Travel With Bradley

A Sense For All Seasons – Keukenhof Gardens

A Feast for All Senses – The Keukenhof Gardens of Holland

We enjoyed a bright, sunny day at the famous 80 acre Keukenhof Tulip Gardens Park which is only open 6 weeks every year. This is an exhibition park for the growers that attracts thousands of visitors from around the world. Over 7 Million tulip bulbs are planted every year in this park and then they are destroyed to avoid disease. Holland receives over 200 days of rain every year so we couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful day to be here. Remember the sun is always out, it’s just sometimes clouds are in its way!

Tulips originated in Turkey and do not like cold weather. From Turkey the tulips were brought to Austria and then to the Netherlands in the 1600’s. The land in this area is ideal for tulip growing – clay and sand. A bulb was so expensive back then – the same price as a canal house in Amsterdam! Now a canal house runs over 1 Million and the bulbs are reasonable.

Two weeks ago locals were skating on the Amsterdam canals and that only happens once every 6 years so the tulips are going to bloom much later than usual this year. It was a unusual very cold winter.

Most of the tulips in the gardens have a long way to go before they are in full bloom but we still surrounded by so many unique tulip varieties as we toured the park pavilions.

What a beautiful day!

Last night, I kept my stateroom curtains open while we sailed on the LJ River and between sleeps I really enjoyed our night time cruise to Haarlem. We sailed under many low bridges so much of the top deck of the UniWorld Duchess was dissembled prior to transit so we could get under them. When we sailed close to land the Captain used spots to light the shore so the views were great.

In this new port of call we don’t see as many bicycles as we did in Amsterdam. A very modest bike will set one back 200 Euros and a good lock 60 Euros. Many bikes are either stolen or end up in a canal so most don’t want to invest much money in one. A manufacturer has designed a bike and they guarantee that they will find it anywhere in the World if its stolen. For this privilege that bike costs 1500 Euro. We spotted a few of them.

Housing costs have skyrocketed in Holland. A run down starter houseboat currently costs at 400,000 Euros. Newly-built Apartments continue to get smaller – often 400 square feet.

Well I will close for now – will join my passengers and continue to stroll through the Keukenhof Gardens.


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