then went to catch a bus to Keukenhof in Lisse, Netherlands. I had already purchased the bus/garden combination tickets, so we found the bus stop. Kent asked how long the bus takes, and was told 10 minutes. After driving along for for a while, we realized the answer was for when the bus comes (in 10 minutes), but the ride actually lasted about a half hour.
At the garden, we were able to bypass the ticket lines and head in. Keukenhof was the 15C kitchen garden and hunting grounds of the nearby Teylingen Castle. In 1857, the new owners of the castle invited Vondelpark landscape architects Jan David and Louis Paul Zocher to develop an English landscape garden. In 1949, on the initiative of the mayor of Lisse, an open-air flower show was organized, and it has continued annually ever since. The gardens are on 32 hectares/79 acres and have 15 km/9 miles of footpaths. Keukenhof is only open for two months, from mid-March to mid-May, each year.
Entry fountain
The pipe organ played continuously
Gefranjerde Tulipa/Fringed tulip 'Sensual Touch' (KSS)
You can see how many blooms have already been deadheaded
Mixed flower section (KSS)
Juliana Pavilion (1954), the oldest building
Double tulips, narcissus, and white grape hyacinths (KSS)
Tulips everywhere (KSS)
Shade of purple (KSS)
Bowed tulips
Lily-flowering Tulipa Saxatilus tulips (KSS)
Bordered river of double tulips
Dubbele Tulipa/Double late tulips 'Ice Cream' (KSS)
Tulipa 'Paul Scherer'
Narcissus sp (KSS)
Daffodil bed (KSS)
Peony-like double tulip
Wide open tulips (KSS)
Double tulip, pink with white fringe (KSS)
The theme of 2014 is Holland, so the tulip mosaic is of a tulip in front of rowhouses in Amsterdam.
Flower mosaic of a tulip and row houses (KSS)
Photo of the mosaic design (KSS)
Oranje Nassau Pavilion with fountain;
the royal family of the Netherlands
is from the House of Orange-Nassau
Holland themed sculpture (KSS)
Iris hollandica 'Tiger Eye'
Classic flower arrangements
Modern flower arrangements
Display in Oranje Nassau Pavilion
White alstroemeria (KSS)
Toy mobile (KSS)
Domestic turkey at the petting farm
(but he's not one to pet)
    Nederlandse Sabelpootkriel/Dutch Saber-legged Bantam (KSS)
    Brynne & Paul in the maze
    There were many 'Inspirational Gardens' with different themes.
    Dutch Cow Garden
    (note flower pots made from cheese rinds)
    Dutch Cow Garden Inspired by
    the black and white Friesian cows
    (I thought this was the Recycle Garden!)
    Bee Happy Garden (KSS)
    Bee Happy Garden hives (KSS)
    Love Garden
    Rob's Familie Tuin/Family Garden.
    Rob is a local TV gardener
    Recycle Garden
    Windmill (KSS)
    Photo op with Tamiko & Kent
    Photo op with Brynne & Paul
    Another photo op at the windmill (KSS)
    See Paul on the windmill balcony? (KSS)
    View of tulip fields from the windmill
    Token miller at the windmill
    Japanese Garden
    Azalea Alley (KSS)
    Honeybee (KSS)
    Sculpture fountain
    Wisteria arbor
    Purple azalea (KSS)
    Orange boa for King's Day (KSS)
    Next the Beatrix Pavilion, dedicated to orchids; there seemed to be a fashion element as well.
    Mannequin in a paper dress
    Photo op of pushing a flower cart (KSS)
    Paphiopedilum Alma
    Overwhelmed with orchids
    Hot air balloons? (KSS)
    Medinilla magnifica/Malaysian Orchid
    And a few bromeliads.
    Aechmea Blue Rain (KSS)
    More tulip beds; the approximately 7 million bulbs are donated by several bulb export companies, and many areas are labeled so that you could order the specific varieties you wanted.
    Tulip beds (KSS)
    Pale grape hyacinth "stream" through the woods
    About 50 artists are invited to display their works (KSS)
    Lily-flowering tulips
    The Willem-Alexander Pavilion.
    Hydrangeas (KSS)
    Kalanchoe 'Magic Bells'
    Stargazer lily (KSS)
    Huge white stargazer lily (KSS)
    Man-made lake
    Synchronized swimming sculpture? (KSS)
    Colorful rows of tulips
    Because of the high water level, the stepping stones
    make it appear you are walking on water
    'Dolphin trainer' becomes 'Caring father feeding
    hungry young' (by Aris Roskam) (KSS)
    Photo op with giant wooden shoes
    They must be Chinese! It looked like the poser had a
    Hello Kitty doll, but it was the local "Miffy,"
    a female rabbit character in books by Dick Bruna
    "Please, do not walk on the grass"
    We stopped at the Wilhemina Pavilion for lunch. The others had ham and cheese sandwiches, but I tried a Stamppot, a dish with potatoes mashed with a vegetable, in this case, with broad beans.
    Water feature
    Electrifying combination! (KSS)
    More tulips (KSS)
    Tulipa Tarda/Wild tulips
    On the bus ride we passed a tulip field with a sign for "Self Plukken."
    "Self Plukken" tulip field
    Posing in the tulips
    The bus returned us to the airport, where we retrieved our luggage from the locker and went to check in for our 17:00 flight directly from Amsterdam to Minneapolis.
    Airport baggage locker
    We had time for drinks and some shopping to spend our leftover Euro coins.
    There was a one-room Rijksmuseum exhibit and shop.
    Rijksmuseum tulip ornament
    Uneventful flight back to Minneapolis, arriving at about 19:00. Passport control and customs took a long time. We picked up the car and took Brynne and Paul home before trying to drive to Cleveland.
    We pooped out and got a motel in Wisconsin, then finished the drive on Sunday.
    Another busy trip completed!