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Published: April 15th 2018
Ship arrived in Amsterdam this morning, although docked at a different place to where we got on, and next to another Amawaterways ship - AmaSonata.
We had signed up for the early departure (8am) for Keukenhof Gardens this morning. Didn't seem like such a good idea when we were getting organised and it was pretty cold, but when we arrived at the gardens at 8.50am, and there were already about 50 buses (from all over Europe) in the carpark (abour 1/4 of the space), we were quite pleased. The tour guide informed us that "this is not busy at all".
Through the entrance, and the guide took us straight to the Willem-Alexander Pavilion, where thousands (literally) of tulip varieties, and other bulbs are on display. Wandered around there for some time, absolutely stunning, but tulip overload! Then signed up for a "whisper" boat tour through the fields. Some flowers were out, one field of tulips, some daffodils, and lots of hyacinth - smell was amazing. But was very cold on the boat, although very quiet, called a whisper boat because it is powered by electricity, so no noise.
After the boat ride, went to the Beatrix pavilion, which
has hundreds of orchid varieties. In between the pavilions, are many plantings outside, tulips, daffodils & hyacinths - apparently 6 million bulbs. Some were in bloom, some were not. Then to the Oranje Nassau pavilion which was full of roses - unbelievable. By then, it was time to meet to get the bus back to the ship, I am not sure we saw even half of the gardens, but so many people walking around, it was hard to cover a lot of ground. By this time (12pm), the bus carpark was full and more buses in one next door!! And a huge traffic jam to get in!
Had a walking tour (yes, another one) of the Jordaan district (city centre) of Amsterdam this afternoon, including the Princes and Brewers canals and a local market. And then apple pie at a Dutch cafe. Was quite interesting, the area was working class but has become very popular and upmarket, so very busy (had to dodge cars, people and bicycles).
Last lovely dinner tonight, with Margaret, Roberta and Gary (from North Carolina) who we have had dinner with every night on board. It was Roberta & Gary's anniversary, so we had
cake as well as dessert! Just what we needed - more foid!
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