The Keukenhof Bulb Garden opened for the first time in two years on Thursday 24 March, and for the first time since I stopped working at the gardens in 2015 I visited with my friend Kathy from Minnesota.
Winter still has a grip on Northern Minnesota, it was more like summer here in The Netherlands. Tulips here are popping out of the ground fast! The Daffodils and Hyacinths are in full bloom! It was perfect weather to tour the gardens.
We arrived early (my advice to anyone coming to visit the Keukenhof is to get there before 10 am). The park was instantly an eye full of color as we walked in the gate. Since I worked at the garden for five years I was happy to see the new changes made since 2015. A new entrance gate, new wide pathways in some areas of the park that previously were under used by the masses of tourists. It was also good to see some things hadn’t changed within the park and I enjoyed showing my long time friend (we concluded that we have been friends for near 40 years!) all the cool places within the park. Some of my old co-workers at the William Alexander Pavilion are still working at the coffee cafe booth, hugs and smiles were exchanged. Something that just a few months ago would have been unheard of due to COVID rules.
The best way to see the park is to take a nice leisurely walk, peek into the different pavilions and see the surprises the garden designers have created. No trip is complete without trying one of the many “Dutch” treats. On our visit we ate poffertjes, small pancakes with a dab of butter and topped with a generous helping of powered sugar.
On Thursday we spent about three hours at the park. Noting that it was getting busier and busier by the minute.
Today, Sunday, I hopped on my bike and rode to Hillegom and then on through the fields towards Lisse. Once again, I passed the Keukenhof and noted that the warm weather brought out the tourists. Although not the numbers that have blessed the park in the pre-COVID years but still better than in the last two years when the park was closed.
If any of my readers will be visiting in the coming weeks, my advice again is to arrive early at the Keukenhof, take a bike ride in the local community, eat at our restaurants, and enjoy an European pace.
I am enjoying the freedom of Democracy! Please continue remember and support those in the Ukraine who are still fighting to protect their countrymen and the democracy. Our thoughts for peace are with the Ukraine people! 💙💛☮️🌷
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