It’s spring time and we are having more sunny and warm days. In the Netherlands, this time around there are a plethora of things to do and to help it, a you have a lot of public holidays. Amongst the many things, Netherlands has millions of tourists visiting in spring to see the Keukenhof gardens located at Lisse, Netherlands. In this series of blogs, I will talk about my excursion to the Keukenhof gardens and Giethoorn, a place in the north of Netherlands.
It started when a couple of friends from India were planning to visit me during the last week of April. Their plan was to go around Netherlands and Belgium. One of my friend suggested that while they are here they want to visit the Keukenhof gardens and Giethoorn. I had heard of these places but never really dug into the details. I knew that the Netherlands is the largest exporters of flowers in the world and thought, maybe it might be worth to visit these gardens.
During the planning of the trip for my friends, we decided that one day we will visit these places. Now, as I knew Keukenhof was easy to reach by public transport but, Giethoorn is a city far in the north, and I wasn’t sure if it is feasible to cover both the places in a day with public transport. We thought, why don’t we drive to these places? I had an international driving permit from India, though I didn’t know if they would accept that permit here in Netherlands. As it turned out, they did accept the permit and we were able to rent a car. As the car was a 4-seater Peugeot 106, another friend of mine joined us. It was decided to go early morning to Keukenhof and leave for Giethoorn in the afternoon. Back of my mind, I had my reservations about visiting two such beautiful places in a day, but, we didn’t have time at our disposal and needed to do the best of what we got!
As with any trip, we had our moments when things didn’t go according to plan. We planned to leave by 9am but left around 10.30am from Delft. But once we were on the road, there was no stopping us. Even though I have been in Europe for a while I haven’t really driven much. This was my first long driving experience and I was excited. For the past couple of days, the weather was as usual, dark, gloomy, and rainy (no shit Sherlock!), but fortunately, that day was sunny. I was surprised as the forecast was of a rainy day! Enroute, we saw huge tulip fields of colours you probably have never seen in your life. It was a splendid sight, a sight to behold!
On reaching the gardens, they provide you with a map of the garden which helps you plan your route. I will be honest here, I am not a big fan of flowers. Even then, just entering the gardens I was happy. The tulips of so many different colours, colours I probably cannot even name (: P) or haven’t seen in my entire life. The place was soothing to the eyes… the aura around was romantic. One should definitely come here with their partners. The beauty of the gardens lies in the way they have made…. It’s not any usual flower garden. They have grown the different varieties of tulips in a variety of garden styles. No doubt, tulips are in abundance, but there are other flowers too. The exhibitions of different flowers have a symbolic meaning of their own. I am not a horticulture specialist or florist but, I can definitely say this place is a paradise for those people. You can even read about the type of flowers and tulips, their breed etc. I am not an enthusiast and hardly cared to read about it.
After spending a good 4 hours at this place, we decided to continue our journey to the next destination. Giethoorn is amongst those untapped, exotic destinations of Europe and I had read and heard so much about this place. Stay tuned to know more about it, in my next blog.