Keukenhof…the disaster

Keukenhof gardens
Keukenhof gardens

Keukenhof Tulip Gardens, Lisse, Netherlands

Well after all this time of looking forward to Keukenhof tulip gardens, I get here to find I’ve made a horrible mistake. 

The car park was easy enough to find but it was of course locked at 1am. So I found somewhere random to park for the night and set about cleaning lenses, charging batteries, formatting memory cards etc. I was all ready!

6:30am UK time (I live on UK time when abroad due to work) I was at the gates and got straight in, the first person in the car park. I had to wait for the gates opening but the sun was out by the time they did and it was a gorgeous day. I picked up a free map of the gardens and set off wandering. 

Red tulips at Keukenhof gardens
Red tulips at Keukenhof gardens

At first all I could find was numerous flowerbeds with colourful flowers in. Lovely to look at but not the fields of tulips I’d come for. I can’t remember the exact moment that it dawned on me that when Keukenhof told me that yes, the tulips were still blooming, they actually meant the gardens, NOT the fields where they are all grown. 

I found a viewpoint and saw all of the fields where the millions of tulips are grown…empty. Harvested. Dead til next year. I was totally dismayed. 

Moving on…

White flowers at Keukenhof
White flowers at Keukenhof

You have to get over things quickly though. It was some fun just watching the mostly Asian tourists taking their selfies with great enthusiasm: hiding behind displays and popping up with a wild grin to get ‘that shot’, or standing by a display and pointing to it to ensure viewers see the huge flowers, or even posing as if to hug the whole bed of flowers. Total but simple enthusiasm and they were all at it and it was nice to watch. It matters not what you get pleasure from, only that you get pleasure. 

Later I was to be seen running madly over the wooden stepping stones that allow you to cross the shallow lake. I was trying to see how fast I could go and not put a foot wrong or end up n the lake. Maybe the tourists might have looked at me and wondered why I wasn’t simply posing by the flower beds. 

I call it a disaster but really it wasn’t, it was just a misunderstanding by me and it’s not the end of the world. There’s always next year and the gardens were pretty even though that’s not my thing. little setbacks happen constantly when you’re travelling, especially to new places that are unfamiliar and I’m used to it to some degree so I mostly put it down to experience and enjoy what I did get anyway. 

Here’s a few more pictures I shot in the short time I was in Keukenhof:

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